Henry Olsen

Senior Fellow

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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For media inquiries or to book Mr. Olsen for an interview, contact Josh Britton at jbritton@eppc.org or 202-715-3493.

Click here to view the full archive of Mr. Olsen’s writings at The Washington Post.

Click here to view the full archive of Mr. Olsen’s writings at National Review Online.

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Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

Mr. Olsen is an opinion columnist for The Washington Post, where he writes daily pieces focusing on politics, populism, foreign affairs and American conservative thought. He is also the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism and The Four Faces of the Republican Party, co-authored with Dante Scala.

Mr. Olsen was previously an editor at UnHerd.com and a regular contributor to American GreatnessCity Journal, and World Magazine. Mr. Olsen’s work has been featured in many prominent publications, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalNational ReviewThe Guardian, and The Weekly Standard.

His predictions of the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 elections were particularly praised for their remarkable accuracy. In the 2016 campaign, he accurately identified the factors fueling the rise of Donald Trump early in the race, and his election-eve predictions were among the most accurate of any major analyst or commentator.

Mr. Olsen has worked in senior executive positions at many center-right think tanks. He most recently served from 2006 to 2013 as Vice President and Director, National Research Initiative, at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously worked as Vice President of Programs at the Manhattan Institute and President of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Mr. Olsen started his career as a political consultant at the California firm of Hoffenblum-Mollrich. He then worked with the California State Assembly Republican Caucus before attending law school. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Danny J. Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and as an associate at Dechert, Price & Rhoads. He has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as Comment Editor for the University of Chicago Law Review.

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Dangers of Academia’s “Indoctrination Mills”

Henry Olsen

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum caused a stir last month when he labeled college campuses “indoctrination mills” that enforce a strict adherence to “politically correct left doctrine.” For conservatives, Mr. Santorum might as well have called the sky blue. But from the way liberal pundits pounced on his remarks, you’d think he had said something profoundly indecent.

Articles

The Washington Times / April 6, 2012

Over But Not Out

Henry Olsen

Wisconsin’s loss confirms not only that the Santorum coalition is a minority of the GOP, but close examination shows that he is losing his grip on his own voters.

Articles

National Review Online / April 4, 2012

Two Decades Too Late

Henry Olsen

For months, former senator Rick Santorum has been talking about working-class woes and promoting a working-class-friendly economic agenda.

Articles

National Review / February 10, 2012

Santorum Campaign, Take II

Henry Olsen

Winning the Tuesday trifecta gives Rick Santorum a second chance to make a first impression. This will give him the momentum that his delayed Iowa victory could have given him.

Articles

National Review Online / February 8, 2012

Strong Night for Mitt Romney

Henry Olsen

Mitt Romney dispelled any doubts tonight whether he wants to be president badly enough to fight for it.

Articles

National Review Online / January 27, 2012

An Open Letter to the Members of the Super Committee

Henry Olsen

The country could save $100 billion or more over 10 years by reducing farm subsidies without endangering struggling farmers or affecting food production.

Articles

The Daily Caller / November 21, 2011

Losing the Working Class

Henry Olsen

Last week’s election indicates that the GOP marriage with the white working class is on the rocks. That’s bad news, since the epic Republican landslide in 2010 was fueled by record-high margins among these voters.

Articles

The Weekly Standard / November 14, 2011

Fiscal Issues Split GOP, White Workers

Henry Olsen

For decades, conservatives have won elections by wooing white, working-class swing voters with positions they approved of on crime, foreign policy and cultural issues. Economic growth allowed Republicans to expand most government spending programs while simultaneously keeping taxes stable. For both economic and political reasons, this balancing act is no longer possible.

Articles

The Hill / October 4, 2011

Dangerous Disaffection

Henry Olsen

Republican Jane Corwin’s defeat in New York is to Republicans what the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts was to Democrats: a warning of impending disaster if the party maintains its course. Democrats in 2010 refused to see this, blaming their loss on poor turnout and a bad candidate. Republicans cannot make the same mistake.

Articles

National Review / June 28, 2011

A GOP Dark Horse?

Henry Olsen

Despite this election’s high stakes, however, the question of which candidate will bear the GOP’s standard remains shadowed in great uncertainty, owing mostly to the lack of an obvious frontrunner. Given these unusual circumstances heading into 2012, what kind of nominee should we expect? And what kind of nominee should Republicans want?

Articles

National Affairs / June 27, 2011

A Victory and a Warning

Henry Olsen

Wisconsin’s results do not mean conservatives should abandon entitlement reform, but they should expect an energized Democratic base that will fight with all its might. They will need to talk persuasively about what entitlement reform means, stressing that it is absolutely necessary to preserve the lifetime security that entitlements provide.

Articles

National Review / April 26, 2011

After the Wave

Henry Olsen

The results of the 2010 elections fail somehow to account for the continued difficulties that Republicans (at all levels of government) have had after past wave elections.

Articles

National Affairs / January 10, 2011

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