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Commentary by Michael Barone

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July 19, 2008

Ghosts of 1976 in Today's Campaign By Michael Barone

Looking back over the last 40 years, the presidential campaign that most closely resembles this year's is the contest between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in 1976. The Republicans were the incumbent presidential party that year, as they are now, but the Democrats had a big advantage in party identification -- on the order of 49 percent to 26 percent then, far more than today.

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July 12, 2008

We're Not Leaving By Michael Barone

Sixty years ago this month, the top story in campaign year 1948 was not the big poll lead of Republican nominee Thomas Dewey or the plight of President Harry Truman. It was the Berlin airlift.

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July 5, 2008

Obama's Candidacy is a Test By Michael Barone

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me," Barack Obama told the audience at a Jacksonville fundraiser last month. "He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?" Obama was doing here by inference what many of his supporters do more explicitly.

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June 28, 2008

Why Veeps Now Matter By Michael Barone

"Not Exactly a Crime" is the title of a book on America's vice presidents published in 1972 -- a year before Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign for actually committing a crime.

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June 21, 2008

The Facts in Iraq Are Changing By Michael Barone

As we enter the second half of the campaign year, facts are undermining the Democratic narrative that has dominated our politics since about the time Hurricane Katrina rolled into the Gulf coast -- most importantly, the facts about Iraq.

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June 14, 2008

In Defense of Lobbyists By Michael Barone

Barack Obama has long said that his campaign will not accept contributions from lobbyists, and now that he is the presumptive nominee, the Democratic National Committee won't accept them, either.

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June 7, 2008

General Election Campaign Begins With New Playing Field By Michael Barone

Almost precisely at the midpoint between the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 and the general election on Nov. 4, the general election campaign is on. Neither party's nominee swept the primaries.

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May 31, 2008

The Economy: A Reality Check By Michael Barone

"It's the economy, stupid," James Carville famously said during the 1992 campaign, when a young Bill Clinton was running against the other President Bush. The same could be said during this presidential campaign. The headlines are full of economic bad news -- mortgage foreclosures, the collapse of an investment bank, higher gas and food prices and lower home prices.

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May 24, 2008

The Rev. Wright Connection Still Haunts Obama By Michael Barone

As Barack Obama makes his slow but steady way toward the Democratic nomination, the assumption in the admiring precincts of the press corps is that voters have dismissed as irrelevant his longtime association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

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May 17, 2008

An Unconventional 2008 Election Season By Michael Barone

What makes this presidential election different from all other presidential elections? And different from what we expected when the year began?

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May 10, 2008

Rethinking the Iraq Critics By Michael Barone

In trying to understand news about the conflicts in Iraq, I work to keep in mind the difference between what we know now about decision making in World War II and what most Americans knew at the time.

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May 3, 2008

Wright Controversy Affects the Polls By Michael Barone

Is the bottom falling out for Barack Obama? It's too early to say that, but there are some disturbing signs. On the positive side, superdelegates still are breaking his way.

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April 26, 2008

Popular Vote Gives Clinton an Edge By Michael Barone

One thing many people haven't noticed about Hillary Clinton's 55 percent to 45 percent victory over Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary is that it put her ahead of Obama in the popular vote.

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April 19, 2008

The Rules Are Changing for Obama By Michael Barone

Barack Obama seemed puzzled. Angrily puzzled. The apostle of hope seemed flummoxed by the audacity of the question. At the April 16 Philadelphia debate, George Stephanopoulos, longtime aide to Democratic politicians, was asking about his longtime association with Weather Underground bomber William Ayers.

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April 12, 2008

Uncle Sam Pays? Sure, Whatever By Michael Barone

"It's the economy, stupid." Those immortal words of the political philosopher James Carville in 1992 have been reverberating increasingly in the 2008 campaign. Polls show the economy as the top issue for voters, far ahead of Iraq.

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April 5, 2008

The Democratic Tribes at War: A Commentary By Michael Barone

Exit polls have shown that the contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has produced deep divisions among Democratic constituencies. It looks something like tribal warfare.

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March 29, 2008

Missing a Generation By Michael Barone

Most people's views of the world are shaped by the times in which they came of age. That's why we speak of a baby boom generation or a Generation X. But some people miss out on the formative experiences of most of their peers.

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March 22, 2008

Will Wright Damage Obama's Millennial Support? by Michael Barone

It's a generational thing. That was the theme of Barack Obama's speech last Tuesday, in which he both failed to renounce and at the same time separated himself from the man he has described as his spiritual mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

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March 15, 2008

The Importance of Fallon's Fall: By Michael Barone

The abrupt resignation of Adm. William Fallon as the head of Central Command almost got lost amid the breaking news of Barack Obama's victory in the Mississippi primary and Eliot Spitzer's resignation as governor of New York.

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March 8, 2008

Clinton Has Only One Plausible Path to the Nomination: A Commentary by Michael Barone

Barack Obama won 11 out of 11 primaries and caucuses from Super Tuesday to Feb. 19. Hillary Clinton won three out of four contests on March 4.