Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Cash Doesn't Actually Rule Everything Around Me.

John Sides uses Meg Whitman ’s recent slide in the California gubernatorial race to make a good point about the reality of being a self-financed candidate: First, it is important to remember that many candidates spend their own money because they are forced to, not because they necessarily want to. That is, they invest their money because they are facing strong opposition and could easily be defeated, or because they are languishing in the polls and desperately need to give their campaign a jolt, or because they are uncertain about their ability to raise money. Self-financing may be as much a sign of weakness as as sign of strength. Indeed, Whitman joins Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon as candidates whose money hasn’t made up for the core weakness of their position (both are trailing their competitors). To return to an earlier post , fundraising does more than provide cash for a campaign; it builds important connections and relationships among party activists and donors. Moreover, as...

Try Harder Joe Scarborough.

Joe Scarborough ’s debut column for Politico isn’t very good: My opponent’s misstep in 1994 may, in part, explain the biggest mystery surrounding Barack Obama : How did a president sitting at 70 percent in the polls manage to squander so much political capital and personal goodwill in just two years? In 2008, Obama won with a huge wave of independent voters. In 2010, polls show independents leaving Democrats in droves. In 2008, Obama impressed many Republicans I met on the campaign trail with his promise to bring a more mature, post-partisan style to Washington. In 2010, Gallup’s polls show him to be the most polarizing president in modern history. I feel like I’ve written this post a dozen times, but for Obama’s falling popularity, the explanation is pretty straightforward; unemployment has rested at more than 9 percent for the better part of a year, and economic growth has been sluggish. People just aren't inclined to support the president when they fear for their jobs or can barely...

Don't Blame Obama for the Enthusiasm Gap

Democratic voters have never been that thrilled about voting in midterm elections, and there isn't much the president can do to change that.

(White House/Pete Souza)
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone , President Barack Obama took the opportunity to express his deep frustration with Democratic voters' lack of enthusiasm. Sounding more like a parent than a president, Obama said it was "inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines" and added that it was "irresponsible" for Democrats not to vote in November. This wasn't the first time Obama needled his base about its flagging enthusiasm. A few weeks earlier, during a fundraiser for the Connecticut Democratic Party, the president joked that his liberal supporters were "congenitally" more likely to see the "glass as half empty" and didn't appreciate his administration as much as he'd like: "If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn't there. ... And gosh, we haven't yet brought about world peace." Unsurprisingly, this sparked a wave of reaction from liberal critics like Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald, who noted their...

The Coming Administrative Presidency.

I'm inclined to agree with Joe Klein 's take on the choice of Pete Rouse to serve as Rahm Emanuel's replacement: I don't know Rouse very well. I don't know what his priorities will be. Early reports emphasized his "calming" effect and his long career as a Congressional insider. But if this no-drama White House gets any calmer, it'll be comatose. There's a need for energetic, non-Congressional, non-insider voices in the inner circle. Some wise executives like Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell would be welcome. It's not that I think that the White House needs someone "energetic" -- whatever that means -- but that for the next phase of Obama's presidency, the locus of action will shift from Congress to the executive branch, as a Republican majority in either the House or Senate will make effective legislation impossible. For domestic policy, odds are good that Obama's attention will move to the bureaucracy as he begins to implement policy and find ways to do more with less. At the very...

Tom Friedman Hates Democracy.

I thought Atrios had the right take on Tom Friedman 's latest , "Tom Friedman wants a third party with no constituency to enact his preferred agenda. [I] have only seen that column written 3 trillion times before:" There is a revolution brewing in the country, and it is not just on the right wing but in the radical center. I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties” to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline. [...] We have to rip open this two-party duopoly and have it challenged by a serious third party that will talk about education reform, without worrying about offending unions; financial reform, without worrying about losing donations from Wall Street; corporate tax reductions to stimulate jobs, without worrying about offending the far left; energy and climate reform, without worrying about offending the far right and coal-state Democrats...

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