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


Via Mother Jones , we see that Mike Huckabee is claiming in about as explicit a way as he can that God has engineered his recent rise in the polls: Isn't that a tad presumptuous? Or is Huckabee just saying that God is giving him a temporary bump in the polls, only to send his campaign crashing down later, in order to demonstrate to His earthly subjects the danger of hubris and the importance of early fundraising? According to MoJo, Huckabee later tried to backtrack a little bit, saying all he meant was that "when people pray, things happen." I for one want to know much more about Huckabee's views on intercessory prayer as it relates to the duties of the president. If a hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast, will he be asking Americans to ask God to send the hurricane away and instructing FEMA to prepare an emergency response, or only the former? I'm kidding (a little), but if Huckabee wants to run for president as God's anointed candidate - which he plainly does - than he absolutely...


After the last Republican debate, the press was giddy with talk of negativity. Smackdown! The claws come out! GOP candidates duke it out! You would have thought Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney doffed their shirts and engaged in a good old-fashioned bare-knuckle brawl, with teeth flying and blood dripping from swollen fists. But in truth, it was nothing more than a little mild-mannered back-and-forth about their respective records on immigration (and the citizenship status of the people mowing Romney's lawn). It was nothing - these are Republicans we're talking about. This is the party of Willie Horton , of Karl Rove spreading rumors that his client's opponent was a pedophile, of allies of George W. Bush telling South Carolinians that John McCain fathered an illegitimate black baby, of the Swift Boat Veterans. They haven't even begun to get mean. Which is why it's surprising it took so long to get to things like this (via TPM ). To which I say, bring it on! Let's watch these guys tear...

Woe is the American Worker

Workers are paying the price for our productivity-focused, growth-at- any-cost business world. Why aren't the candidates talking about it?

These are not good times for American workers. Real wages are lower today than they were before the recession of 2001, and barely higher than they were thirty-five years ago. Health insurance is more expensive and harder to obtain than ever before. Manufacturing jobs continue to move overseas. The unions whose efforts might arrest these trends continue to struggle under a sustained assault that began when Ronald Reagan fired striking air-traffic controllers in 1981, in effect declaring war on the labor movement. This is a story with which you are probably familiar. But these are in no small part symptoms of a larger transformation of the relationship between employers and employees, in which Americans increasingly sign away their humanity when they sign an employment contract. Let’s take just one component of today’s work environment that most people have simply come to accept: drug testing. An article published last year on Time magazine's web site titled, "Whatever...


To hear the press tell it, the best moment of last night's debate was when Mike Huckabee answered a question about whether Jesus would support the death penalty by saying, "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office." Reporters were in awe. The Washington Post called it "the best line of the night.The Chicago Tribune said Huckabee hit the question "over the fence." It was the only quote from the debate Mara Liasson included in her NPR report. But what reporters didn't note is that Huckabee was dodging a direct question on the very area -- the intersection of religion and policy -- on which he is building his campaign . The man whose ads call him a "Christian Leader" and who says his faith "defines me" wouldn't answer a pretty simple question on how his faith affects his opinion on a policy issue. But the press stood up an applauded. So witty! So clever! Ah, that Mike Huckabee, what a lovable guy! And here's something else: is it possible Mike Huckabee isn't really so nice, but...

The Ideal Opponent

Who are our potential presidents hoping to run against in the general election? Here's a rundown of the front-runners' ideal match-ups.
And, on TAPPED, Dana Goldstein, Scott Lemieux, Kate Sheppard, and Rob Farley discuss match-ups.

We are, at long last, nearing the time when the two parties will be choosing their nominees, and more than one candidate is thinking about whom they'd most like to face in the general election. Fortunately for us political junkies, the races on both sides present a fascinating cast of characters, full of strengths and weaknesses. While some carry more of one than the other, there are no obvious losers among each party's leading contenders, none whose supporters seem destined to say, "How on earth did we nominate that joker?" (Although you never know what next fall may bring.) As I described in two earlier columns , successful presidential candidates weave compelling narratives around their candidacies. The most successful incorporate their opponents into those narrative as villains or goats, so that their stories paint the candidates as two sides of a finely etched coin, one strong and secure, inspiring and reassuring, the other twisted and ugly -- frightening or pathetic or both. So...