Neera Tanden

Neera Tanden is senior vice president for academic affairs at the American Progress Action Fund in Washington.

Recent Articles

Campaigns Are Destiny

As George W. Bush grows accustomed to job-approval ratings in the middle 30's, the number of explanations for his travails seems to increase by the day. In this case it's not success, but failure that has a thousand fathers: the bungling of Katrina, his drive to privatize Social Security, the mistakes in Iraq, even obstructionist Democrats. The list goes on. But here's another theory: The president's low approval ratings are the result of the intensely negative type of campaign he chose to run. A campaign forms the basis for the public's expectations of how the candidate will govern once in office. And Bush, instead of telling Americans what he had accomplished and what he would do once reelected, ran the most negative presidential campaign in history. He spent $177 million on the highest number of negative ads -- a whopping 101,000 -- and the lowest number of positive ads of any presidential campaign in modern time. And he was the incumbent! He won by the narrowest margin of any...