Don't Call It An Artur Davis Comeback

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 22 2012 12:49 PM

Don't Call It An Artur Davis Comeback

TNR's Alec McGillis jokes: "All y'all reporters who relied on Artur Davis for endless blind "House Dem" quotes attacking Obama better get some more while you still can."

He's referring to Rosie Gray's report that former Rep. Artur Davis, a Democratic star who ran right and bombed out of the 2010 Alabama gubernatorial primary, is being urged to become a Republican and run for Congress in the Virginia's swing-ish D.C. suburbs. The timeline: The next four years. Reached via e-mail, Davis sort of confirmed it.


"Without getting into the specifics of the story," wrote Davis, "I recognize that I would have to climb a lot of hurdles to reenter politics in a new state and a new party. While people who believe in me regularly encourage me to get back in the fray, I am nowhere near a decision to do that."

The district in question, VA-11, was held by moderate Republican Tom Davis for years. Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat, took it in 2008 and held it narrowly against the 2010 wave. He has demographics on his side -- the suburbs, bolstered by good economic growth, are getting bluer. It really is the sort of district you'd carve out for a black Republican. It's fairly hard to achieve what Davis did in Alabama 10 years ago, and primary a liberal (in this specific case, anti-Israel) black incumbent in a heavily black district.

If you're a talented black politician with no strong ideological affinity, better to run as a Republican, and court activists who are practically obsessed with proving that they're racially transcendent. Michael Steele, a pro-life but pretty heterodox politician, could never have won a statewide Democratic primary in Maryland. But he rose and rose in the GOP until the Peter Principle finally kicked in. Well, that and the ire of countless enemies.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.