On Thursday, President Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are due to attend the grand opening of President George W. Bush's presidential library and archive in Dallas, Texas.
Several sitting governors might be contenders in the 2016 presidential election. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have given indications they are thinking of running, although they haven't announced candidacies at this very early stage of the contest.
Hillary Clinton could be an excellent presidential candidate for the Democrats in 2016. After suffering through an extremely difficult loss in the primaries against Barack Obama, Clinton has managed to strengthen her resume.
The changes that we are seeing in public attitudes about homosexuality are just the tip of the political iceberg. As Bob Dylan once sang, performing to the Baby Boom generation when it was challenging the prevailing political orthodoxies, "something is happening here. But you don't know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?"
The stars seem to be aligning for immigration reform.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush stepped right into the political thicket with his contradictory comments on immigration last week.
The politics of health care is changing fast. President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act was vulnerable during his first term when Republicans demanded repeal of the law. Even after the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality, there were still many voices who objected to it.
Until now "sequestration" has been a word that only means something to people living inside the Beltway or to political junkies who depend on their daily dose of Politico and The Hill. But if Congress and the president do not reach a deal by March 1, which appears likely, Americans will quickly learn what it means -- namely deep spending cuts.
Thousands marched in Washington this weekend to call for action to counter climate change.
President Obama is set to deliver the first State of the Union Address of his new term. On Tuesday evening, he will step before a joint session of Congress and a nation in difficult times.
A massive political fight over defense spending is about to take place.
Following their retreat in Virginia, House Republicans voted for an unusual budget plan, which the White House has given some indications it would accept. The GOP decided to temporarily extend the debt ceiling, the federal law that authorizes the government to borrow the money it needs to pay for its expenditures for three months.
As President Obama's second-term Cabinet starts to take shape, we can see some of the outlines of what the White House hopes to do in the next four years.
Some Republicans are itching for a fight on President Barack Obama's nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary.
Somewhere in Texas, former President George W. Bush is smiling.
In 2013, the Republican Party faces a big test. Members begin the new year in disarray, with their public approval ratings plummeting while Democrats still control the White House and Senate. The year is coming to a close with an embarrassing display of legislative ineptitude as House Republicans divided over a solution to the fiscal cliff.
2012 has been a tumultuous year in American politics. With the presidential election capping off the year, Americans have witnessed a series of bitter domestic battles and turbulent events overseas. As the year closes out, it is worth thinking about some of the most important lessons that politicians and voters can learn from this year as they prepare for 2013.
Back in 2010, the conservative columnist and CNN contributor David Frum was worried about what he saw in his own party. Frum, who had worked as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, feared that Republicans would be tempted by tea party Republicans to shift far to the right to achieve short-term electoral gains that would cost the party in the long run.
Avoiding the fiscal cliff can be a moment of truth for Congress as an institution. The ability of Congress to reach a deal on its own, rather than relying on tax hikes and spending cuts by default, would be a powerful push back against the loud chorus of critics who for almost a decade have been decrying dysfunction on Capitol Hill.
Most officials in Washington are dreading the consequences of falling off the fiscal cliff.
Republicans have been engaged in a lot of soul searching since the election. There are many reasons that they were not happy about the outcome of the election, but most frightening of all for the party was the fact that demographic changes and public opinion on social issues like gay marriage and abortion seem opposed to the party's stances. "I went to bed last night thinking we've lost the country," said radio host Rush Limbaugh.
The critics are raving about Steven Spielberg's new film "Lincoln." A.O. Scott of the New York Times called it "among the finest films ever made about American politics." Viewers get a taste of the legislative process up close by watching how President Abraham Lincoln rounded up the necessary votes in get the 13th Amendment resolution through the House. Viewers see a master at work -- a president who knew how to break through the various divisions in Congress and outflank his opponents.
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign got off to a rocky start with his attacks on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital, the private investment fund.
Seen from the perspective of 2012, the stunning Broadway revival of "Death of a Salesman" offers a powerful reminder that economic policy and family values go hand-in-hand.
If Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are staying up late worrying about whether they can win the election, they should ponder another, ultimately more important, question: Will their campaign rhetoric make it impossible for them to be effective if elected president?
Rick Santorum's announcement that he is suspending his presidential campaign brings the Republican primaries closer to the end. With all the speculation about brokered conventions and last-minute turnarounds, the original predictions appear to be correct. Mitt Romney will almost certainly be the Republican candidate who faces off against President Barack Obama in the fall.
The individual mandate might prove to be the death knell for President Barack Obama's health care reform.
Nobody likes politicians.
Republicans warn that if President Barack Obama wins a second term, he will push forward with an expansive domestic liberal agenda that makes his existing record look like child's play. During the victory speech that followed the Michigan primary, Mitt Romney warned that "a second term Obama would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election."
The outcome of the election of 2012 is becoming even tougher to predict, since there are many political landmines facing both parties.
Newt Gingrich likes to fancy himself a counterestablishment rebel. He has attempted to tap into the anger of tea party Republicans by reminding voters about his glory days as a maverick conservative in the House of Representatives, which culminated in the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994.
As Americans read about the flood of private money that is going into the current presidential campaign, most can't help but shake their heads in disgust about how our democracy functions.
Every football fan knows the feeling of watching his or her favorite team implode as a result of mistakes. Even when the odds of victory are good, turnovers and penalties can kill any hope within minutes.
Sometimes it feels like President Clinton never left the public spotlight. Although there were moments during the 2008 campaign when it seemed he was as much of a target within his own party as were the Republicans, these days Clinton is everywhere and Democrats want him by their side. Members of President Obama's campaign team say Clinton will offer them his services next year.
Americans have been flooded with Republican presidential debates for several months. It seems that every week there is a new encounter between the GOP candidates.
As Democrats struggle to retain control of the Senate and retake control of the House, they are searching for issues to frame their campaigns. This is not easy, since the Democrats are in a difficult position.
Newt Gingrich's candidacy received an unexpected boost when New Hampshire's Union Leader endorsed him this weekend.
Occupy Wall Street finds itself at a crossroads.
Herman Cain, the surprise candidate of 2012, has been struggling to survive accusations of sexual harassment. Every day that the story continues and new accusations emerge, Cain's candidacy is at greater risk.
American voters need to decide what they really want from Washington.
The stakes in the current budget battles are enormous. As the super-committee deliberates over how to reduce the deficit and other congressional committees struggle to cut spending, the fate of important programs hangs in the balance.
In recent weeks, there have been two important stories developing about the 2012 campaign. On the surface, they have nothing to do directly with Herman Cain, Mitt Romney or Michele Bachmann.
Something interesting is happening in the Republican Party, and it's not the unexpected rise of Herman Cain and his 9-9-9 plan.
President Obama's 2012 campaign is gradually starting to take shape. Rather than focusing on the record from his first term and his competence as the commander in chief, the president is promoting himself as a revived populist, anti-establishment Democrat fighting for the unfulfilled goals of his 2008 campaign.
With all the talk about the ideological and strategic divisions within the GOP, the real choice that primary voters will have to make next year is a simple one.
America's poverty rate is now the worst since 1993, according to a shocking report last week from the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the days following the horrendous attacks against the United States on 9/11, all the talk in Washington was about the need for bipartisanship. Republicans and Democrats promised that they would work together to protect the home front and capture those who were responsible.
Former President Bill Clinton could teach the Republican Party a thing or two about effective campaign strategy.
As Hurricane Irene gathered force, moving its way up toward the populated areas of the East Coast, politicians in both parties scrambled to prepare. President Obama cut short his vacation on Martha's Vineyard to return to Washington. Governors and mayors in all the affected states issued warnings, with mandatory and voluntary evacuations, and state officials mobilized.
The meteoric rise of Rep. Michele Bachman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the competition for the GOP presidential nomination -- combined with the rapid demise of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential bid -- all before any caucus or primary has taken place, reveals how the presidential selection process is broken.
Just as the 2004 presidential election was all about the concept of security, the same term will shape the campaigns of 2012.
When Sen. Ted Kennedy died in August 2009, many Democrats wondered who would replace him as the voice of modern liberalism. With a Democratic president who was then fighting for an ambitious health care program, many felt Barack Obama would be that voice.
President Barack Obama has always been a lot more like President Bill Clinton than many of his supporters like to think.
As the nation gets closer to the brink of fiscal chaos, many pundits have been writing the political obituary for John Boehner's term as Speaker of the House.
At key moments in his presidency, Barack Obama has struggled to win the support of the American people through the power of his oratory. The power of persuasion has traditionally been one of the most powerful weapons of the commander in chief.
The troubled negotiations over the debt ceiling have offered yet another reminder of the perilous state of Congress. Republicans and Democrats have found it to be virtually impossible to reach a deal.
When presidents send American troops into military conflict, it usually seems as if Congress barely flinches. Presidents no longer request that Congress declare war. Members of Congress don't insist that presidents ask them.
For weeks, the political conversation has been about Rep. Anthony Wiener. Republicans were indignant. Democrats were furious and frustrated. The media was obsessed with every picture that emerged of the pugnacious legislator, who resigned from Congress on Thursday.
In the coming year, President Obama must make the difficult transition from being the candidate who once ran as the maverick -- the agent of change -- to the candidate who now represents the political establishment. There is no way to escape this.
House Republicans are planning to hold a symbolic vote on the debt ceiling to demonstrate that Democrats don't have the votes to pass the measure without accepting stringent spending cuts. The vote is part of a larger drama that has played out this year over the federal budget.
This week, voters in New York's 26th Congressional District will go to the ballot box to replace Rep. Christopher Lee, who resigned after a scandal involving a photo of himself shirtless that he sent to a woman he met online.
Newt Gingrich has decided to run in the 2012 presidential race. The media instantly took notice. Gingrich is one of the more colorful figures in American politics, known for saying what's on his mind regardless of the consequences and for his willingness to court controversy.
Sen. Tom Coburn, a staunch conservative from Oklahoma, triggered a heated debate among conservatives when he acknowledged that tax increases might be necessary if Congress really wants to reduce the deficit.
Days after the daring operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, pollsters reported that President Barack Obama's approval ratings were rising.
On a recent trip to England, I found that it was impossible to avoid seeing coasters, posters, books and other paraphernalia being sold to mark the royal wedding on April 29.
After spending two years on health care, President Barack Obama is about to take up another Herculean political challenge: taxes.
In Wednesday's speech, President Obama, in what now has become his classic style, tried to thread the needle.
Following the announcement of the budget deal on Friday night, South Dakota Sen. John Thune told Politico, "The debate is now on our side of the field. This is just the opening act. But these upcoming debates are not going to be about whether we're going to reduce the cost and size of government, but how much. That's very good ground for Republicans to fight on."
When George W. Bush finished his presidency, many observers wondered what the Republican Party would look like in the succeeding years. With Democrats in control of Congress and the White House, pundits declared the party was in crisis.
Many people across the political spectrum have been unhappy with President Barack Obama's decision to send American fighting forces to attack Libya. They argue that Obama failed to provide an adequate explanation for making this choice.
Major crises can inflict great political damage on U.S. presidents. Regardless of all the weapons that come with the office, presidents throughout American history have discovered that they can quickly be overwhelmed when events spin out of control.
The success of Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Wisconsin Republicans at stripping most collective bargaining rights from public unions has triggered a fierce political backlash.
Republicans are looking ahead -- some with glee and others with fear -- to the presidential election in 2012.
In one of the unexpected moments from the past few weeks, some defenders of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's attack on public unions have pointed to President Franklin Roosevelt.
Since the late 1940s, it has been an American custom for pollsters and publications to release a ranking of U.S. presidents.
Even the most hardened realist couldn't help but shed a tear when the news broke that pro-democracy protesters succeeded in ousting the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
When the Egyptian people took to the streets of Cairo to protest the oppressive government of President Hosni Mubarak, they instantly challenged one of the most powerful strains of U.S. foreign policy thinking.
Republicans are divided over what to do about the defense budget. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wants to reduce it by $78 billion over the next five years.
Many political analysts are urging President Obama to give a State of the Union Address that is conciliatory toward Republicans and that acknowledges that voters are unhappy with the direction of his policies.
Following a traumatic week for the nation in the wake of the Arizona shootings, Congress will get back to business this week. As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's spokesperson announced, "It is important for Congress to get back to work, and to that end we will resume thoughtful consideration of the health care bill."
The mass shooting in Arizona has raised a political challenge for the Republican Party. Party leaders have spent the last few days rebutting charges from liberals that extreme rhetoric from the right had something to do with inspiring the rampage.
Suddenly no one is talking about Congress as the "broken branch" of government any more.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a possible Republican presidential candidate, recently caused a major stir. In an interview with the Weekly Standard, he referred to race relations while growing up in Mississippi this way: "I just don't remember it as being that bad."
When U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson ruled that the mandate to purchase health insurance in the new law was unconstitutional, many people began looking to the Supreme Court for a final determination.
Somewhere in Texas, former President George W. Bush must be smiling. When President Obama and the Republican leadership reached a deal on extending all of the Bush tax cuts, including a generous exemption for estate taxes, the current president ratified a key policy from the former administration.
The political pressure on the administration to tackle deficit reduction is mounting. Even before he began negotiations with Republicans last week, President Obama conceded ground by announcing a federal pay freeze.
A new restored version of "Modern Times," one of the greatest films in the Hollywood canon, has recently been released.
Sarah Palin's new reality show looks like it might become a hit.
In professional football, teams need a good offense if they hope to win the Super Bowl.
John Boehner has a huge problem on his hands. Now that the elections are over, and Republicans were victorious, he will need to tame the passions of the GOP freshmen who are coming to town determined to change everything about the way that Washington works.
Former President George W. Bush loomed large throughout the 2010 campaign even though he has been out of office for nearly two years.
With the midterm elections just a week away, many Democrats are scratching their heads and wondering what went wrong.
President Obama has recently blasted the influx of money from undisclosed donors flowing into the midterm campaigns. He repeated a claim, which major media outlets have not been able to substantiate, that foreign funds may have been used in the United States.
In a very clever television advertisement, Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell looks directly at the camera and says to voters: "I'm not a witch. ... I'm you." In another ad, O'Donnell says that unlike her Democratic opponent Chris Coons, "I didn't go to Yale. I didn't inherit millions like my opponent. I'm you."
The Tea Party has rekindled excitement in the potential of the internet to nurture mass political movements by using the Web to raise money and mobilize manpower.
In an extraordinarily powerful moment last Monday, a middle class mother named Velma Hart confronted the president for whom she had enthusiastically voted.
Christine O'Donnell shocked the political establishment last week with her victory in the Republican Senate primary in Delaware against Rep. Mike Castle. Like most Tea Party activists, O'Donnell has embraced the anti-Washington rhetoric that has been popular among congressional candidates in the current political climate.