Nicholas Confessore

Nicholas Confessore is a reporter for The New York Times. Previously he was an American Prospect senior correspondent and an editor of The Washington Monthly.

Recent Articles

Are Virginia's Democrats Doomed?

Yesterday, Republican Randy Forbes narrowly beat Democratic Louise Lucas in a special election for Virginia's 4th Congressional District. Predictably, the GOP is claiming that this amounts to a "bellwether" victory for their president and their party; as goes Virginia's fourth CD, so, apparently, goes the nation. Also predictably, this is mostly nonsense. There's no doubt that this was a win for the GOP, which now holds a seat formerly occupied by the late Norman Sisisky, a Democrat. And it's a setback for Terry McAulliffe's Democratic National Committee, which is pouring serious money into Virginia these days (and which dispatched grassroots guru Donna Brazile to help out Lucas). But it's not at all clear how much broader significance the Forbes victory has -- for the district, for Virginia, or for George W. Bush. notwithstanding -- that the Democrats would likely lose Sisisky's seat if it ever came open. Though the Wall Street Journal href="

Ridge Over Troubled Waters

T he last time a Catholic bishop from Pennsylvania took an ax to some promising piece of vice presidential timber, it was a Democrat who got felled. That was in 1984, when the late Cardinal John O'Connor--then recently promoted to New York's archdiocese from Scranton, Pennsylvania--attacked Geraldine Ferraro at a pro-life convention for "distorting" the church's position on abortion. Noted pro-choice Catholics like Mario Cuomo and Ted Kennedy jumped into the brawl, joined by assorted bishops and other prelates of the church. And Walter Mondale, who had expected his Catholic, Italian-American running mate to bring in crucial northeastern and midwestern ethnic votes, instead found himself defending his respect for religion. Sixteen years later, it's George W. Bush, still stung by charges of anti-Catholicism after his speech at Bob Jones University last winter, who's on the defensive--and Tom Ridge, the popular pro-choice Catholic...

The Odd Couple

On a recent Thursday morning, not long after the Amadou Diallo verdict, Al Gore stopped by New York City's P.S. 163 to talk up his education proposals. Anti-Gore elves had been up early, stacking "Ask Al Gore" leaflets on tables at the entrance: "If you want to know how African Americans became identified ... as violent, gun-toting threats to society, ask Al Gore about his 1988 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Ask him what he said to Dukakis in the New York debate. Ask him how this was later picked up by the George Bush campaign as the 'Willie Horton' case." This was supposed to be Bill Bradley's turf. Where else would his message resonate more than here, at an integrated public school at the intersection of the famously affluent-but-leftish Upper West Side and Harlem, where anger over the death of an unarmed black immigrant has lately boiled over into spontaneous, multiracial street protests? No one seems to have told Gore this. He strides confidently into a...