Author Archives: Matthew Dickinson

Does The Party Decide? Explaining the Trump Phenomenon

Longtime readers know that I have periodically expressed skepticism regarding “The Party Decides” thesis. That is the argument, made most thoroughly by the book of that title,  that party leaders act in effect as gatekeepers who control who wins their party’s nomination. They do so through a variety of signaling mechanisms, such as endorsements, or […]

Ted Cruz, The Donald, and I: The State of the Race In S.C., Part One

As the nominating contests moved south (and west) from New Hampshire, your intrepid blogger followed the candidates. Here’s Part I of what I saw during my four-day whirlwind campaign tour of the Palmetto state. We flew into Charlotte early Wednesday, and after the obligatory (for a presidency scholar) stops at the birthplaces of James Polk […]

Remembering The Guardian of the Presidency On President’s Day

On President’s Day, I post my traditional column commemorating the late, great presidency scholar Richard E. Neustadt.  During almost six decades of public service and in academia, until his death in 2003 at the age of 84, Neustadt advised presidents of both parties and their aides, and distilled these experiences in the form of several […]

Replacing Scalia: The Political Dimension

The death today of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is hugely significant in so many ways – legal, political and even cultural – that I hesitate to try to address it in a blog post so soon after his passing. Conservatives lionized him, of course, but even those who disagreed with his ideological leanings recognized […]