Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is an associate professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House.

Recent Articles


Several dozen journalists, columnists, authors, bloggers, policy wonks and other thinkers signed their names to a statement deploring the conduct of ABC News, and moderators George Stephanopolous and Charles Gibson , during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate. The statement has been published over at The Nation and will likely be posted or re-printed elsewhere on the web. From the Prospect’s current or extended family, Spencer Ackerman , Dean Baker , Sam Boyd , Ezra Klein , Addie Stan , Mike Tomasky and yours truly are among the signatories. Sections from the opening and closing lines: We the undersigned deplore the conduct of ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson at the Democratic Presidential debate on April 16. The debate was a revolting descent into tabloid journalism and a gross disservice to Americans concerned about the great issues facing the nation and the world. This is not the first Democratic or Republican presidential debate to emphasize gotcha questions over...


Here’s the truly sad news about Hillary Clinton today. In a way, she blew a great opportunity during last night's debate to do something dramatic: To reverse her negatives, remove the doubts about her as a Democratic team player, punch the media bigwigs (including her hubby’s own former deputy!) square in the jaw, and score major points with Pennsylvania voters. And all she had to do was remember how crass Barack Obama looked at key moments of their (three-way, with John Edwards ) debate back in January in New Hampshire, and do the reverse by interrupting Georgie and Charlie at some point around the 30-minute mark, following all those dumb questions, look down at her watch and say something like this: May I interject for a second before Barack answers that question? We’re about a half hour into this debate and all you two have done is raise ridiculous, distracting issues that most voters don’t care about, yet you and others in the chattering classes are obsessed with. This is a debate...


If I were Howard Dean , I'd be worried about this . If I were Howard Wolfson , I'd be worried about this . And if I were Juwan Howard , I'd be worried about this . (Note the career stats v. this year.) --Tom Schaller


David Brooks gave ABC News and moderators George “here’s another Xmas present fer ya, Hill” Stephanopolous and Charles “I’m allowed to make up facts about capital gains tax revenues” Gibson an “A” for their debate performance last night. Stunning. I mean, can anyone imagine a general election debate this fall where John McCain is asked about his friendship with lobbyist Vicky Iselin , the alleged adulturous behavior that led to the failure of his first marriage, his embarrassing flip-flop of the legitimacy of Bob Jones University, his shifting position on the Martin Luther King holiday and, say, his view of wacko fundamentalist John Hagee --all in the same debate? More to the point, can you imagine such a debate being rewarded with a Brooksian "A" for moderator performance? Methinks not. --Tom Schaller


In case you missed it, the number of witnesses (all professors, I should add; can you really trust those louts?) who say they distinctly remember Hillary Clinton , at a Camp David summit in 1995 after the Democrats lost control of both chambers of Congress, saying “screw ‘em” of Reagan Democrats and working-class southerners who had abandoned her husband and the party in the 1994 midterms, is up to three. Alan Wolfe joins Harry Boyte in confirming Benjamin Barber’s bombshell published recollection at HuffPo . The Clinton campaign is not denying it but instead wants to challenge folks' memories. It will be interesting to see if this story gains legs, especially with Clinton's image problems growing . And by "interesting," I mean I wonder if the conservative media (which is dying to run against Hillary in the general) will hammer her about it for fear it will damage her comeback hopes. --Tom Schaller