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


Isn't it amazing, as Harold hinted at below, that Obama is such a phenomenon at this point that you have Republicans complimenting him? Is it possible for one candidate to win two debates in a single night, even if he's only entered in one? What's also clear to me is, a few polite barbs aside, how much more thoughtful and civil the tone of this debate is, compared to the earlier one. (On that note, I will have some juicy quotes from the Spin Room by Romney surrogate Ron Kauffman and McCain surrogate Lindsey Graham once I get them transcribed.) Totally different tenor. That said, isn't it about time that the national media narrative about which party "doesn't know what it stands for" and which party is a "compilation of its identity groups" officially shift from the Democrats to the Republicans? To me, it's clear how much the fate and ideas of the two parties have shifted since November 2004, and it's a stunning change. --Tom Schaller


... I take an opportunity during one of the next tense exchanges and just say this: I'll respond in a second, but I want to pause a moment to say something about Sen. Clinton. She was not only one of the most influential and important women in American history last century, but with her Senate career has been and will be remembered as one of the most important women in American and world history in the 21st century. And yes, she's smart and dedicated and experience and loves her party and her country. I just think the politics of the moment call for something more. And I want to be the person who offers that something more. Gracious, thoughtful, true as hell ... and the final nail in the coffin. --Tom Schaller


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...