Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Neumann to shake up campaign

Politics Blog: Neumann to shake up campaign

Interesting that this is now being publicly discussed. The campaign has not developed a strong and consistent voice in social media, at least, since Neumann entered the race. Rumors of a shakeup have been around for several months.

Discuss: 1) If you are the candidate, is it a good idea to announce a shakeup or do you dismiss questions about your campaign staff? 2) Has the weak Neumann campaign operation helped the more well developed Walker campaign appear dominant? 3) Will there be pressure on Neumann to get out of the race, as was the case with Walker in 2006? 4) Do contested primaries help or hurt the eventual nominee?

Friday, December 4, 2009

A 20-Something Makes a Mint

A 20-Something Makes a Mint (and Sells It to Intuit) - Question - NYTimes.com

This is a very nice interview with insight into why startups can find opportunities and how they market themselves very efficiently. Note also the monetization strategy, still a weak spot with lots of internet startups.

I like it that he's 29. Why not think of your 20s as the time you build your business or your career into a powerhouse. A long slow climb may work for lots of people, but there are opportunities if you seize them. Note this quote from Patzer:
Once you have a successful business, it sort of demystifies the world. It gives you all the confidence in the world that you can set your mind to something and do just about anything. It gives you this rock solid self-confidence that helps in personal interactions and helps in selling your vision of the company to investors and new employees.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Roth announces race against Kagen


Dems have had a hard time holding the Green Bay congressional district. Steve Kagen's win against a formidable opponent (John Gard) in 2006, and his reelection in a rematch against Gard in 2008 have given Dems hope that this district might stay with them for a while.

Now, State Rep. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) has sent a fundraising letter making it clear he will likely be a candidate for the Republican nomination.

Discuss: 1) What advantages as a candidate does Roth enjoy? 2) Is the location of his district a plus, minus or no effect for the race? 3) Read his fundraising letter. What does it say about his campaign? 4) Edit his letter to improve the message. 5) Draft an alternative announcement for a Republican candidate running against Kagen. 6) How should the Kagen campaign respond to Roth's entry into the race? 7) Find out how much money Kagen has raised, spent, and has on hand. 8) How liberal is Kagen's voting record? How often does he defect from the Dem majority? What is his support for Obama? What key votes has he cast that might be the basis of an attack along the lines Roth's fax implies will be his focus?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WI has an AG race too!

WisPolitics.com has the story. There is a Democrat, former DNR Secretary Scott Hassett, running against incumbent Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. The WisPolitics.com story discusses the results of a poll by Democratic polling firm The Mellman Group that suggests Van Hollen is weaker than many assume.

The polling memo is here.

Discuss: 1) Do the poll results surprise you? Why or why not? 2) Does the Van Hollen campaign response work? 3) Write 3 different responses to the poll from Van Hollen's perspective. 4) Why doesn't the Mellman poll memo mention Dem Scott Hassett's favorability or name recognition? Give two good reasons. 5) What crosstab would you most want to see from the Mellman poll?

Barrett announces, GOP Responds

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is now officially in the race for Governor.

The text of the Barrett announcement is at

Scott Walker's campaign was quick to respond here.

And what of new media?

Barrett has a website, but no Twitter or Facebook presence yet. Only using email. They do offer the announcement text (linked above) and a contribution page.

Mark Neumann's web page is silent on the announcement. His occasional Twitter stream has this:

47 degrees in Green Bay... couldn't be a better day to beat the Cowboys at home. Go Pack!

Which undoubtedly reflects what most in Wisconsin are thinking about today.

The Walker campaign however was quick on the attack:
  1. RT @scottwalkerhq More Doyle - @NationalJournal gave Tom the Taxer a “liberal” rating of 88%
  2. RT @jillbader Tom the Taxer talking about property tax? Scott Walker 0% increase – Barrett raised 4.4%
  3. RT @jillbader Just like Doyle…Barrett, on whether he will "moderate his views" as gov.: "I wouldn't say moderate.” 9/3/01
  4. This is how serious I am about holding down property taxes:http://ow.ly/CvII
  5. Headed up 2 Green Bay 4 the Packers/Cowboys game. Go Pack Go! #packers
  6. UR vote: Barrett – More taxes, more spending. My plan – less taxes, more jobs. #believeinwi

And the parties? Here is the WisGOP Twitter stream:

  1. RT @WKOW: RT @jhersch_wkow What does the Republican Party think about Barrett's candidacy for governor? Hear reax on 27 News at 10!
  2. Doyle and Barrett: More taxes, more spending. No thanks! Watch the video: http://bit.ly/1fhzu9
  3. Liberal Barrett, aka "Tom the Taxer" to run for Doyle's third term. http://bit.ly/49Ztla

And the Dems?
  1. Another poll and chance to show who you support in 2010:http://bit.ly/4xlEqb
  2. Show your support for Mayor Barrett in today's online poll:http://bit.ly/2qcKpw

Walker and WisGOP were quick and on message. Also note the opposition research the Walker campaign was immediately ready with and quick to put out. No doubt about how they want the public to see Barrett. Neumann not engaged with Barrett today, though quotes from Neumann camp did appear in the Journal-Sentinel story this morning driving home the negative "career politician" point.

On the Dem side, the Barrett new media campaign (all of 5 hours old at this point) consists of a website and little more. Dem party support was much slower than the GOP operation which was quick, repeated and on message. Dems did put up a statement on their website, but failed to Tweet about it.

Discuss: 1) Will today's new media stream change the election outcome? (Answer "No") But 2) If you were running each of these campaigns and parties, how would you feel about your performance today? Why? 3) Deconstruct the Barrett candidacy announcement. What does it reveal about his approach? 4) Deconstruct the Walker response (and related Tweet stream.) 5) How effective are each in achieving their goals? 6) Where do each suggest potential vulnerabilities?

A Republican on every ballot

A Republican on every ballot - washingtonpost.com

A party being rebuilt from the ground up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New Untouchables

Op-Ed Columnist - The New Untouchables - NYTimes.com

Tom Friedman on who has the advantage in the current workforce. What value-added are you bringing to your political science degree? Here is a nice summary from the end:

As the Harvard University labor expert Lawrence Katz explains it: “If you think about the labor market today, the top half of the college market, those with the high-end analytical and problem-solving skills who can compete on the world market or game the financial system or deal with new government regulations, have done great. But the bottom half of the top, those engineers and programmers working on more routine tasks and not actively engaged in developing new ideas or recombining existing technologies or thinking about what new customers want, have done poorly. They’ve been much more exposed to global competitors that make them easily substitutable.”

Those at the high end of the bottom half — high school grads in construction or manufacturing — have been clobbered by global competition and immigration, added Katz. “But those who have some interpersonal skills — the salesperson who can deal with customers face to face or the home contractor who can help you redesign your kitchen without going to an architect — have done well.”

Just being an average accountant, lawyer, contractor or assembly-line worker is not the ticket it used to be. As Daniel Pink, the author of “A Whole New Mind,” puts it: In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top. So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

View From Inside the Great Depression

Talking Business - Benjamin Roth’s View From Inside the Great Depression - NYTimes.com

This is a very interesting piece by Joe Nocera in today's NYT. I think I'll buy the book.

Here are some pictures to go with the article. They show the decline and then rise circa 1937-38 of unemployment and the rebound of the stock market followed by a second large fall. Nocera has a nice discussion of the policy issues behind that increase of unemployment then and the implications for the current recovery.

And compare with now: (click on graph for full size)

Monday, October 12, 2009

2 Americans Share Economics Nobel

2 Americans Share Economics Nobel - NYTimes.com

Our Big Ten colleague at Indiana, Elinor Ostrom, has won the Nobel Prize in economics. She is the first woman laureate ever for the economics prize. And she is the fourth political scientist to win or share the Nobel.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Teaching Students to Sift Mountains of Data

Teaching Students to Sift Mountains of Data - NYTimes.com

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — It is a rare criticism of elite American university students that they do not think big enough. But that is exactly the complaint from some of the largest technology companies and the federal government.

At the heart of this criticism is data. Researchers and workers in fields as diverse as bio-technology, astronomy and computer science will soon find themselves overwhelmed with information. Better telescopes and genome sequencers are as much to blame for this data glut as are faster computers and bigger hard drives.

Political science doesn't yet have this problem, but there is no reason we can't or shouldn't go there. Every campaign contribution, every precinct vote return, every roll call vote. Every international conflict event. Every foreign investment. Every word of political news coverage. Every blog post. For all time.

And if you want to get teched up for graduate school in any field, or you want to move to silicon valley and make a billion, learn to handle large data.

For Twitter fans, search #hadoop to find fellow travelers who you can follow and who will point to you events and resources. Take a look at #mapreduce as well.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wise Muddling Through

Op-Ed Columnist - Wise Muddling Through - NYTimes.com

Nice-- and a nice allusion to "The Science of Muddling Through" article you read.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why We Must Ration Health Care - NYTimes.com

Why We Must Ration Health Care - NYTimes.com

This is a national policy issue, but is also implicit at the state level with Badger Care, for example.

If the amount we can spend on health care is not infinite, then how do we allocate a finite resource? Here is one way of thinking through those issues.

But are they politically acceptable? Which candidate will run on this platform? What constituent will vote for such a candidate?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Backward we go in Dairyland - JSOnline

Backward we go in Dairyland - JSOnline

Full WPRI Article

WPRI is a "free market oriented" think tank, so assume a particular point of view. However, they produce analysis based on data and thoughtful argument, rather than empty rhetoric. Whatever the solutions might look like, I think the problems pointed out in this article are central to the future of the state. Republican candidate for Governor, Scott Walker, tweeted both these pieces. (On Twitter Walker is @scottkwalker and Mark Newman is @StrongWisconsin . So far as I know Gov. Doyle isn't on Twitter.)

Gov. Doyle's office responds:

Asked to respond, the office of Gov. Doyle, a Democrat, dismissed the Alabama comparison. Wisconsin ranked 24th for median wages, while Alabama came in 45th, in a 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey that covers all occupations, Doyle's office noted.

While the WPRI points out that Wisconsin had zero job growth from 2000 to 2005, Doyle's office said that period includes the 2001 recession, which predates Doyle's stint as governor. Doyle took office in January 2003.

"Job growth improved beginning in 2002," Doyle's office said, citing BLS statistics that show 2.1% job growth from 2002-'05 and 1.5% in 2005-'07.

The governor's office concedes that Wisconsin job growth lagged the national average under his watch, but said Wisconsin "is comparable to other Great Lakes states in recent history."

"They cherry-pick statistics," Doyle spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner said of the WPRI report. "This is a right-wing group that's putting together an attack."

National Journal Online - The Six Most Dysfunctional State Governments

National Journal Online - The Six Most Dysfunctional State Governments

Fortunately, Wisconsin isn't on this list (yet).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

University students not shy about asking profs to reconsider grades

University students not shy about asking profs to reconsider grades

This article is more than a little harsh on students, given that my experience at least is that they are describing a distinct minority yet the story makes it sound like the majority.

However, I'd be interested in your reaction and thoughts. There are a couple of quotes from the article that I think DO hit home, even if there is a good bit of exaggeration:

"The point is that we are in the business of higher education, not mediocre education," Moses wrote in an e-mail while traveling in Europe. "This sounds elitist but the challenge of global competition to the U.S. way of life does not call for trying hard, it calls for performance"
"Too many students don't know why they are in college," engineering physics professor Moses wrote in his e-mail. "Too many don't know how to study. Too many have completely incorrect expectations. It is a system that is badly broken and not for a single reason. It is a system problem. The bottom line is that the U.S. future in the so-called knowledge economy is doomed with the students we are now producing as graduates. Companies locate factories in China and call centers in India not only because the workers work for less. The workers are also better qualified. If that is an exaggeration today, it will certainly become reality in a decade."
I doubt that my generation had any better idea of why we went to college than does yours. (Faculty often forget that.) Many of us had a great time socially while doing ok in classes. Some lost their way and flunked out. And a few found direction and excelled (not just in grades but in a focus and direction for their lives.) I don't think faculty can command students to be in the third category-- you have to find it for yourself. I don't think I've encountered an example of the third category begging for grades, and perhaps surprisingly I rarely get begging from those who are failing.

Take a look at the comments on the Cap Times article as well. An interesting set of perspectives.

Pollster.com: Palin's Base and Beyond

Three poll related analyses, two mostly inside the party and one outside.

Pollster.com: Palin's Base

Let's not dwell too much on this story-- just hard not to pay some attention.

Palin's career one surprise after another: Gov. Sarah Palin | adn.com

Palin's career one surprise after another: Gov. Sarah Palin | adn.com

Another example of great local coverage. This is a long look at Palin's history in Alaska politics written as only local reporters are able to do.

Palin returns to work, defends decision to resign: Gov. Sarah Palin | adn.com

Palin returns to work, defends decision to resign: Gov. Sarah Palin | adn.com

When you want to learn about a national politician, it is good to go to their home-state papers. The Anchorage Daily News has had superb coverage of Governor Palin since before she was the VP nominee. Last summer it was great to read accounts of her performance as governor that were written prior to the glare of the national media (and the distortion that brings-- both pro and con) and stories written before the reporters had a clue she would become a national figure.

Now in the wake of her resignation announcement, it is good to go back to those who know her best for the local story.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sarah Palin in vanityfair.com

Todd S. Purdum on Sarah Palin | vanityfair.com

This article was the talk of the week until Gov. Palin upstaged it with her resignation announcement today.

Long, but interesting look at Palin and the GOP splits.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Up Front: Closed Meeting Budget

The budget was passed by both houses after extended private negotiations among the leadership and individual members. In this segment of Up Front, Jay Heck, executive director for Common Cause Wisconsin, complains about the lack of openness and transparency in this process. See the video here.

I expect many legislators would argue that open meetings stifle the negotiation necessary to reach agreement on complex issues, such as the budget. Legislators need to give as well as get and public meetings make that difficult. The result might well be stalemate rather than transparency.

Others, such as Common Cause, would say that is exactly the problem. The private deals are not defensible on their own merits, and so can only be agreed too when the public is banned from watching. Or to put a conservative spin on it, the growth of government comes from the unwillingness of legislators to ever give up "goodies" and both earmarks and protected programs are the consequence. This holds whichever party is in control because the constituent pressures are so strong when it comes to local benefits.

My question: would "real" open meetings resolve anything? Would private deals just move to other venues (cell phone calls?). Are private goods given to individual legislators the necessary lubricant for legislation? And consider the alternative: Could a member of the Wisconsin legislature win election and reelection by consistently refusing to deal for projects or policies that are particularly beneficial to their districts? Should they try?

Up Front: Gov. Doyle's Job Rating and GOP Opportunity

Up Front's second story of the week. Governor Doyle's job approval ratings have fallen and two polls produced opposite results for trial heats against Scott Walker and Mark Neumann. Where does this polling put the Governor for a 2010 reelection campaign? What opportunities does this present to the GOP challengers? See the video here.

Let's take a look at Gov. Doyle's job approval ratings that are behind the comments on Up Front. First, overall approval and disapproval:

The amazing bit of this chart is how approval peaks just in time for the reelection in 2006. Up to the fall of 2006 the Governor's net approval was negative. It was the campaign that boosted him, whether through the quality of his campaign, a failure of Mark Green's campaign, or national pro-Democratic forces. Since the reelection, however, Gov. Doyle's approval has stayed in net-negative territory, converging only for a moment in late 2008 and since then plunging.

The decline in approval has come among both independents and Democrats. Republicans have never had a high opinion of the governor. But the drop among Dems as well as inds should be worrisome to the reelection staff.
As the story says, this opens an opportunity for the GOP, but it is one they have to find a way to exploit in the campaign, not one they can take for granted. Likewise, the Governor can campaign on handling difficult situations which in 2006 at least the public was willing to accept, even after the very difficult budgets of 2003-2004.

Question: How would you frame the campaign for either Doyle or the GOP? What is the strength for Doyle and what is the weakness for the GOP?

Up Front: Drunk Driving Legislation

This week's Up Front has three worthwhile features. First is the prospects for change in Wisconsin drunk driving laws. See the video here.

This is an interesting problem because law enforcement and public health are on one clear side but popular culture and economic interests are on the other. It is tough for any politician to challenge both popular culture and economic interests at the same time no matter how devastating the consequences of drunk driving. The two legislators, Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, and Rep. Josh Zepnick, D-Milwaukee, give a good perspective on the status of the legislation and the difficulties in passing it.

If you've not been reading it, you should look over the Journal Sentinel series on drunk driving and its consequences. I was disappointed that the series didn't win the JS a Pulitzer this year.

Questions: Is it a reflection of good democratic representation that our legislature is NOT passing this legislation? Assuming a popular culture that approves of excessive drinking and wants mild penalties for driving drunk, should democratically elected politicians support this public preference, even if the cost is several hundred often innocent victims killed per year?

States Turning to Last Resorts in Budget Crisis - NYTimes.com

States Turning to Last Resorts in Budget Crisis - NYTimes.com

Not news to anyone here, but the discussion (and the chart) of how states are coping with their budget problems is very interesting.

As I asked in an earlier post, how might we account for the variation in approaches to the budget crisis? The chart shows how many states have tried different things, but obviously there is a lot of variation. Why?

And a second question, which states have been hardest hit and which have escaped relatively lightly. Why the variation? Is it all economic or are there political differences across the states that also affect how states have been affected?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Up Front on the State Budget

The June 14th show featured a discussion of the budget with a variety of perspectives. Worth watching here.

How can the state raise sufficient revenue to pay for services while not discouraging business investment in the state or individual incentives? Do policies that encourage businesses benefit the citizens generally or do they provide private gains primarily to company owners? Should the state subsidize business in either case?

The left argues that state services must protect the needy and provide valuable public goods, such as health care, education and environmental protection. How can the left provide revenue for such policies when the growth in costs outstrip the growth in revenue sources? Is it possible to base taxes on out of state interests (e.g. gas companies) to shield state taxpayers? Or can minority interests (e.g. smokers, who make up only 22% of Wisconsin citizens) be taxed at high rates while majority interests (e.g. sales or general income taxes) are shielded?

"Interest Groups" dominate lobbying at the capital. The also provide the bulk of campaign contributions. There is much talk of limiting that influence by public financing of elections. But these groups also represent crucially important constituencies in the state-- teachers, manufacturers, construction companies, agriculture, taverns (<;-) ). When is an interest group a "special" interest, and when does it represent a critical component of the state's economy and population which deserves to influence legislation? How would state government look if legislators were free to ignore all interest group activity? Would representative government be better, worse, or essentially the same?

Democrats in Legislature split over capital gains tax break - JSOnline

Democrats in Legislature split over capital gains tax break - JSOnline

This split between the gas tax versus capital gains is quite interesting. The current split is between Democrats, rather than between the parties. Why?

What are these revenues for? Are they targeted to fund particular functions? Which?

What policy change was adopted several years ago that helped create the problem with funding this function?

How should particular functions be funded? Should the revenue be directly linked to the function or should all functions be paid for from the entire revenue pool?

Compare this with the traditional use of property taxes for K-12 education. How has education funding evolved over time? With what conseqences?

Democrats in Legislature split over capital gains tax break - JSOnline

Democrats in Legislature split over capital gains tax break - JSOnline

This split between the gas tax versus capital gains is quite interesting. The current split is between Democrats, rather than between the parties. Why?

What are these revenues for? Are they targeted to fund particular functions? Which?

What policy change was adopted several years ago that helped create the problem with funding this function?

How should particular functions be funded? Should the revenue be directly linked to the function or should all functions be paid for from the entire revenue pool?

Compare this with the traditional use of property taxes for K-12 education. How has education funding evolved over time? With what conseqences?

GOP nearing brink of generation gap - JSOnline

GOP nearing brink of generation gap - JSOnline

This is a good treatment of the partisan generation gap, including comment from Wisconsin's Rep. Paul Ryan.

What factors make it difficult for Republicans to appeal to 18-30 year olds?

Does Obama's success with that group mean that a generation has now been permanently won over to the Democratic party or can this change? FYI: Ronald Reagan won the youth vote very strongly. Young voters don't always go to the Dem or liberal side-- historically they go with whichever party is ascendent at the time. Does then mean the current pessimism about Republican chances with the young is overstated?

Friday, June 19, 2009

State budget deal bought with earmarks - JSOnline

State budget deal bought with earmarks - JSOnline

"Earmarks" have become a favorite topic of attack in DC and perhaps at home too. Why is that? Consider first why earmarks are so important to individual legislators. Consider second why legislators think attacking earmarks is good politics in light of your first consideration.

Recession pounds states' budgets

Recession pounds states' budgets

Not that this is news to anyone, but here is a round up of the situation in the states.

See also the details offered here:

How does Wisconsin compare?

Do any common trends emerge across states? If so what? If not, why are states adopting different approaches?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Obama, Notre Dame, Mary Ann Glendon Debate


"I am a longtime admirer of Mary Ann Glendon, a former Ambassador to the Holy See as well as a scholar and innovative thinker on women’s issues. However, I was gobsmacked by her recent decision to refuse a prestigious award from Notre Dame because, as she discovered, she would have to share a podium with the President of the United States."

Ramesh Ponnuru Comments

Crittenden Replies

Maggie Gallagher Comments

Crittenden Replies at NRO

David Frum adds a comment and observation on Obama:

"Let me add here a personal editorial comment. A large part of the secret of President Obama's political success is his self-presentation as calm, judicious, and fair-minded - and his ability to depict his opponents as intemperate and extreme. You'd think by now that Obama's opponents would have figured out this trick. You want to beat him? Great. Be more calm, more judicious, and more fair-minded. Don't be provoked. Don't throw wild allegations. Don't boycott. Don't lose your temper.

Instead, we get Anger Theater. It's not smart. And it's not working."

Stan Greenberg on Resurgent Republic Polling

Stan Greenberg’s Open Letter to Ed Gillespie, Founder of Resurgent Republic, on Their Initial National Survey

"Dear Ed,

Congratulations on forming Resurgent Republic with the goal of replicating “on the right the success Democracy Corps has enjoyed on the left.” Like Democracy Corps, you are promising to become a resource for groups and leaders, enhanced by the public release of credible surveys and focus groups and, indeed, your first survey has been widely discussed and already used by Republican leaders. Well done.

You would probably be surprised if I didn’t have some reactions and advice to offer, as you explicitly state, you are “modeled on Democracy Corps.” Given your goal, I am perplexed that your first poll would be so outside the mainstream on partisanship"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

After the Recession

Obama on what comes next

"But part of the problem that we’ve got right now is that what it means to have graduated from high school, what it means to have graduated from a two-year college or a four-year college is not always as clear as it was several years ago.

And that means that we’ve got to — in our education-reform agenda — we’ve got to focus not just on increasing graduation rates, but we’ve also got to make what’s learned in the high-school and college experience more robust and more effective."

Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp, Star on Field and in Politics, Dies at 73 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com:

"Mr. Kemp was secretary of housing and urban development under the first President George Bush and the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1996. But his greatest legacy may stem from his years as a congressman from Buffalo, especially 1978, when his argument for sharp tax cuts to promote economic growth became party policy, one that has endured to this day."

I'd add that it was Kemp's outreach to African Americans in particular that set him apart from many in his party then and now. His constant focus on economic opportunity that crossed racial lines offered a chance for a Republican party that could appeal to black, and white and now-a-days to Hispanics. That could have transformed the party. The GOP could do worse than look back to Kemp for inspiration on tent building. Alas, he never won over a majority of his party to the promise of economic opportunity for all rather than mere tax cuts for their own sake. I have a soft spot for Jack Kemp.

P.S. From Kemp's "Letter to my grandchildren":

"The party of Lincoln, (i.e., the GOP), needs to rethink and revisit its historic roots as a party of emancipation, liberation, civil rights and equality of opportunity for all. On the other hand, the party of Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and now Obama must put forth an agenda that understands that getting American growing again will require both Keynesian and classical incentive-oriented (supply-side) economic ideas"

GOP Big Tent/Small Tent

Specter of Change:

"No one knows why the chicken crossed the road, but why Arlen Specter crossed the aisle to the Democrats is a matter of rather less mystery, if intense debate. The why is quite simple: Free-range Republican, he was about to lose next year's Pennsylvania primary by a large margin, a problem he solved by changing his voter pool. But it was the how that is rather more pertinent: He was under attack from conservatives in his own party, opening questions less of whether the good and the best can be enemies than of whether removing the mediocre turns out to be worth it when the result is the worst of all worlds."