Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

THE TWO-TIMING DOUBLE STANDARD.

THE TWO-TIMING DOUBLE STANDARD. We now have three Republican presidential candidates or potential candidates -- John McCain, Rudy Giuliani , and Newt Gingrich -- who have admitted to cheating on one or more of their wives. (OK, what Rudy admits to is a little complicated. He was carrying on with his third wife when he was still married to his second wife, but he claims that because of recent prostate surgery he was impotent at the time, so their affair could not be consummated. As though that matters.) But here's my question. Imagine that a woman candidate for president admitted that she had cheated on a previous husband, or her current husband. I'm not talking about Hillary Clinton here, just any future female candidate. How many nanoseconds would she last in the race before being forced to pull out? We have plenty of examples of men who were publicly revealed to have committed adultery and managed to salvage their careers. Is there any female politician who has done so? None that I...

NEWT �08.

NEWT �08. Newt Gingrich has seen his opening. And you can�t blame him -- given that all three of the leading GOP �08 contenders have their problems with the base, there seems to be a gap somebody like him could fill. How do we know he�s leaning toward throwing his visionary, forward-looking, world-transforming hat into the ring? this press release , from Focus on the Family: Gingrich Tells Dobson He�s �Sought God�s Forgiveness� Former House speaker admits moral failings, discusses threat of radical Islam Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tells Dr. James C. Dobson he has �gotten on my knees and sought God�s forgiveness� for his personal moral failings in a two-part installment of Dobson�s international radio program airing Thursday and Friday. Take heart, religious right! Your savior is saddling up his white horse! Lately, Newt has been quietly preparing to make himself the candidate of the religious right. He put out a quickie book called Rediscovering God in America:...

PRIMAL FEAR.

PRIMAL FEAR. As Ezra notes , questions about Mitt Romney 's religion could be getting too much attention, given the fact that it is Romney as an individual people will either be voting for or against. But the Romney campaign is obviously acutely aware of the question of whether conservatives will consider Romney "one of us" or not. Today's Boston Globe has an article on that most delicious of campaign stories, the leaked strategy Powerpoint: The plan, for instance, indicates that Romney will define himself in part by focusing on and highlighting enemies and adversaries, such common political targets as "jihadism," the "Washington establishment," and taxes, but also Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "European-style socialism," and, specifically, France. Even Massachusetts, where Romney has lived for almost 40 years, is listed as one of those "bogeymen," alongside liberalism and Hollywood values. Indeed, a page titled "Primal Code for Brand Romney" said that Romney...

QUANTIFYING A LIE.

QUANTIFYING A LIE. The new print issue of the Prospect features a disagreement in the letters page between Todd Gitlin and Alan Abramowitz over the question of just how often the meme " Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet" appeared in the American media during the 2000 campaign. Since the media�s war on Gore is something I�ve written about before for the Prospect , I thought I�d settle this dispute. (Before we get there, of course, let�s just make it clear: Al Gore never said he invented the Internet. In an interview with CNN on March 9, 1999, he said, �During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.� This comment was plainly about his service in the Congress in the 1980s, when Gore was in fact the chief advocate for providing the funding that would transform the Internet from a tiny network linking a few university research facilities into the benevolent provider of shopping opportunities and Paris Hilton videos we enjoy today.)...

Out-Foxed, Finally?

When the Nielsen ratings for the second quarter of 2006 came in, FOX News Channel got some bad news. The network's entire weekday lineup -- every show -- had lost viewers from the first quarter of the year. Special Report with Brit Hume , down 19 percent. The Big Story with John Gibson , down 13 percent. The O'Reilly Factor , down 8 percent. And in nearly every case, the drop in ratings was even more severe among what television insiders call “the demographic” -- viewers between ages 25 and 54. If we look beyond quarters and compare this year to last year, things look just as bad. While both CNN and MSNBC's ratings were up from June 2005 to June 2006, FOX's overall ratings fell 13 percent (and by 22 percent among the 25 to 54 demographic). In contrast, the one cable show hosted by a progressive, Countdown with Keith Olbermann , while still trailing some of its conservative competitors, experienced a 30 percent growth in the last quarter in the 25 to 54 demographic. And as The New York...

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