Terence Samuel

Terence Samuel is a Prospect senior correspondent and the author of The Upper House: A Journey behind the Closed Doors of the U.S. Senate, published in May by Palgrave Macmillan. Follow him on Twitter.

Recent Articles

Step Right Up Indiana

Like many late primary states, Indiana is feeling the flush of increased voter registration, national media attention and money from the DNC. Democrats are hopeful that this will auger well for down-ticket races in the fall.

Despite a deepening despair among Democrats that the never-ending primary season is severely damaging the eventual nominee, Dan Parker, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, is almost gleeful about what is happening in his state in advance of next week's presidential primary. "Anybody who tells you different doesn't know anything about politics," he said, "This is a good thing for the Indiana Democratic Party." Parker, a Hillary Clinton supporter, is doing everything he can to help her win on Tuesday. But whether she pulls it off or not, Parker and his party are already reaping big rewards in a state that is closely divided between the two parties below the presidential level. No one is predicting that the Democratic nominee will beat John McCain in Indiana in November, but down the ballot, where the races will be much closer, the infusion of Democratic money, energy, and organizing infrastructure could pay great dividends this fall and beyond. "Close to a million people are going to...

On the 2008 Primary and Black Anger

The Clintons do not seem to understand that the kind of revulsion they are generating in what was once the heart of their base is not your garden-variety political frustration.

I encounter it much more frequently than ever these days -- a seething, barely-contained rage that convulses some black people when they talk about the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. This is the Obama base -- frustrated by his recent reversals and, frankly, running a little bit scared. They worry that, despite all the analysis showing that Clinton has virtually no chance of winning the nomination, the cards are stacked against Obama and the house will find a way to win. "They are going to change the rules, you watch," one man told me. Some of these people say things about Hillary Clinton, her husband, and sometimes her daughter that are so harsh they bring back memories of the worst Republican attacks of the 1990s. Some of them are even Democratic operatives who once loved the Clintons, only to turn completely against them during this campaign. Black anger at the Clintons has even spread to the top of the Democratic Party. Black Congressman Jim Clyburn, the House...

Why Obama Will Win Pennsylvania

Barack Obama has shown himself capable under attack, and managed to rally support beyond Philadelphia. It may be enough to stop Hillary Clinton.

That creaking noise you hear is the sound of me going way out on a limb to predict that Barack Obama will win the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday, finally ending Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions. After all the sound and fury, the race in Pennsylvania will come down to the strength of get- out-the-vote (GOTV) operations, and I think the Obama campaign's organizational advantages will be enough to push Obama past Clinton by almost two percentage points. He's got money, he's got energy and enthusiasm (despite his debate performance on Tuesday), and he's got Philadelphia and its suburbs Broadly speaking, presidential elections are almost always decided by what and who Americans think best suit the moment. After all the wins and losses, after all the gaffes, the deceptions, and the rare moments of inspiration, Obama is simply closer to the mood of the country than either Clinton or McCain. Obama is selling change. Both of his opponents are selling the virtues of experience, but...

The Democrats' Struggle to Maintain Unity

As the Democrats gear up for the Pennsylvania primary, they could find themselves on shaky ground as the party's old personality disorders begin to resurface.

After Sen. Barack Obama's win in Saturday's primary in Wyoming, Democratic voters in the 11 remaining contests, from Mississippi to Puerto Rico, will decide how to dole out a total of 599 delegates between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. And, since there is no way in which those outcomes could decide the nomination, the decision will the fall to the now-infamous super-delegates. The long, messy fight for the Democratic presidential nomination will only get longer and messier. I would set aside the big worry among Democrats that the Obama-Clinton Long War will hurt the eventual nominee and elect John McCain to a third Bush term in November. The Democratic Party has bigger problems. At its core, the ongoing fight between Obama and Clinton reveals how much the excitement and energy of this campaign season is built on revulsion of George W. Bush. As much as Democrats love their two candidates, the really animating issue is getting rid of Bush, and they are completely open on how, and...

The Final Word

The Clinton-Obama contest has opened up some unexpected divisions in the Democratic Party among people who have invested their deepest selves into one candidacy or another. Democratic chances in November may depend at least as much on what the loser says as who the winner turns out to be.

March 4 is the new Feb. 5, and, depending on whom you listen to, the race is already over on the Democratic side, with Obama needing just one more win to end the Clinton Age in American politics. After 10 losses in a row, the Clinton Inevitably Strategy now looms as one of the great strategic blunders of our time. How Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin by 17 points would be a head-splitting political puzzle, if it didn't come at the end of a long string of defeats and was not the smallest loss-margin of the last 10. Even winning Texas and Ohio may not be enough to save her now. One Clinton operative confessed this week that many on the Clinton campaign are already preparing to move over to Obama, once he is the nominee. They, too, are getting caught up in the Obama excitement. In yesterday's New York Times , we were presented a picture of the candidate herself maybe making peace with the idea of a loss. One way or the other, the long, hard fight for the Democratic nomination will produce...