The Hard Work of the 2020 Instagram Spouse

As social media becomes a critical tool in politics, Instagram is increasingly used as a soft-focus medium to showcase a candidate’s relatability. Even Joe Biden, who is definitively not of the Instagram generation, has a carefully managed feed with 1.3 million followers. His posts, like those of most candidates, have a different voice from hisContinue reading “The Hard Work of the 2020 Instagram Spouse”

How Trump Turned Liberal Comedians Conservative

There’s no greater threat to the liberal establishment than Donald Trump. And in the past three years, something about comedy has shifted. In class, University of Delaware communications professor Dannagal Young has her college students diagram late-night jokes and label the incongruities—the hidden arguments that aren’t actually stated in the text. When they come toContinue reading “How Trump Turned Liberal Comedians Conservative”

Chasten Buttigieg is winning the 2020 spouse primary

Few would have expected that the early stars of the 2020 race would be the gay millennial mayor of a mid-size Midwestern city and his 29-year-old husband. Through his very presence, Chasten Buttigieg is breaking ground. But at the same time, what’s most unexpected about Chasten is how conventional he is. At a time whenContinue reading “Chasten Buttigieg is winning the 2020 spouse primary”

The other atrocity in the college admissions scandal

Originally published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti This is, among many other things, a story of terrible parenting. That much is clear from reading the federal affidavit outlining “Operation Varsity Blues,” the investigation into a shockingly brazen scheme of college admissions fraud. It’s a window into the world of gold-plated, wood-paneled helicoptering — and the logical extensionContinue reading “The other atrocity in the college admissions scandal”

Is America Ready for a Single President?

Originally published in POLITICO Magazine. The American public is fascinated by bachelorhood, and also eager to see single men married off—hence our keen interest in the dating habits of British royals, and the umpteen-thousand hours produced of “The Bachelor.” As much as the boundaries and definitions of marriage have changed—and over the course of theContinue reading “Is America Ready for a Single President?”

How Trump Got Bad at Twitter

Originally published in Politico Magazine. If you still think of Trump as the tweeter-in-chief, master of the pithy insult and well-placed exclamation point, just visit his feed. The crisp, unpredictable tweets from the start of his presidency have largely become rambling and verbose. His account is weirdly turgid, loaded with ponderous attacks on his perceivedContinue reading “How Trump Got Bad at Twitter”

Christine Blasey-Ford and the Power of Vulnerability

Originally published in Politico Magazine. What we weren’t prepared for was the quaking. The quivering voice, the shy affect, the facial expression of abject terror. Reading Christine Blasey Ford’s prepared statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee, released to the public on Wednesday, was nothing like watching it on TV or hearing it on the radio.Continue reading “Christine Blasey-Ford and the Power of Vulnerability”

Is this the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Originally published in Politico Magazine. A few weeks before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her New York congressional primary, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley spoke to a roomful of young Democrats at the Bell-in-Hand, a Boston tavern that dates back to 1795. She was explaining why she should unseat a congressman who, she suggested, might as wellContinue reading “Is this the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?”

How to raise a Trump

Originally published in the Boston Globe. If you’re obsessed with the news cycle and inclined toward anxiety, one way to get through this strange time in American history is to see it as just that: another chapter in a long national story, full of novelistic characters with rich back stories and complex motivations. Peel awayContinue reading “How to raise a Trump”

Camilla and what might have been

Originally published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti It was a lovely wedding, wasn’t it? Perfect day, perfect dress, perfect crowd, perfect songs, all to underscore how much has changed: the traditions that were waived, and possibly scrapped, so these two people could get what they deserved. Meghan and Harry didn’t need to worry about lineage or parentage,Continue reading “Camilla and what might have been”