My piece in Charlie Rangel’s last hurrah

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Excitement over Charles B. Rangel’s win on Tuesday night must be gratifying for those who wished to see him in office for a final victory lap through the halls of Congress. But for a community that has changed rapidly without support from many of the leaders who stood with Rangel on stage last night, another term in office must be maddening.


New York Times: Can a New York City Mayor Achieve Higher Office?

New York State has produced more presidents than any other state except Ohio, but the odds against a New York City mayor are nearly insurmountable. Even to win statewide office is daunting. The reasons are rooted in historic perception and modern politics.


My piece on Post-Bloomberg Education Reform in City Limits

…But the next mayor is unlikely to be a policy entrepreneur in the way Bloomberg was an “education mayor” and thus the scope and depth of previous education reforms will be difficult to abrogate. While the efficacy of Mayoral control is being debated broadly, three potential policy changes in the next Administration may portend significant transformations to the sprawling and often unwieldy system.


My piece in the New York Times: The Politics of Second Chances-Substance Matters Most

Anthony Weiner’s entry into the New York City mayoral race raises interesting questions about how politicians can recover from controversy. But since the days of the Roman Republic, candidates have shown that they can effectively manage the negative aftermath and regain at least some of their former stature.


New York Times: Too Concerned with Re-Election to Compromise

President Obama’s rare public display of exasperation and animus after the defeat of bipartisan gun control in the Senate was unmistakable. He could only bemoan the handful of senators — four of them Democrats — derailing the hopes of 90 percent of America.


The New York Times: How To Fix Elections

The Help America Vote Act was intended to help repair flaws in the voting system revealed by the heatedly contested election of 2000. Ten years later, the integrity of the process is still endangered.


From – Probe Clears Maxine Waters; Good News for Obama?

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(The Root) — On Friday a special investigator commissioned by the House of Representatives announced that one of the most prominent African-American women in Congress, Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), did not violate House ethics rules. The investigation cast a three-year cloud over the California congresswoman, her family and congressional Democrats in general, coming on the heels of an even more high-profile investigation of fellow Congressional Black Caucus stalwart Charles Rangel.

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The New York Times – Contradicting a Carefully Built Brand

“The Selling of the President” has been a business since before 1969, when the author Joe McGinniss wrote about the Nixon campaign and the commercial marketing firm it hired to help package a smart but very uncharismatic candidate. More than 40 years later, in an age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, this dark art of branding the candidate has become a core function of every big campaign.