August 17th, 2012
I write with many emotions to announce that after 16 amazing years, the Hauser Group will be ceasing operations early this Fall.
It has been, and still is, a wonderful ride. Doing what I love for the progressive causes I cherish is the highlight of my career. But after months of contemplation and discussion, I decided that I want to take my passion in a new direction.
The Hauser Group was fiercely devoted. We had many triumphs, and lots of fun. From the smallest grassroots groups to the presidential campaign trail, we fought for the people and ideas that would fulfill America’s grand promise. I will be forever grateful for the creativity and dedication of our more than 250 clients.
And the people I have worked with … for Tracy Zimmerman and Tyler Prell, my deepest thanks for the leadership you gave the company. Special thanks also to Jason, Janeen, and Lynsey, who helped make the Hauser Group a very special place.
As I wind things down here, I look forward to discovering my next challenge. Ten years on Capitol Hill, 16 with the Hauser Group … I am excited for phase 3, and look forward to talking with many you about the possibilities.
Thanks and take care,
May 8th, 2012
Presidential elections are often decided by broad, visceral sensations within the electorate. In that spirit, as the general election frame begins to take shape, I offer four somewhat unorthodox reasons to be optimistic about President Obama’s re-election:
1) Staying the Course. Yes, times are bad. But they are not 2008-bad. And the public doesn’t like the “other guys” very much either. Discounting the true haters, my hunch is that many independents will grudgingly view the President as steadfast, energetic, and well meaning. When things are calamitous, you jump ship. When they are bumpy, if your captain is tolerable, you trust him to keep you afloat.
2) Foreign Policy. Not normally our strength, but consider: Romney has zero experience and has not seemed sure on his feet rhetorically. And the President has killed Osama bin Laden, gotten us out of Iraq, is getting us out of Afghanistan, kept North Korea quiet, assisted the Arab Spring, and avoided a serious terrorist attack. If Iran is kept at bay, and there no new terror, the President may well benefit from that wonderful phrase, “strong leader.”
3) Romney Fatigue. The guy has been around a long time. And remember, independents pay attention to Republican primaries too. And many states have suffered through one. So, any attempt to “reintroduce” may both fall flat and inspire Etch A Sketch-based ridicule. Plus he doesn’t relate well now. How are six months of heightened attention going to help him on that front?
4) Sophomores. Remember the vigor expressed for Obama by young people in 2008? Remember that many of them were high school sophomores and younger? Well, guess who is old enough to vote now. We may not catch the wave we did in 2008, but I think first-time young voters will be eager to express at the ballot box what they could only shout from the sidelines four years ago.
July 20th, 2009
Today’s poll news that President Obama’s personal popularity far outpaces his agenda’s should come as no surprise. First, complicated policy is always a tough sell to Americans who don’t care about Medicare reimbursement rates, and second, elected Barack Obama largely because he was a celebrity.
That last, disturbing point will be revisited soon. But for today my focus is on what this paradox means for progressives. It means we have a long way to go.
Let’s start by acknowledging that Barack Obama is not Paul Wellstone. The President is a good man, moderately progressive, and a strong leader. But he didn’t run as a fire-breather (which is good, because he would have lost) and it is largely emergency, not philosophy, that is defining his domestic agenda.
The existence of a President Obama is a good thing, but also a dangerous thing if his celebrity masks a greater and more lasting truth: progressives are behind the times.
To put it one way: when is the last time someone made a full-throated case to significantly increase the poverty line? Or to put another way my wife and accountant will not like: I should pay more in taxes.
The today and tomorrow of progressivism will be the central subjects of this blog. I seek to add my small bit to a thankfully growing conversation, and welcome your ideas and feedback.