Alan Greenblatt

Alan Greenblatt, a writer in St. Louis, is a former reporter for NPR and Governing magazine.


Recent Articles

How Democracy Died in North Carolina

Republicans sneaking through a budget bill while Democrats attended a 9/11 ceremony exemplifies how the Tar Heel State’s political institutions have been decimated by right-wing rule.

Ethan Hyman/News & Observer/Associated Press North Carolina state legislators confer with Speaker of the House Tim Moore before Wednesday’s afternoon session. In the morning, Republican representatives took advantage of the timing of a 9/11 ceremony to override the governor’s veto of the state budget bill. It was a classic bait and switch. After assuring Democrats they would hold no votes Wednesday morning, while many legislators would be attending a 9/11 commemoration, North Carolina Republicans rammed an override of the governor’s budget veto through the state House. “On a day when tragedy united our country, we should be standing together despite party,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said in response. “Instead, Republicans used their most deceptive stunt yet.” It might have been deceptive, but it was not out of character for the GOP majorities that rule North Carolina’s legislature. Republicans in the state have...

Why Governors Have Flamed Out as Presidential Candidates

Governors used to be surefire presidential material. What changed?

For decades, governors dominated presidential politics. This year, they’ve turned out to be duds. On Wednesday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock will officially miss the cutoff for qualifying for the next round of Democratic debates in September, falling short both in terms of polling and numbers of donors. Last week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper dropped out of the race before suffering the same fate. None of the three were exactly household names before the race began, but their failures follow the lack of success during the last presidential cycle by no fewer than ten current or former governors, including such putative heavy hitters on the Republican side as Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. “Governors have had a pretty good track record,” says Columbia University political scientist Justin Phillips, “but that all seems to have vanished.” It wasn’t always this way. Between 1976 and 2004, Jimmy Carter,...