Matt Bai

    National Political Columnist

    Matt Bai is the national political columnist for Yahoo News. He was previously the chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine. His most recent book,"All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid", was chosen as one of 2014's best books by NPR and was among the 10 books longlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award for nonfiction.

  • To impeach or not to impeach? How Democrats should weigh the question.

    Impeachment isn’t just a legal remedy. Nor is it a way for opposition parties to negate the results of an election, no matter how clouded by allegations of wrongdoing. It’s a political tool. It’s designed specifically to carry out the public will.

  • Someone serious needs to step up and primary Trump

    The president does pretty much nothing to advance the cause of traditional Republicans. If the Republican Party is going to rediscover a semblance of its better self, he needs to be stopped.

  • Kamala Harris isn't afraid to show anger. That's progress — but is it good politics?

    The central question for Democrats in 2020 is whether they can give an acceptable alternative to voters who handed Trump his margin of victory last time. About the only way to ensure his reelection is to enable him to make this about white, male America versus everyone else.

  • Dear debaters: You don't need a 'breakout moment' to break through

    The political media seems deeply invested in the “breakout moment” idea. But you can’t manufacture something like that, and if someone tells you to, you’re getting bad advice. At this early stage of the campaign there are subtler, more attainable ways to have success.

  • Elizabeth Warren is running the year's most substantive campaign. What does that say about everyone else?

    Warren is just doing what a presidential candidate is supposed to do — offer some larger argument for what government ought to look like. What makes her so notable is how little any of the other candidates seem to have thought about this at all.

  • Here's what's wrong with the Democrats' debate plan

    The debate process assigns absolutely zero value to the thing that ought to matter a lot in a presidential campaign, and especially in this one: actual experience in governing.

  • Is Bill Barr a bad man?

    William Barr brings to mind “The Best and the Brightest,” the term for the liberal intellectuals who became architects and defenders of the Vietnam War. They too were capable and decent men who allowed their capabilities and decency to become lost in a void of self-delusion.

  • Trump confuses nationalism with patriotism. We shouldn't.

    We’re the only country that has, from the beginning, defined patriotism as fealty to a series of principles, rather than to a monarch or a common identity. Trump’s attempt to reverse that formulation is stunning.

  • What the polls can't tell you about the coming campaign

    In a campaign like this one, it’s not the level of broad interest in a candidacy that matters most, but rather the narrow base of unshakable support that can keep it afloat. It’s about staying power, which polls don’t really measure.

  • Trump should tell Americans the truth about his trade war — if he understands it himself

    There’s a reason we call it a trade war. Wars have casualties. Winning them always comes with a cost, and it’s a cost the citizenry has to be willing to bear.

  • What I got wrong about Nancy Pelosi

    If you had asked me 10 or 15 years ago, when I was chronicling the path of Democratic politics for the New York Times Magazine and for a book, I’d have told you Nancy Pelosi was a true ideologue at heart.

  • Biden is right about Trump. Democrats should listen.

    What Joe Biden is saying is that our history may not move in a straight line all the time, but it always ends up moving, ultimately, in the right direction (or at least it always has).

  • Biden has one big thing to offer voters. He should run on it.

    Joe Biden’s only path as a candidate is to stand for a return to normalcy. It’s to speak for all those Democratic voters who want a turn back to rationality, pragmatism and governance.

  • Why Mueller's report won't matter much in 2020

    Democrats already know how they feel about Trump. What they want is a nominee who won’t become inexorably swallowed up in Trump’s all-consuming vortex of personal insults and cultural smears.

  • Stephen Miller stokes Trump's nationalist vision

    Of Trump’s advisers, only Stephen Miller has consistently proffered a grander notion of what this presidency might be made to mean — the retrenchment of white culture into nativism and national identity.

  • John Hickenlooper wants to be the last Democrat standing. He'll need a plan.

    Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper puts himself forth as a politician who bridges what are supposed to be unbridgeable divides.

  • Does the media owe Trump an apology?

    Even the country’s best newspapers and websites present almost everything the administration does in dramatic tones beyond all proportion, as if the mere act of Trump trying to govern constituted an existential threat.

  • Democrats are going big. They're certainly not bold.

    The current crop of Democratic candidates seem to think the hallmark of boldness is a willingness to tell reliable primary voters exactly what they’re desperate to hear, in the most dramatic terms possible.

  • Being Beto, on a trip to the mall

    Inside the mind of Beto O’Rourke as he ponders the 2020 presidential race and the right pair of jeans.

  • If you're interested in governing, maybe choose a governor

    Governors just don’t get the kind of respect they once did in presidential politics. And that’s something Democratic voters should probably reconsider.