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


Oh, this video about President Bush's golf sacrifice for the troops is simply too precious not to send along. (Hat tip to my friend Oliver Griswold for alerting me to it. Warning : There are a coupla naughty words in there.) --Tom Schaller


I’m biased because I’ve known Tom Sheridan for a few years now and, by sheer coincidence, I happened to be having dinner with him, his partner (who is my real estate agent) and his cousin last night when this profile of him first posted on The Hill’s website. But there's no denying that the progressive lobbyist truly is one of the good guys. The Sheridan Group he founded and heads is one of the best white-hat firms in town. As Roxana Tiron points out, Sheridan represents Bono which, I’ll grant, is pretty damn cool. But Sheridan’s day-to-day political life is far less glamorous: Through Sheridan’s lobbying, Congress passed legislation to create specialized foster care programs and high incentives for foster parents willing to take [children born with AIDS]. It was considered the first piece of legislation ever to deal with AIDS. These are the tough, unappreciated fights. And although it’s a bit of a stretch in Tiron’s closing line to say “Sheridan always wins,” the Democrats' capture...


I don’t know who is heckling John McCain during his economic speech this morning in Washington, but it really needs to stop. Every time the cameras and microphones pick up the sights or sounds of somebody shouting at McCain, followed reflexively by boos from the rest of the attendees, all it does is create sympathy for McCain. Heckling at an event like this morning’s speech is not political action so much as it is muddleheaded vanity. —Tom Schaller


Let's stipulate right off the bat that there were some unacceptably nasty comments , images and videos used to denigrate Hillary Clinton because she was a female candidate for president or just because she was a woman, period. But was sexism the reason for her failed campaign? Hardly. None of the many fatal errors made by her campaign had anything to do with her treatment, sexist or otherwise, by the media or Barack Obama and his campaign. Neither the media nor Obama was responsible for the Clinton campaign’s use of a high-overhead, direct mail and $2,300-large-donor fundraising model that made chairman Terry McAuliffe the greatest fundraiser in either party’s history but now seems outmoded; for the decision to appoint and then stick too long with Patti Solis Doyle as campaign manager; for the decision to make Mark Penn both chief strategist and lead pollster; for the campaign’s false confidence that her nomination was inevitable and thus the whole race would be over by Super Tuesday...

Did Road to Unity Begin in Virginia?

Before sneaking off to a secret meeting with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama spoke kindly about Hillary Clinton at a rally in Virginia. His supporters weren't so nice.

A mixed-raced audience of amped-up supporters braved Northern Virginia's rush hour traffic and the oppressive humidity of the summer's first major heat wave yesterday to catch a glimpse of their newly-crowned Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama. With a punctuality that would impress President Bush, the event at Bristol's Nissan Pavilion started promptly at 6 p.m. This seemed surprising at the time, but may have been because he was eager to be on time to his later personal meeting with Sen. Hillary Clinton in Washington. As Democrats await news from that meeting to leak out, Obama finds himself in a weird electoral limbo in which he has wrapped up the nomination but still awaits the formal end this Saturday of the Clinton campaign, and an eventual endorsement and unity moment with her at some event in the near future. Meanwhile, speculation continues unabated about a possible "dream team" pairing the two senators on the presidential ticket. In Virginia, Obama didn't talk...