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Ari Berman

Ari Berman is a senior contributing writer for The Nation magazine and a Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Photo by Ports Bishop)


  • June 5, 2009

    Dems Vie for Victory in Virginia

    The Democratic primary for governor of Virginia, which takes place on June 9, has been a pretty nasty affair from Day One. At a February fundraising dinner, Democratic candidates Creigh Deeds, Brian Moran, Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Bob McDonnell (the current Attorney General) came together for an ostensibly friendly roast.

    After telling a joke about Deeds' donkey, Truman, McAuliffe referred to Brian Moran's media consultant, Joe Trippi, as an "ass." He said Trippi had come up to him at The Palm one day and offered to help with his race. "I said to him, 'You really want to help me? That's what you want to do? You want to help me, Joe? Great. Go work for Brian and go do for him what you did for President Dean and President Edwards."

    From the audience Moran yelled, "How's President Hillary Clinton?"

    Ari Berman


  • May 12, 2009

    L’Affaire Edwards: To Sabotage or Not?

    On the heels of Elizabeth Edwards' revelation in her new book that she wanted her husband to drop out of the race for the presidency after having an affair with videographer Rielle Hunter, George Stephanopoulos reported on Sunday that Edwards staffers had convened a strategy to "sabotage his campaign" if he won the Democratic nomination.

    Onetime Edwards strategist Joe Trippi has since responded to that report, calling it "complete bullshit."

    Trippi told CNN: "No one that I know had such a plan, I wasn't involved in a plan like that, it didn't exist, it's a fantasy."

    Ari Berman

  • Environment March 26, 2009

    The Dirt on Clean Coal

    The coal industry presents itself as committed to sustainability--but is it?

    Ari Berman

  • Political Figures December 17, 2008

    The Prophet

    Howard Dean's fifty-state strategy remade the Democratic Party. What comes next?

    Ari Berman

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  • Election 2008 October 22, 2008

    Swiftboat Blues

    The slumping economy has made GOP smear tactics seem petty and shrill--but they're looking forward to their next shot.

    Ari Berman

  • Political Figures October 1, 2008

    McCain’s Kremlin Ties

    He may talk tough about Russia, but John McCain's political advisors have advanced Putin's imperial ambitions.

    Mark Ames and Ari Berman

  • September 24, 2008

    Bailout Increasingly Unpopular in Congress

    The Bush Administration continues to aggressively push its Wall Street bailout plan on Congress, where it's reaching a surprising amount of resistance. Congressional Leaders in the House and Senate are still trying to cut a deal with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, but the bailout seems to be getting more unpopular by the day with rank-and-file members of Congress from both parties.

    Democrats are unhappy because the bailout favors Wall Street over Main Street. Republicans are unhappy about the $700 billion cost and expansion of "big government."

    Matt Stoller of Open Left has been doing an excellent job of monitoring how members of Congress are reacting. Here's a great clip from Ohio Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur:

    Ari Berman

  • September 15, 2008

    Gary Hart: Obama Should Blame GOP for Economic Collapse

    Gary Hart was a groomsman at John McCain's wedding to Cindy Lou Hensley, so he knows a thing or two about the Arizona Senator.

    On the day of Sarah Palin's visit to Colorado, Hart--who represented the Centennial State in the Senate for twelve years--had a message for Palin and McCain: now is not the time for political ignorance to be rewarded.

    "It's more than a little concerning that one of four people who may take up the highest national office is unwilling to engage in any serious questions or real discussion," Hart said on a conference call organized by the group ProgressNow. "I hope that this attention she is getting now is a bubble of sorts. Given the financial markets and what has happened just this weekend, stakes are even higher than they were 72 hours ago. This is not just another national election."

    Ari Berman

  • Election 2008 September 11, 2008

    The McCain-Follieri Love Boat

    What are we to make of a straight-talking maverick who spends his 70th birthday on the yacht of an A-list con man?

    Ari Berman and Mark Ames