Tag: Obama, Barack

Is This Thing On? A Look Back at Political Hot Mic Moments

What happens when politicians are caught saying impolitic things? This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada appeared to become the latest in a long line of world leaders who say how they really feel in private company, only to realize later that their remarks have been recorded and transmitted across the globe. While at […]

Read More

Did We Ever Know the Real Kamala Harris?

Just as California is so often viewed from afar as either glittering paradise or dystopian disaster, so Kamala Harris was crowned as the perfect Democrat for 2020. Like her state, Senator Harris’s story up close is both more prosaic and more nuanced than the shiny image built in part on misperceptions about California. Now that […]

Read More

Sanctions May Have Fueled Iran Protests, but Have Yet to Further U.S. Goals

President Trump likes to say that Iran is “a different country” after 18 months of punishing American sanctions, and the protests sweeping Iranian cities suggest he may be right. Even his most vociferous critics acknowledge that Mr. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign helped fuel that unrest. But it is far from clear that what is unfolding […]

Read More

Would Republicans Follow Their Garland Rule for the Court in 2020?

WASHINGTON — When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from the hospital last weekend after another in a string of health scares, blue America breathed a sigh of relief. Only one more month, many whispered, until the start of a presidential election year when filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court would be off limits […]

Read More

Conservative Hypocrisy Makes Its Case at the Supreme Court

What a time to be a conservative movement lawyer. Emboldened by the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, lawyers on the right have asked the Supreme Court to push the law beyond existing boundaries on a range of issues. From immigration, abortion and the use of public funding on religious schools to gun rights and L.G.B.T. […]

Read More

How Trump Survives

Here is a provocation that might just be true: The most important moment in the impeachment battle thus far did not take place in the halls of the Capitol or even in the bars and cafes of the republic of Ukraine, but in Ankara on Oct. 17, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey met […]

Read More

Democrats Increasingly Vocal in Calling ‘Medicare for All’ a Political Liability

Prominent Democratic leaders are sounding increasingly vocal alarms to try to halt political momentum for “Medicare for all,” opting to risk alienating liberals and deepening the divide in the party rather than enter an election year with a sweeping health care proposal that many see as a liability for candidates up and down the ballot. […]

Read More

Obama Urges Democrats to ‘Chill Out’ About 2020 Presidential Field

LOS ALTOS HILLS, Calif. — Former President Barack Obama urged Democrats on Thursday to “chill out” about the 2020 Democratic field and focus on building support for a candidate to take on President Trump, who he described as abandoning “core traditions and values” of Americans. Speaking to party donors a day after the latest Democratic […]

Read More

Can the Supreme Court Save Itself?

I’m often asked these days whether there is anything the Supreme Court can do to extract itself from the partisan trap into which the rancid confirmation process and the court’s own behavior have driven it. It’s a hard question because, of course, individual justices have deeply held views that happen for the most part to […]

Read More

Obama Moves Off Political Sidelines, Earlier Than He Expected

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama had a plan of sorts for the 2020 presidential primaries, according to several allies and advisers: Stay out of the way, offer advice when asked, promote voting rights, finish a new memoir — then jump back into politics after Democrats picked their nominee. Things haven’t worked out like that. After three […]

Read More

230 Years and Zero Presidents: Why Mayors Haven’t Jumped Straight to the White House

ImageCalvin Coolidge in 1924. A decade and a half before becoming president, he was mayor of Northampton, Mass. But he had some other jobs in between, like governor and vice president.Credit…Library of Congress In the history of American politics, one fact distills the nation’s enduring suspicion of cities: Voters have never elected a sitting mayor […]

Read More

Too Far Left? Some Candidates Don’t Buy the Argument

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The crowded Democratic field of presidential candidates grappled with President Barack Obama’s advice and legacy on Saturday, the day after the former president sounded an unusual public warning about moving too far left in the primary race. While none were willing to directly rebuff Mr. Obama, a few candidates offered implicit […]

Read More

Obama Says Average American Doesn’t Want to ‘Tear Down System’

WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama offered an unusual warning to the Democratic primary field on Friday evening, cautioning the candidates not to move too far to the left in their policy proposals, even as he sought to reassure a party establishment worried about the electoral strength of their historically large primary field. Speaking before […]

Read More

Is It Time to Delete Uber?

ImageCredit…Illustration by Nicholas Konrad; photographs by Mike Cohen for The New York Times, Hasan Jamali/Associated Press, Sergio Moraes/Reuters This article is part of the Debatable newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it Tuesdays and Thursdays. When wounded by the bitter sting of judgment, who among us, at one time or another, has not […]

Read More

Obama’s Very Boomer View of ‘Cancel Culture’

When Barack Obama talks, everyone listens. That’s why I paid close attention to his remarks about young people and our activism on social media at a Tuesday Obama Foundation event, and why I gasped at what I heard: “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. […]

Read More

Obama on Call-Out Culture: ‘That’s Not Activism’

Former President Barack Obama made a rare foray into the cultural conversation this week, objecting to the prevalence of “call-out culture” and “wokeness” during an interview about youth activism at the Obama Foundation summit on Tuesday. For more than an hour, Mr. Obama sat onstage with the actress Yara Shahidi and several other young leaders […]

Read More

Democrats Have the Most Racially Diverse Field Ever. The Top Tier Is All White.

When the Democratic primary contest began last winter, it featured the most racially diverse field in history, with two black senators, a Latino former cabinet secretary, an Asian-American businessman and the first American Samoan elected to Congress. But 10 months later, the Democratic field has a top tier of four white candidates, three of them […]

Read More

Trump Says Past Presidents Should Have Killed ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi

WASHINGTON — President Trump told a gathering of police chiefs in Chicago that his predecessors should have killed the murderous Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who blew himself up during an American raid on his compound in Syria on Saturday. “He should have been killed years ago, another president should have gotten him,” Mr. […]

Read More

The Climate Is More Important Than Medicare

When Bill Clinton became president, his top legislative priority was health care. When Barack Obama became president, he first had to prevent a depression, but then he too turned to health care. The next Democratic president should choose a different priority. It’s still true that too many Americans suffer from inadequate or expensive insurance coverage, […]

Read More

With al-Baghdadi Raid, Trump Makes the Made-for-TV Announcement He Has Long Wanted

WASHINGTON — From the moment President Trump learned that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, had been killed in a commando raid in Syria, he handled the news in an unusual way. “Something very big just happened!” Mr. Trump teased on Twitter Saturday night around 9:30 p.m., just hours after American forces […]

Read More

In Tribute to Cummings, Obama Hints at Rebuke of Trump

WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama, who has remained largely silent amid the convulsive impeachment debate now gripping the nation, offered a tribute to a late Democratic congressman on Friday that sounded to some listeners like an implicit rebuke of President Trump. Speaking at a service for Representative Elijah E. Cummings, who died last week, […]

Read More

Trump Again Defends Doral Selection, Dismissing Constitution’s ‘Phony Emoluments Clause’

WASHINGTON — President Trump may have reversed his decision to host world leaders at one of his own properties during next year’s Group of 7 summit at the urging of his fellow Republicans, but he hasn’t finished defending his right to do it in the first place. Mr. Trump on Monday dismissed what he called […]

Read More

In Bracing Terms, Trump Invokes War’s Human Toll to Defend His Policies

WASHINGTON — It is the most solemn of rituals for American presidents: comforting the soldiers wounded under his command or the families of those who have died. For generations, presidents have typically discussed those encounters in the most delicate of tones. “The hardest thing I have to do, by far, much harder than the witch […]

Read More