Joshua Marshall

Joshua Micah Marshall is the editor of Talking Points Memo and a senior correspondent for the Prospect.

Recent Articles

Loving Lieberman

B y custom, vice presidential candidates get the nod because they appeal to some highly sought-after constituency. Perhaps it's a state rich in electoral votes. A prized ethnic group. Or maybe just the right or left wing of the party. Look diligently enough, though, and you'll almost certainly strike upon some group the nominee was trying to propitiate. Seemingly, it appears Al Gore ignored this rule in picking Joe Lieberman. But that's only because Gore was reaching out to a constituency you might not have thought of--that maddeningly small, but terribly important, constituency called the Washington press corps. Gore faces many challenges over the next two months. But his greatest obstacle may be the simple fact that most political reporters don't like him. I don't mean kinda--I mean, they really don't like him. For better or worse, most Beltway reporters view the vice president with a mix of bemusement and contempt. They may not think much of...

Does the Center Hold?

A decade ago, if someone had told the president of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), Al From, that Al Gore would be heading up the Democratic ticket in the year 2000, he would have thought the DLC millennium had truly arrived. Today, though, it's not so clear. Gore's support for free trade, welfare reform, and what some consider balanced-budget fetishism makes him seem like a DLC-style New Democrat. But some in the DLC are not so sure; and perhaps with good reason. It's easy to overlook how much the second Clinton-Gore administration, even in its more centrist moments, has already departed from DLC orthodoxies. Consider a few examples: What used to be called "entitlement reform" has always been a central goal of the DLC. The Council favors retrenchment, means testing, and, more recently, partial privatization when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. The administration has sought to buttress these programs with new general-revenue funds while...

The Firewall Next Time

Harry Dent assures me that George W. Bush is going to win big in South Carolina on February 19. "He's Mr. Handsome," the South Carolinian recently told me, "got a gorgeous wife, good family. And he believes in Jesus Christ. That's pretty strong down here." Dent should know. A longtime adviser to the state's nonagenarian Senator Strom Thurmond and a storied figure in the history of the post-civil rights era South and the Republican Party, Dent is widely credited as the principal architect of Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy. If Republicans can't figure out that George W. Bush is their man, Dent said, "they might as well go back into the hills again." Maybe so. But Bush isn't taking any chances. In addition to lining up most of the state's Republican establishment behind his campaign, Bush has also retained the services of Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition. In the past three presidential cycles, the South...

Say It Is So, Joe!

W hen Al Gore tapped Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman to be his Democratic running mate last August, there was plenty of concern among party liberals: Why was Gore (who many thought was already too much of a New Democrat) teaming with the chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)? And was Lieberman, best known for remaining above the partisan fray--and for being the first Democrat to condemn Bill Clinton's sexual shenanigans publicly--really a good fit for a deeply partisan campaign? At first it looked like maybe not. Even as Gore was steering the campaign in a decisively populist direction with his convention speech, Lieberman was spending much of convention week having to assure skeptical delegates of his Democratic bona fides on key issues like affirmative action and privatization of Social Security. But something happened over the next four months. Lieberman grabbed hold of the Gore message more fulsomely and effectively than almost...

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