Tag: Schnur

Sheryl Sandberg’s Message for Politics

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Unruh Institute of Politics, Dornsife College.

This op-ed originally appeared at Bloomberg on March 6.

Most first-time candidates for elective office learn quickly that political messaging is a lot like the old playground game of Red Rover.

Your opponents don’t bother to try to break through between the two strongest members of your team. Rather, they zero in on the smallest and weakest links in your chain and do everything they can to force the most vulnerable among you to divide.

A Hail Mary to Save Proposition 30

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Since the day he took office, Gov. Jerry Brown has been on a crusade to convince Californians that he is not just fiscally responsible but downright stingy. During his first week as governor, he ordered thousands of state workers to give up their government-issued cellphones. Since then, he has negotiated to rein in pensions for public employees, initiated welfare reforms that were included in the last budget and bragged about his preference for flying Read more →

The Self-Loathing Congress

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics.

This op-ed originally appeared at Politico.

We’ve become accustomed to the fact that the American people don’t like Congress. But what happens when even Congress doesn’t like Congress anymore?

Answer: They go home. Members of Congress are so fed up with gridlock, they are leaving the body in droves. In the past four years alone, almost two dozen incumbents have thrown up their hands and decided not to seek reelection, a number that is unprecedented in modern political history. Over the past three decades, this rate of departure is almost double that which we have seen over any other four-year period.

Romney Courting an Unlikely GOP Constituency

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Have you heard the one about the Westside Jewish Republican Club? Its members take turns hosting the gatherings, and they meet each month in the host’s car.

The Democrats‘ advantage among Jewish voters might not be quite that extreme, but there’s no question that the Jewish community in this country has always leaned strongly toward the Democratic Party and its candidates. Read more →

Will Romney’s Veep Choice Be the Safe Choice?

DAN SCHNUR, director, USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.

This op-ed originally appeared at CNN.

If you agree that a presidential nominee comes to the selection of his running mate the same way a football coach develops strategy for the last few minutes of an important game, then Rob Portman and Tim Pawlenty are the political equivalents of running your fullback off-tackle.

There’s little risk associated with either choice: Both keep you moving slowly but surely in the right direction. So it’s no accident that as the polls stay close, speculation surrounding Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee has focused on these two eminently qualified but exceedingly cautious alternatives.

Earlier this year, when Romney trailed in the polls by wide margins, the strategic calculus was entirely different. When your team is behind by a couple of touchdowns, you put the ball in the

Another Audacious California Experiment

DAN SCHNUR, director of the USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

While most of the country was focused on the back-alley brawl of Wisconsin’s recall election Tuesday, a quieter but equally important political revolution was unfolding here in California.

Two recent voting reforms — one that changed the way legislative and congressional districts are drawn and another that sends the top two finishers in a primary on to the general election regardless of party affiliation — drew little interest outside the circles of obsessed political insiders. But thanks to these two procedural modifications, California politics have been profoundly altered — for the better.

What a Deal: Smarter Politicians, Less Time in Office

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Sacramento Bee.

When the original ballot initiative to impose term limits was put before California voters in 1990, I enthusiastically campaigned for its passage.

When career politicians tried to dramatically weaken the state’s term limits law 10 years ago, I fought to defeat them.

When I returned to Sacramento to serve as chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, I saw that term limits had dramatically succeeded in one important respect. The Legislature was far more diverse than at any other time in our state’s history. Not only were there an unprecedented number of female, Latino and Asian Pacific Islander members, but we have also seen an extraordinary range of diversity in professional experience and background as well, as small-business owners and union members, doctors and nurses, teachers and farmers and law enforcement officers have all sought and gained election to the Legislature since term limits took effect.

Obama’s Energy Straddle

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics

This op-ed originally appeared in the New York Times.

Like every president seeking re-election, Barack Obama walks the fine line every day between the discordant goals of motivating his party’s strongest loyalists and reaching out to swing voters for their support. A few weeks ago, that pathway took him to a tiny town in Oklahoma, where, caught between the anti-drilling demands of the environmental community and the thirst for more affordable gasoline from unions, business owners and drivers, the president announced his support for building half of an oil pipeline.

Romney’s Wealth Effect

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics:

This op-ed originally appeared in the New York Times.

“Why is someone who is so good at making money so bad at talking about it?

Mitt Romney is not the first presidential candidate who’s had trouble communicating with working-class voters: John Kerry famously enjoyed wind-surfing, and George Bush blamed a poor showing in a straw poll on the fact that many of his supporters were

A Crossroads Debate for Romney

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics:

This article originally appeared in the New York Times.

“It’s the most important night of Mitt Romney’s political life.

Us pundit types tend to get a little bit overwrought when framing presidential campaigns as a series of breathless and seminal do-or-die moments. But Romney’s current predicament and challenge is such that it’s not difficult to see how the outcome of the Republican debate in Jacksonville this evening could have a defining impact on the outcome of next week’s Florida primary and fundamentally shape the road forward for Romney and his opponents.