Talking Politics

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Running Outside the Box

Congressman Ed Markey's announcement that he will run in the upcoming special election for US Senate was quickly followed by a choreographed show of institutional backing, from Vicki Kennedy, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and even John K

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 18, 2013

Budging Forward

The nation has just suffered through fiscal-cliff negotiations that left nobody, on either side of the aisle, happy with the results or the process.
Talking Politics
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 11, 2013

Smoke signals

The Massachusetts Medical Society's strident opposition to medical marijuana helped prevent passage in the legislature, but could not defeat the ballot initiative.
Talking Politics
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 14, 2012

Lessons learned?

I take the blackout as a sign that the universe wants these smart and savvy yet secluded and out-of-touch campaign elites to hold their tongues — and learn some lessons from what ordinary people have been trying, collectively, to tell them: that voters
Talking Politics
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 07, 2012

Meet the Freshman class

Through much of 2012, the local political media — myself included — were a bit distracted by the big-name, big-money campaigns of Mitt Romney, Scott Brown, and Elizabeth Warren.

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 30, 2012

Him Again?

This was supposed to be the calm after the storm.

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 23, 2012


Thrill and Agony

The vote totals that poured in through the state secretary's office November 6 provided one set of winners (Elizabeth Warren, John Tierney, Joe Kennedy III, medical marijuana) and losers (Scott Brown, Richard Tisei, medical suicide). But there were plen

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 16, 2012

The good, bad, and ugly in debate politics

Candidate debates feel simultaneously like a timeless honoring of American democratic practice, harkening to Lincoln-Douglas, and a vacuous example of the contemporary political circus, dominated by empty, rehearsed rhetoric and relentless spinning of t

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 12, 2012

Dog daze

Letters to the Boston editors, March 9, 2012.
Letters to the Boston editors, March 9, 2012
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 09, 2012

Don't let them take control

There are worse things than Maine's antiquated system of county government.
Maine's counties
By AL DIAMON  |  January 27, 2012

A Statesman Too Late?

The congressional debt "super committee" has begun its work, and already there are signs that its task is hopeless.
John Kerry heads to work on the debt ‘super committee’ with his usual earnestness and high hopes — despite the circus that surrounds him
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 23, 2011

romney best week ever 4

Mitt's best week ever

The quadrennial farce known as the Ames Straw Poll has once again made its mark on the race for the Republican presidential nomination — by rewarding the candidate smart enough to avoid it.
Romney's presidential quest is looking better than ever - no thanks to his own campaign
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  August 19, 2011
september 11 monkey

Whatever happened to Danville's giant mystery monkey?

The giant monkey of Danville was my symbol, back then, of the fin-de-siècle nadir in media fluffery, thankfully obsolesced in one grim morning.
Unfinished (monkey) business
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  August 05, 2011
Boston Convention Center - Urban League

With the Urban League conference coming next week, Boston's movers and shakers are scrambling to project a progressive racial image

After years of trying to convince groups with large minority membership that the Hub is now a welcoming, friendly destination for African-Americans, this is the first big organization to test the theory.
Showtime for New Boston
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  July 22, 2011
conservative elephant

Big conservative funders are making a new push at universities

Funders are working through official university channels to underwrite lecture series, conferences and colloquia, and centers geared for the general-interest student, all carrying university imprimatur.
Right turn on campus
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  July 15, 2011
Deval Patrick and Casinos in MA

Deval Patrick is on a second-term winning streak, and casinos might be the next payoff

Last summer, when Deval Patrick's veto killed a gaming bill in the final days of the legislative session, many thought he had badly damaged himself politically. He was, after all, the one who had pushed for casinos in Massachusetts almost from the day he
Gaming the system
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 17, 2011


What happens if they hold a city election and nobody notices?

The past few years, Boston has been almost continuously wrapped up in big, attention-getting elections.
Quiet fight
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 10, 2011

Seeing things

Early last week, US Senator Scott Brown claimed to have seen pictures of the dead Osama bin Laden, which he implied were shown to him in briefings. Hours later, his office put out word that the photos Brown had seen were not "authentic."
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  May 13, 2011

Obama's rebirth

It was a good weekend for the president.
By exposing his haters, the president has forced the GOP into a corner
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 06, 2011
Thomas Menino plans to run for mayor of Boston yet again

Tom Menino's final term as mayor? Don't bet on it.

Mark this down: Tom Menino, already the longest-serving mayor in Boston history, will run for re-election in 2013.  
Here He Goes Again
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  April 29, 2011
New Hampshire GOP politics

Choosing Sides

Over the next two weeks, New Hampshire will quietly transform into a proving ground for the Republican 2012 race to recapture the White House. At least 10 potential candidates, from heavyweights like Mitt Romney to obscurities like Fred Karger, are sche
New Hampshire's GOP operatives have lined up for the 2012 primary, and are ready to do battle
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  April 15, 2011

Governor Deval Patrick

The Governor in his Labyrinth

Governor Deval Patrick has always excelled at inciting political speculation. Through his first three years in office, most Beacon Hill insiders remained convinced — even as his re-election effort began — that Patrick would not serve out his full four-y
In year five of his administration, Patrick is keeping his options open
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  March 11, 2011

Little things

In the midst of the new Republican majority's mania to reduce the size and cost of state government, I offer some advice and a warning.
On shrinking legislatures
By AL DIAMON  |  January 14, 2011

Generation X

Your article, “ Gen X Goes to Washington ” (November 26, 2010) was great. I’m glad this topic is finally being discussed.
Letters to the Boston editor, January 7, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  January 07, 2011

My impending departure

A little more than a week ago, I told the Phoenix that I was leaving to take an associate producer job at WGBH’s Greater Boston,...
By Adam Reilly  |  February 26, 2010

Can't be wrong

I don't care if my state representative is sneaking off to Argentina to romance some exotic mystery woman. Given my rep's track record at the State House, he's unlikely to be any less effective in pursuing a clandestine international affair than in pas
Talking Politics
By AL DIAMON  |  July 10, 2009

Low expectations

There are some important qualities I'd like to see in the next governor of Maine. But they're all pretty boring. So let's get to what I wouldn't like to see.
Talking Politics
By AL DIAMON  |  July 03, 2009

System failure

In the “Talking Politics” column “Mass betrayal,” you attribute our state’s long, sad history of corrupt politicians to the culture of the State House. You’re probably right.
Letters to the Boston editor, July 3, 2009

My aim is true

I believe in having clear and achievable goals.
Talking Politics
By AL DIAMON  |  June 26, 2009