Bob Moser

Bob Moser is senior editor at National Journal and author of Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority (Times Books). He is the former editor of The Texas Observer, senior editor/writer at The Nation, and executive editor of The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

How Democratic Progressives Survived a Landslide

They ran against Wall Street and carried the white working class. The Democrats who shunned populism got clobbered.

(iStockPhoto/© adamkaz)
This article appears in the Winter 2015 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Ann Kirkpatrick was surely toast in 2014. The two-term Democrat represented one of the most sprawling and politically unpredictable House districts in the country, an Iowa-sized expanse of northern and eastern Arizona dotted with fiercely conservative small towns, heavily Democratic small cities like Flagstaff and Sedona, and 12 Native American tribal lands with varied political loyalties. An affable Anglo who grew up on the Fort Apache Reservation, where her father ran a general store, Kirkpatrick owed both her wins—in 2008 and 2012—to presidential-year turnout in the half-minority First District; without it, in 2010, she lost. No Democrat, in fact, had won a midterm election in this district, which was once represented by John McCain, since 1950. After pulling off a 9,000-vote squeaker in 2012—Mitt Romney more than doubled her margin of victory as he also carried the...

How Two Centrist Dems May Herald a Progressive Future for Georgia

As Republicans head to the polls to select a U.S. Senate candidate who will almost certainly hail from the right, Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter--daughter of Senator Sam and grandson of President Jimmy--take the middle path on a road destined to veer left.

Illustration by Steve Brodner
This article has been updated. On a Thursday evening in late April, more than 1,000 Georgia Democrats paid $250 a plate to gather in a vast, ugly Atlanta ballroom and toast their party’s unexpected resurrection at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. Just two years earlier, the Democratic Party of Georgia was careening toward insolvency, leaderless and rudderless after losing its 130-year grip on power in the early 2000s. Even as the state’s nonwhite population had grown past 40 percent, thanks to an influx of Latinos and a remigration of African Americans from up North, conservative Republicans had seized control of every state office and built untouchable legislative majorities. Georgia Dems were deader than a smushed possum on Route 92. Now here they were, with big-name candidates for governor and U.S. Senate who had a realistic shot to win, with national Democrats throwing serious cash into the state for the first time in decades, and with Georgia progressives building...

Daily Meme: Strange Doin's in Dixie

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
No subject tends to confound political pundits—or national Democrats and liberals in general—quite like Southern politics. And if you don't believe it, take a gander at the oft-cited 2006 manual for Democratic Dixie-bashing , Tom Schaller's Whistling Past Dixie, which bizarrely recommended that the party abandon the nation's largest and fastest-growing region (not to mention its largest African-American population) and just let the GOP have it. Fortunately, President Obama ignored that sage advice and won three electoral-vote-rich Southern states in 2008. But old habits of stereotyping the South as incurably right-wing die hard—if they die at all. This year, liberal pundits fretting about losing the Democrats' majority in the U.S. Senate were asking the same old questions: How could the Democrats possibly hope to hold onto their Senate seats in such snake-handling, Confederate flag-waving, gay-bashing, Obamacare-hating backwaters as Louisiana, Arkansas and North...

Daily Meme: It Ain't Easy Being a Koch

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
Pity the poor Koch brothers. All Charles and David want to do is make America safe for good, old-fashioned, Wild West capitalism. But somehow, they seem to be teeing everybody off—left and right. Plus, it's so doggone pricey to buy control of the federal government these days! The K-Bros dished out $400 million to defeat President Obama in 2012, all for naught. According to an Americans for Prosperity memo that fell into the hands of Politico , they learned a startling lesson from the effort: “If the presidential election told us anything, it’s that Americans place a great importance on taking care of those in need and avoiding harm to the weak." Who knew!?! So now, as they prepare to spend $125 million to buy Congress this year, the memo says the Kochs are softening their message so people don't get the wrong idea : "We consistently see that Americans in general are concerned that free-market policy—and its advocates—benefit the rich and powerful more...

Daily Meme: The Man From Oops

While the Republican presidential contest for 2016 is delightfully, crazily up for grabs, you probably figured there was one thing you could bank on: Rick Perry would never run again after humiliating himself so memorably in 2011 and 2012. Think again! The Man from Oops is back, now sporting a pair of "make-you-look-smarter" glasses and becoming a regular media darling. Last week he was charming Jimmy Kimmel on a broadcast from SXSW. Then he was sounding reasonably alert on Morning Joe, making Eugene Robinson gush and giggle . And voila! Next thing you knew, Perry was popping up on Fox and Friends , making sure to remind everybody of his Official Story About What Happened in 2012: "You know I had major back surgery six weeks before the election kicked off." The Rick Revival began in earnest at CPAC , where the four-term Texas governor brought 'em stomping to their feet with such stirring lines as this old chestnut, about the few things government should do: “Defend our country,...