Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is ggurley@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

The Romney Gambit

Mitt Romney’s willingness to consider serving in a Trump cabinet should come as no surprise.

John Angelillo/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
There are denizens of Planet Media who have worked themselves into a state of high dudgeon over the prospect of Mitt Romney serving as secretary of state in the Trump administration. In these tellings, Romney is either a sellout , a hypocrite, or a suck-up. (Or a flip flopper or a shapeshifter, to use terms in vogue during his two failed presidential bids.) The underlying sentiment seems to be: Why would Romney want to work for a man he repeatedly denigrated during a toxic election, who was more than happy to match him insult for insult, and who may be setting him up for a major fall? But being shocked, shocked that Romney wants to set aside his reservations about Trump to serve in his administration ignores the arc of Romney’s career. There is nothing surprising about the former Massachusetts governor’s decision to pursue the State Department post. In Romney’s worldview, political pragmatism means that any conflict or inconsistency with previous statements or...

Q&A: Straight Talk From Maine on Why Trump Won

A veteran Democratic state lawmaker breaks down how a large swath of a rural blue state went red.

AP Photo/Michael C. York
O n Election Day, Maine voters approved five ballot questions that legalized recreational marijuana, authorized a multimillion-dollar transportation bond bill, slapped a flat tax on earners making more than $200,000, changed election rules to allow voters to rank state and federal candidates, and raised the minimum wage. A gun background-check question failed—no surprise in a state with little gun violence and a strong hunting culture. For Maine Democrats, these five referendum victories were the only real bright spots in an election that left them stunned by defeat. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2008 and 2012, Maine went solid blue for Barack Obama. This year, except for a few towns along the Canadian border, Donald Trump captured rural northern and inland Maine, while Hillary Clinton prevailed in the state’s urbanized southern, coastal regions. Under Maine’s apportionment rules for its four electoral votes, Trump got one electoral vote and Clinton,...

Trump’s Own Blacks

Ben Carson as Secretary of Education? Farce becomes tragedy.

(Photo: AP/Christian Murdock/The Gazette)
Donald Trump’s “What have you got to lose?” appeal did not move African Americans. There’s been some media interest in the significance of the 8 percent of the black vote that Trump gained compared to Mitt Romney’s 7 percent haul in 2012, but a one-percentage-point uptick does not a political realignment make. Hillary Clinton ran away with 88 percent of the black vote, winning 94 percent of black women and 80 percent of black men, winning the overall popular vote only to get crushed by the Electoral College. But the Republicans won’t conduct a post-Romney autopsy this time around, because they threw in their chips with Trump and cashed out beyond their wildest dreams. What can African Americans expect from a Trump administration? Nothing bodes well at this juncture, but one thing bears watching: Under an unreconstructed bigot, there may be a rebirth of tokenism in the highest reaches of American government. The real racial, ethnic, and gender...

Does Clinton’s Campaign Lack the Human Touch in Black Communities?

The absence of an early, focused voter mobilization campaign may be taking a toll.

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
In the waning days of the most divisive contest in modern presidential history, early-voting trends suggest that many African Americans voters have checked out of Election 2016. No Democratic candidate would ever be likely to match Barack Obama’s historic success or his ability to turn out black voters (save perhaps Michelle Obama, who has vowed never to run for public office) Hillary Clinton’s equally historic quest to be the first woman president has gotten lost amid the media’s 24/7 coverage of Donald Trump’s daily eruptions. But that’s just one reason why some African American voters are underwhelmed by the prospect of a Clinton presidency. Another fundamental problem is a Democratic ground game that may completely eclipse Republican efforts nationwide, but which pales in comparison to the Democrats’ African American outreach in 2008 and 2012. At this past summer’s National Association of Black Journalists conference, some attendees argued...

Infrastructure: Can We Finally Think Big?

The defining challenge of the next president’s infrastructure agenda will be persuading Congress to come along for the ride.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The Great Depression stimulated America’s first major investments in modern infrastructure. Undertakings like the Hoover Dam, LaGuardia Airport, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Golden Gate Bridge, and thousands of lesser-known road, rail, sewer, waterway, levee, and energy projects put millions of people back to work and transformed the American landscape. These marvels of American 20th-century infrastructure have long since ceded pride of place to European and Asian 21st-century state-of-the-art projects. Today, New Deal–era and even older assets barely keep the United States moving; many, if not most of them, have long since passed their useful lifespans. The Great Recession brought the country to another crossroads on infrastructure. But where the New Deal went full throttle on innovation, President Barack Obama’s Rooseveltian instincts were curbed by 21st-century economic...

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