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


The conventional wisdom of electoral campaigns is that one can only peak too early. I think Mike Huckabee’s Iowa experience disproves this.


Schaller here: I’ll be covering the Republicans from Iowa this week for the Prospect, with Dana on the Democratic beat.

Not to tread on her turf, but from my hotel room here in Des Moines I couldn’t help notice that Hillary Clinton, a few moments ago in a speech she gave in Maquoketa, was touting energy independence and said that those who say Americans can conserve and drive fuel-efficient vehicles forget that “we’re the country that put a man on the moon…that invented the Internet.”


My lord, was Joe Biden ever so right about Rudy Giuliani's "subject, verb, 9/11" crutch. Here's Da Mayor on the Benazir Bhutto assassination:

"The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a tragic event for Pakistan and for democracy in Pakistan. Her murderers must be brought to justice and Pakistan must continue the path back to democracy and the rule of law. Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere--whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi--is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists' War on Us."

The State of the Field-Ops War

Two weeks out from Iowa--who has people on the ground, and the strategy to organize them?

He's baaaack. Though his role is unclear -- paid or unpaid, advising or taking over? -- news that legendary Democratic field wizard Michael Whouley, the man who engineered Al Gore's national popular vote win and John Kerry’s 2004 Iowa victory, has joined the Clinton campaign's field effort sent a ripple through the world of people who make it their business to win campaigns where they matter most: on the ground. One report said Whouley was recently "conscripted" to bolster the Clinton team for the home stretch in Iowa.


I recently spoke with a political friend -- somebody close enough to Mike Bloomberg's team to know -- who suggested that Hizzoner would be most likely to jump into the presidential contest if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton and the Republicans tap Mike Huckabee. The thinking goes that her built-in negatives and his problems with the establishment wing of the GOP provide the best possible combination for dual defections from each side.