Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

Donald Trump Is a New Kind of Dissembler

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Spokane, Washington, Saturday, May 7, 2016. M ost partisans would probably tell you that while their own party's leaders sometimes get a fact wrong here or there, the other side is a bunch of blatant liars, whose contempt for the truth leaves the public in a perpetual cloud of misinformation. We don't have to settle who's right on this question to acknowledge that in politics, there are ordinary tale-tellers and then there's Donald Trump. As he has in so many ways, Trump has upended the usual operation of politics by refusing to play by its rules, written or not. The presumption that politicians should at least try to speak the truth as often as they can is something most everyone shares, whether Democrats, Republicans, or the news media that cover them. It's that presumption that establishes a basic set of behaviors for all concerned—for instance, that news media will call out lies from...

Why Hillary Clinton May be Doomed to Repeat the Obama Presidency

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
AP Photo/Paul Sancya Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the NAACP's 61st annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner in Detroit, Sunday, May 1, 2016. B arack Obama's presidency, we can all agree, has been anything but easy. It's full of real, even monumental accomplishments, but for every victory there has been a defeat, for every moment of triumph a long stretch of frustration. And because Obama's remarkable 2008 campaign was so inspiring, accompanied by so much hope and belief in transformation, the long hard slog of governing has been particularly painful for liberals. That pain has been the engine driving the Bernie Sanders campaign forward, as many on the left have, somewhat ironically, come to believe that the promise of Obama's presidency could be fulfilled by a 74-year-old Jewish socialist possessing a fraction of Obama's charisma and political skill. But if you think the Obama years were frustrating, just you wait for the Hillary Clinton presidency. I say...

Why Republicans Couldn't Make 2016 Their Version of 2008

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, wave as they wait in an airplane hangar in Hagerstown, Maryland, Sunday, April 24, 2016. P arties exist in large part to bring order and stability to politics. When you go into the voting booth in November, you'll be confronted with a bunch of races you know nothing about, but the party affiliations of the candidates will tell you almost everything you need to know in order to make reasonable choices. You can predict much of what a candidate for county council will do just by knowing which party she represents—and that goes for president, too. Yet every four or eight years, the parties have to offer the country something entirely new for the office of the presidency, something that will be untainted by the party's past mistakes and perfectly positioned to take advantage of the other party's more recent ones. And only when timing and individual ambition come together can a party give the country...

Why Hillary Clinton Could Be the Kind of President Bernie Sanders Supporters Will Love

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
AP Photo/Seth Wenig Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a speaker at a rally in the Staten Island borough of New York, Sunday, April 17, 2016. I t's frustrating to be a Bernie Sanders supporter right now. Your candidate has plenty of impressive wins behind him, Hillary Clinton is still far from having the nomination wrapped up, and yet everyone is talking as if the race is over. First they didn't take your guy seriously, and now they want to push him out of the race. With the expectedly raucous New York primary coming up Tuesday, it's no wonder that there's no small amount of animosity coming from Sanders fans toward Clinton. In fact, in a recent McClatchy/Marist poll , 25 percent of Sanders supporters say they won't vote for Clinton if she's the party's nominee. They may not want to hear it yet, but those who support Sanders might start thinking about how they could exert influence over Clinton's presidency. Because some of what they don't like about Clinton—...