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Analysis and Comment (27)

Empty-headed? Not even close. Empty-headed? Not even close. Gage Skidmore

Michele Bachmann defies her caricature at the Oxford Union

On March 14, in an address to the Oxford Union supposedly about “innovation”, Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann talked about her 2012 presidential run, and went so far as to hint she might consider…
US president Barack Obama is set to address Congress to map out his agenda for the year. What’s he likely to say? US president Barack Obama is set to address Congress to map out his agenda for the year. What’s he likely to say? EPA/Pete Marovich

State of the Union: can Obama emerge from the shadow of 2013?

On Tuesday evening (Washington time), US president Barack Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union address. It comes at an important moment in his presidency. He has little to show for the first…
A house divided: the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis may be over, but partisan gridlock has brought politics in Washington to a standstill. A house divided: the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis may be over, but partisan gridlock has brought politics in Washington to a standstill. EPA/Michael Reynolds

A culture of dysfunction: is Washington headed for Groundhog Day?

The US debt crisis is over for now, but legislators have just kicked the can down the road. In this series on the US debt ceiling, academics from Australia, the UK and the US assess the lingering global…
Republican senator Ted Cruz has become the face of the Tea Party movement during the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis. But how has the Tea Party changed since its inception? Republican senator Ted Cruz has become the face of the Tea Party movement during the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis. But how has the Tea Party changed since its inception? EPA/Michael Reynolds

US debt crisis heralds the return of the Tea Party

The US debt crisis is over for now, but legislators have just kicked the can down the road. In this series on the US debt ceiling, academics from Australia, the UK and the US assess the lingering global…
Tough crowd. Gonna get tougher. Tough crowd. Gonna get tougher. White House

Electoral deadlock means no end to Republican extremism

After 16 days of anxiety, grandstanding and acrimonious finger-pointing, the experiment in American democracy that was the government shutdown has been run, and for the Republicans, the results were devastating…
Did US president Barack Obama and his Democratic Party emerge as victors from the now-concluded government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis? Did US president Barack Obama and his Democratic Party emerge as victors from the now-concluded government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis? EPA/Martin H. Simon

Where to from here? The post-shutdown state of US politics

The confrontation - and the ultimate resolution - over the debt ceiling and the government shutdown has, to date, been the defining moment of US president Barack Obama’s second term. It offers an important…
Looks like a fun party. Looks like a fun party. Sage Ross

Tea Party Republicans fail to learn the lessons of 1995

Sanity has prevailed in the US, at least temporarily. For now, the threat of America’s first ever debt default has receded. But we may be back in the same territory in early 2014 as the US treasury is…
US president Barack Obama has been quick to blame the Republican Party for the state of government shutdown. US president Barack Obama has been quick to blame the Republican Party for the state of government shutdown. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

US government shutdown: worse may yet be to come

At midnight, the United States government was shut down after Congress could not agree to a deal on changes to president Barack Obama’s signature health-care legislation, Obamacare. Around 800,000 non-essential…
Partisan gridlock in US politics has led to the recent failure of Barack Obama’s gun reform agenda, which did not get through Congress last week despite public support. Partisan gridlock in US politics has led to the recent failure of Barack Obama’s gun reform agenda, which did not get through Congress last week despite public support. EPA/Spencer Platt

Dysfunction by design: why American politics is in gridlock

For all its international power, the United States government seems increasingly powerless to make laws for the benefit of its own people. The recent failure to implement popular gun control measures in…
After defeat in the 2012 election, it is back to the drawing board for the Republican Party. But will they address the true concerns of the electorate? After defeat in the 2012 election, it is back to the drawing board for the Republican Party. But will they address the true concerns of the electorate? EPA/STEPHAN SAVOIA/POOL

Republicans trust voter modelling - why not climate modelling?

Tuesday, November 6 was a game changer. The Republican Party in the United States has come to understand that the political environment has been altered. White males can no longer dictate the results of…
The party may be over for right-wing republicans. The party may be over for right-wing republicans. sobyrne99

Tea Party goes cold as US voters reject the far right

The Tea Party Movement appeared to have become a major force in American politics in the 2010 mid-term elections, sweeping 87 new Republicans into the lower house, biting into the Democrats' lead in the…
Mitt Romney had everything in his favour heading into the election, but still managed to lose. Mitt Romney had everything in his favour heading into the election, but still managed to lose. EPA/Matt Campbell

The revenge of the 47%

This was Mitt Romney’s last best chance to be president of the United States of America. Romney had a relatively easy primary contest. All the other Republican candidates shot themselves in the foot by…
The stage is set for the Romney/Ryan election night event in Boston, Massachusetts. The stage is set for the Romney/Ryan election night event in Boston, Massachusetts. EPA/Matt Campbell

The insider: what’s really happening inside the campaigns on election day

It is now election day in the United States. You can compare being on an American political campaign on this final frenetic day to spawning salmon giving their all to leap waterfalls before they die. Media…
Face off: finally Americans will go to the polls to decide between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president. Face off: finally Americans will go to the polls to decide between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

The ‘empty chair’ election: those who turn up will decide

While haranguing an empty chair at the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood stumbled upon the central metaphor of the 2012 election. The election has been, on the whole, about people who were…
Slogans such as “Real Change On Day One” have featured heavily during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Slogans such as “Real Change On Day One” have featured heavily during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. EPA/Shawn Thew

Mitt Romney’s ill-fated last stand

In these last days of the United States presidential election, the images from the campaign trail document the confusion of the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan campaign. The unclear Republican message is no match…
Volunteers work the phones to “get out the vote” for the Romney/Ryan campaign in Virginia. Volunteers work the phones to “get out the vote” for the Romney/Ryan campaign in Virginia. EPA/Shawn Thew

How ‘getting out the vote’ might decide the US election

Hurricane Sandy will leave more than physical destruction in its wake. Arriving just days before the US presidential election, the storm could have a political fallout as well. Sandy has affected the key…
The US is no longer off-limits for Australian politicians. The US is no longer off-limits for Australian politicians. AAP/The Treasury

Cranks, crazies and globalisation – US politics is fair game for Aussies

Wayne Swan’s remark last month that the US Republican Party had been taken over by “cranks and crazies” is notable in two respects. First, it is true. Second, it marks a further move towards a globalised…
Mitt Romney has said that 47% of households pay no federal income tax, but something about the statement doesn’t add up. Mitt Romney has said that 47% of households pay no federal income tax, but something about the statement doesn’t add up. AAP

Doing the math on Mitt Romney and the ‘47%’

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s comment that 47% of households pay no federal income tax is true. (It’s actually closer to 46%.) But when you dig beneath the bumper-sticker headline, his…
Can Mitt Romney form a bond with the American people? Can Mitt Romney form a bond with the American people? Erik S Lesser

The Romney calculation: better to be disappointed than damned

After the success of the Democratic National Convention, with its barnstorming speeches from former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney’s performance at his convention can…
Barack Obama had a good convention, but it won’t win him the election. Barack Obama had a good convention, but it won’t win him the election. EPA/Shawn Thew

Will the Democratic convention bring Obama a poll bounce?

The Democratic National Convention went about as well as the party could hope. The question is, in this partisan political climate, will it be enough to move the polls? The common narrative throughout…
Some Republicans may be yearning for a return to the gold standard, but the idea has lost its lustre among the vast majority of economists. Some Republicans may be yearning for a return to the gold standard, but the idea has lost its lustre among the vast majority of economists. Image from www.shutterstock.com

The gold standard of truthiness: a bad idea that feels good (to some Republicans)

A few years back, mock-conservative TV pundit Stephen Colbert famously introduced the notion of “truthiness” into the political lexicon. As Colbert put it, truthiness pertains not to whether beliefs are…
Mitt Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, has articulated a bold - if perhaps inefficient - vision for the US economy. Mitt Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, has articulated a bold - if perhaps inefficient - vision for the US economy. AAP

Paul Ryan’s path to recovery – or renewed financial crisis?

Much ink has been spilled over the budget proposals advanced by Mitt Romney’s choice as Vice Presidential running mate, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan. Acting as Chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan…
Mitt Romney introduces Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. Mitt Romney introduces Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Saving Privat(izing) Ryan: Mitt Romney selects a running mate

On Saturday, August 11, “before the press and just about everyone else” was notified, the Mitt Romney campaign used a mobile phone app to inform supporters that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would be…
A warm welcome for the President from Julia Gillard and the Governor General, but Australia should take care not to give too much away to the Americans. AAP/Stuart McEvoy. A warm welcome for the President from Julia Gillard and the Governor General, but Australia should take care not to give too much away to the Americans. AAP/Stuart McEvoy.

Special relationship? Why Gillard needs to talk tough with Obama about US military base

It’s third time lucky for President Obama. He’s cancelled his trip to Australia twice before, but now he has finally made it to Canberra. Julia Gillard has struck up a friendship with the US President…

Research Briefs (1)