Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is the Prospect's daily blogger and senior writer. He also blogs for the Plum Line at the Washington Post, and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

Do We Need a Manager in the White House?

There are only two major Republicans who are absolutely, positively running for president in 2012, Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty . And Romney is honing his pitch : I don't know who all's going to get in the race but I do believe that it would be helpful if at least one of the people in the Republican field had extensive experience in the private sector, in small business, in big business, working with the economy. Because frankly not just solving the near-term problems of unemployment -- people not getting checks -- is going to require someone with that experience but also long-term, we've got to have a strong economic foundation to make sure we can stay ahead of the challenges we face like a growing China and a militarily aggressive China. Romney can legitimately claim to be the only candidate with extensive business experience (though running Palin, Inc., is surely no small task). I've argued at length before that the idea that business experience translates to successful governing...

The IRS Gets Mobile.

As tax time approaches, you've probably been asking yourself: Can I track the status of my refund on my smartphone? Well, the answer is, you betcha! Get yourself on over to the App Store or the Android Market, and download the IRS' slammin' new app, IRS2Go ! OK, maybe you haven't been asking yourself that. It's true that everything in the world need not be turned into a mobile app – there are some things that can wait until you get home or to the office to access. But it's good to see the tax man making efforts to be user friendly. Now if they can do something about their ghastly web site , they'd really be getting somewhere. As you may know, the Obama administration has been making serious efforts to web-ify as much of the federal government as possible, with things like Recovery.gov , Data.gov , and HealthCare.gov . It makes one wonder what the state of the government's technology efforts would be had John McCain – who in 2008 said , "I am learning to get online myself, and I will...

Giving Them the Business.

Few things have been stranger to those of us on the left over the last couple of years than the continued insistence of the moneyed class that Barack Obama is "anti-business." After all, the stock market has soared since he's been president -- the Dow is up nearly 50 percent since he took office -- corporate profits are at near record levels, the banks are doing great, and if anything, it looks like the capitalist class has fully recovered from the recession, even if regular people haven't. So why do they think he's against them? The answer, of course, is feelings. We tend to think of business leaders as hard-nosed men immersed in a world of facts, poring over balance sheets until the numbers add up. But they're also human beings, who can be as irrational, emotional, and biased as anyone else. So they were terribly hurt by the fact that a couple of times, Obama used the term "fat cats." Who can forget the Wall Street broker who whined , "When are we going to stop whacking at the Wall...

Our Opponents Are Not Guilty of Everything.

Remember when that statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad in the early days of the Iraq War, back in 2003? If you're like many liberals, you probably encountered the theory that the entire thing was staged by the Pentagon to look like a spontaneous uprising of cheering, grateful Iraqis. I remember reading something about how according to knowledgeable people, some of the crowd looked Kurdish, so the suspicion was that they had been bused in for the occasion. A couple of weeks ago, Peter Maass -- a journalist who was there at the time -- published a fascinating exploration of the event in The New Yorker , and he paints a picture that's slightly different. It's worth reading the whole thing, but the summary is this: The picture that was presented to the world was in fact highly misleading, but it wasn't because of some sinister plan hatched by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld . The involvement of U.S. troops was largely spontaneous. But because it happened in Firdos square,...

Tim Pawlenty Will Crush the Alien Invaders With His Bare Hands.

You thought the former governor of Minnesota and soon-to-be presidential candidate was a boring Midwestern milquetoast? Well strap in and prepare to have your mind blown: I think what Pawlenty needs is to have all his speeches delivered through a microphone that gives it that distortion, as though he's broadcasting from a bunker between episodes of hand-to-hand combat. And maybe have F-16s do a flyover every time he steps into an Iowa living room to make his pitch. While TPM compared it to the trailer for "Armageddon," I think this may be the better comparison: Let me go out on a limb here and say that this will not be the last moment of unintentional hilarity in the 2012 Republican primary. -- Paul Waldman

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