Read Stuff, You Should: Assessing Presidencies

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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Happy Birthday to Bill Swift, 53. So how much of his success with the Giants was an illusion created by Robby Thompson and other excellent defensive players? Hmm.

Another installment of game notes I wrote with Kavitha will be up later this morning, and don’t miss the ones posted over the weekend. Once again, I’m not sure whether I’m happy about the travel day because I need some recovery time from the excitement of Games 3, 4 and 5, or whether it’s just going to make me jumpy for an extra day. Or maybe I’ll just focus on the good stuff:

1. “Democrats and Republicans don’t see the world so differently because they see different news; rather, they see the news differently because they’re Democrats and Republicans in the first place.” That’s Brendan Nyhan on news cocoons.

2. If you’re interested in the presidency, don’t miss Julia Azari’s exploratory essay on leadership. A lot to chew on here. For one thing, I strongly endorse her discussion of unit of analysis: we should be less interested in evaluating presidents and more interested in specific presidential choices. Is “leadership” the concept that gets us close to understanding presidents and the presidency? I’m not sure, but I will strongly agree that it shouldn’t matter that some people say silly things about leadership.

3. Shana Gadarian and Bethany Albertson on Ebola and civil liberties.

4. David C.W. Parker on the 2012 Montana Senate election and representation.

5. I’m a lot less impressed by the election prediction markets than Justin Wolfers is, but I still appreciate the update about what’s going on there.

6. Good Brian Beutler item about how Obamacare is winning in the 2014 cycle. Or, as I’d put it, the Affordable Care Act is winning, whatever might be happening to Obamacare.

7. Plenty of new Senate polling over the weekend. Nate Cohn has a good summary: Senate contests are stable and headed towards a 52/48 Republican majority … but with enough very close contests that Democrats could still retain control (or Republicans could get a larger majority).

8. Jonathan Chait on the new poll taxes.

9. And Jeet Heer on terrorism and mental illness.

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To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net