Homage to a Beautiful Speech

What First Lady Michelle Obama gave us was a gift, a way to imagine America differently, a reaffirmation of the American Dream drawn from the experience of those who should have every right to be bitter about it. And she transformed politics from a blood sport about our wants and needs and anger today into a sacred promise we hold with our children to shape their lives and their futures.

Continue reading Homage to a Beautiful Speech

Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

Perhaps the biggest story coming out of campaign 2016 is not the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but the fact that the media and political establishment never saw it coming. And the fact that they never saw it coming perfectly explains the rise of Sanders and Trump. Continue reading Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

How Obama Should Respond to Romney on Jobs

Mitt Romney has said that this election is about one thing: jobs. If I were drafting President Obama’s convention speech, here’s how I would re-frame and respond …

… Now my challenger says that this election is all about jobs — that what our country needs today isn’t all that complicated or profound. We need jobs.

So here’s something Governor Romney and I agree on: we need jobs. Lots of them. Continue reading How Obama Should Respond to Romney on Jobs

Tired of Chest-Thumping Patriotism

From the July Fourth season through the fall election, the American people will be hearing nothing but uber-patriotic rhetoric coming from their politicians and national leaders.

They will be telling us how America is a great nation and how Americans are a good people, and they will be lathering praise on us as hard-working, self-sacrificing, charitable, fair and just.

I don’t know about you, but all of this cheerleading and backslapping rhetoric strikes me as a bit ingratiating and self-serving. Flattery is not patriotism. Continue reading Tired of Chest-Thumping Patriotism

Mitt Romney: Gordon Gekko or Thurston Howell?

Is Mitt Romney more like Gordon Gekko, the greedy anti-hero in the movie Wall Street, or Thurston Howell, the elitist millionaire in the TV show Gilligan’s Island? Is he a rapacious, heartless capitalist with no conscience, or a conceited man of privilege who doesn’t have a clue how the rest of us live but patronizingly believes he does?

The Obama campaign has chosen the Gekko frame to define Romney for the fall election and has staked its early advertising on it. But Howell may be an even better bet. Continue reading Mitt Romney: Gordon Gekko or Thurston Howell?