Jonathan Alter

Jonathan Alter is a contributing editor of the Washington Monthly. He is the author of His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life.


Kerry Is the Right Choice to Lead U.S. Diplomacy

For all the talk of tax increases and debt-cutting, President Barack Obama’s biggest and most- revealing decision this year may be which candidate he chooses to be his new secretary of state. It will tell us whether the president allows comfort to trump qualification. The two candidates are Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the… Read more »

How Obama Can Heal His Rift With Business

U.S. presidents’ second terms often turn out to be failures in domestic policy, largely because lame ducks are almost by definition political figures of the past. Yet President Barack Obama’s winning coalition is aligned with the future of the country, giving him a fresh chance to lead. To do so, he must repair his badly… Read more »

Warren Has the Skills for the Senate

The victory of Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts marks the arrival in the Senate of a major new figure in American politics. To be effective, she will have to lay low for a few years, as Hillary Clinton and Al Franken did. We’ll see if she has the patience and good sense to do so. But… Read more »

If Elected, Moderate Mitt Will Disappear

You have to hand it to Mitt Romney and his team. Starting in the first debate, he pivoted almost effortlessly to the center, which is where elections are won. If he beats President Barack Obama, it will be because he Etch-A- Sketched his earlier positions and convinced enough people that he would be a moderate… Read more »

Romney’s Cynical China Strategy

Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently appeared for coffee at Bloomberg View in New York and made a good impression, if you don’t count his failure to identify even one tax loophole or deduction he would eliminate to help pay for a 20-percent reduction in tax rates. But he didn’t make any news until he was… Read more »