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Posts Tagged ‘Midterm Elections’

Sky’s The Limit For 2010 Spending

March 19th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in National Journal.

The wild card in the 2010 midterm campaign is spending — specifically, unrestricted spending by corporations, trade groups, and labor unions. In its January decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court overturned part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law as well as one of its own precedents in order to allow private groups to spend freely on campaigns right up to Election Day.

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Obama’s Aces Over

January 5th, 2010

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

In Washington, the conventional wisdom says that President Obama has spent his last nickel of political capital. His quick and substantial action to steady the financial markets, stimulate the economy, reset the war in Afghanistan, and, most of all, to reform health care, have all been bold and, to varying degrees, controversial. These mega-battles have left his political allies exhausted and his political coffers bare. His approval rating has steadily bled to an all-time Obama low. The outlook for 2010, the CW says, is for no further action in Congress and a grim midterm election for Democrats.

But such thinking fundamentally misunderstands the nature of political capital – it isn’t spent on big initiatives, it’s gambled. Right now, the President may appear to have a meager stack of chips in front of him, but it’s because his entire bankroll is in the pot. And as it turns out, he’s holding a couple of aces.

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