This is the place on the site where I guess I'm supposed to blog—except that I don't. Rather than share all my idle thoughts (fascinating as they are), I'd rather use this space to hear yours. So please send me any thoughts on what I’ve been writing, be it the book or my magazine pieces, and I'll try to get back to you in the space below. (If you don't want me to post it or to use your name, please let me know.) Thanks.

TALK BACK

I just read a statement in your book "The Argument" where you said that conservatives "ended up running up deficits that would have been unimaginable to Jimmy Carter."

I wonder what your opinion is of the deficits under the Obama administration?

I just tossed your book in the recycling. At least I supported the used book store where I bought it, and it will serve a better purpose as recycled paper.

- Dave Thomas

Good to support used bookstores while we still have them. Good to recycle for the environment, while we still have one. A win-win all around.

I have to say, Dave, I marvel at the way you seem to have read a book critical of Democratic ideas on every other page and come away focused on a single line that holds Republicans accountable. Sign of the times, I guess. People see only that which confirms their expectations--which must be comforting on some level, but probably makes for a boring intellectual existence. Go buy Rush Limbaugh's latest--you won't be disappointed.

- Matt Bai
on July 17, 2010



Hi Matt, I read your interesting article on Obama in this past Sunday magazine. I believe there is an error in it. One that others have made and one which drives me crazy as a non-Rahm enthusiast (Howard Dean supporter). You seemed to give Rahm credit for the success of the Dems in 2006. Howard Dean's 50 State strategy I believe was the cause of the Dems most recent success (and Obama's) and Rahm fought him tooth and nail about it, though when it was a success he never corrected anyone who gave him credit. Nevertheless, I always enjoy your views and insight look forward to more.

- Diane Young

Thanks, Diane. Let me just say that I doubt there's any writer at a major paper or magazine or who's given Governor Dean more of a hearing or more credit than I have. You may recall my writing a cover piece on the 50-state strategy during that campaign, and I wrote about it in my book, and I wrote this after the election: http://www.mattbai.com/node/256.

Now, having said that, I think there's plenty of credit to go around here, and I do believe that no one deserves more of it for that victory than Rahm Emanuel. Governor Dean's stand was, I think, important for the long-term health of the party, and Barack Obama has built on it. But as far as 2006 itself goes, I would argue that Rahm made the most critical contribution simply by recruiting the right candidates for those districts. Republicans are finding out how hard that is to do right now, and it may cost them control in November.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll follow my new column in the paper, either at the Times site or by subscribing to me on twitter.

- Matt Bai
on June 25, 2010



I HAVE CAVED TO TECHNOLOGY

Don't we all? Wanted to let readers know that you can now get links to my column on Twitter. No 10-second-old pearls of wisdom or updates on my coffee consumption or TV watching habits. Just links. Please follow--thanks.




8000 words and not a single one of them about politics. What a talent you have. Did you learn to be insubstantial at Harvard, Yale or Princeton? You are really good at it, I must say.

- Louis Proyect

(Louis is referring to my cover piece titled "Democrat-in-Chief?")

Actually, Louis, it was Tufts and Columbia, if you must know, but regardless of where I was educated, it appears my reading comprehension skills have got to be better than yours. The whole thing was about politics, obviously.

- Matt Bai
on June 14, 2010



ANNOUNCEMENT: FOR EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON....

I've hinted at this briefly in some of my responses, but here's the deal: after eight really terrific years of writing only for the Times Magazine, which is as much a journalistic home to me as I've ever had, I'm moving over to the paper. Beginning at the end of May, I'll be writing a political column in the news pages, though I'll continue to write a few long pieces a year for the magazine. What this means for this site, I'm not exactly sure yet. I doubt it will be practical (or legal, perhaps) to post all my columns here, although of course I will have a page for that on the Times site. Hopefully i'll still be able to answer all your questions and comments in this space. But until I get all that figured out, please do check out the column, and please check bag for updates here, and thank you, as always, for your interest and conviction.





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