Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is an associate professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South.

Recent Articles


It's now a tag-team WWF match: Change v. More of the Same Old Experience. Isn't it amazing that Obama and Edwards are using precisely the same slogan that the Bill Clinton "war room" used daily to pump itself up and enthrall the voters 16 years ago? The ironies abound. --Tom Schaller


Wow. Get your kids out and put them in front of the TV: The Clinton Era officially ended at 9:34 p.m. EST when Edwards paired with Obama to bury Hillary as a non-agent of change. Wow, again. -- Tom Schaller


Outside the Manchester Radisson I saw Duncan Hunter being trailed by a media contingent of … none. So I went outside to see if I could get him to say something about the John McCain comeback and whether nominating the Arizona senator might spell doom for a party because of what the xenophobic, close-the-border wing led by Hunter and Tom Tancredo might do if McCain wins this thing. Now, Hunter wasn’t going to let me get my question in until he shared some big, exciting news with me. As you may not have heard, there was a Wyoming Republican caucus today and, though Romney dominated it, Hunter, who was not invited to participate in tonight’s debate, won a lone delegate. “I won a delegate in Wyoming, so there’s only three of us on the scoreboard,” he said. “I think it’s a good reason for me to be in the debate tonight, which I’m being excluded from.” Finally, I did get him to answer the question of whether nominating a candidate who was not strong on border issues would be fatal for...

The Republicans' Accountability Moment

Huckabee's win is a clear signal to the Republican Party that their internal divisions are not going away.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, speaks at a victory party in Des Moines, Iowa, after being declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The Republican Party had an accountability moment last night in Iowa. Following two generations of ever-widening clout by Christian conservatives, last night's convincing victory by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee provided a warning to the establishment wing of the national Republican Party that it may no longer be able to pass off its preferred candidates to the party's most loyal supporters. In this largely-white, rural heartland state, where insurgent conservative candidates of the past have done well but usually finish second, Huckabee's evangelical-led, 34 percent to 25 percent Bible-thumping of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sends to national party leaders a powerful signal that evangelical votes cannot be taken for granted. "I never thought I'd be able to say I love a state as much as I love my home state of Arkansas, but tonight I love Iowa," Huckabee told his cheering supporters at a victory celebration in a ballroom at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines. "A...


As a follow-up to campaign deal-making, here’s a verbatim transcript of a quick one-on-one I had with Obama consultant David Axelrod : DA : All I’ll tell you is that we’re after everybody…we want to be everybody’s choice. I don’t know anything about deals. TS : Can you comment on whether you approached other candidates? DA : I didn’t approach any candidates. TS : Did David [Plouffe , campaign manager] or anyone else? DA : I…I…believe we are aggressively pursuing all second choice…all the second choice options directly in the precincts without deal-making. TS : So, as a matter of targeting not as a matter of deal-making? DA : That’s what I’m saying. There was a notable pause before that second-last question. Earlier in the day, a Dodd spokesman basically confessed that some of the top-tier candidates, without naming names, had approached their campaign, too. --Tom Schaller