The Boston Globe's Farah Stockman reports that Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, could be in physical danger were he to return to Islamabad, where he hasn't been for 8 months, due to the charge that he's too "pro-American." Making that charge? The Pakistani military: Samina Ahmed, an Islamabad-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, said the attacks on Haqqani were carefully orchestrated by the military to weaken the government he represents. She predicted more will come. “These are the first rumblings of the storm,’’ she said.
Ben Smith catches up with Chris Christie, who (not surprisingly) predicts victory and (somewhat surprisingly*) repeats what sound like White House talking points: He said he looks forward to "working with President Obama" and that Obama "is going to have a governor of New Jersey who's going to stand up for New Jersey." "What this is all about is me and Jon Corzine. You want to read something into this, that's for you to write," he said. Clearly Christie doesn't read The Corner. *--Okay, maybe not that surprising when you consider he is running in a Blue State.
Ezra Klein plays my favorite parlor game: What Does Joe Want? After breaking with the Democratic Party over national security, killing the public option would cement Lieberman's status as a conservative hero. The Republican Party is angry and scared right now, and Lieberman is in the peculiar position of being able to grab them emotionally even as he's not fully aligned with them substantively.
Whenever I read the words, "You're not from around here, are you?" I automatically imagine them being said with a serious Southern--or at least rural--twang.
It's certainly starting to seem that way. Last week, in Pakistan she talked tough about the Pakistani government tolerating Al Qaeda and then immediately backpedaled. Then, this past weekend in Israel she seemed to indicate that the Obama administration was no longer demanding an immediate settlement freeze from the Israeli government before, a day later, walking back that statement during a luncheon in Morocco.
When John Kerry persuaded Hamid Karzai to agree to a run-off election, the New York Times correctly described this victory as "little more than a catastrophe averted." So how do you describe the situation as it exists now, with the run-off called off due to Abdullah Abdullah's withdrawal? I'd say it's a pretty big victory for Karzai, and not just because he's won himself another term. By agreeing to the run-off (and satisfying the U.S.) but then refusing to take the steps necessary to make that run-off fair (and thus failing to satisfy Abdullah), Karzai bought himself some precious time.
Amidst Hillary's vacillating between tough and not-so-tough talk about Pakistan tolerating Al Qaeda's presence, I thought this article in today's NYT--about Pakistani troops in South Waziristan finding documents belonging to a member of the Hamburg cell--was pretty curious. Not because I doubted that prominent Al Qaeda members are in in South Waziristan, but because of this paragraph: The documents were shown to reporters on a day trip organized by the army on Thursday for the news media to observe operations in the nearly two-week-old battle.
From a Guardian column by Maura Keaney on Lieberman: Joe Lieberman has become the Balloon Boy dad of the Senate Democratic caucus, a fame-whore so addicted to media attention that he hatches ever-more-desperate and risky schemes that sell out his "family" to earn press attention. It's a catchy lead, but I think this misdiagnoses Lieberman's motivations for his filibuster threat on health care legislation that includes the public option.
Time has excerpts from David Plouffe's new book. The section about the whirlwind day he and Axelrod spent interviewing the three veep finalists--Biden, Bayh, and Kaine--is the most interesting.
From Bloomberg: “Al-Qaeda has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002,” Clinton told a group of editors in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. “I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to. Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know.” That seems like a pretty obvious statement of fact, but I'm surprised Clinton made it in public given the Pakistanis' sensitivities. After all, this is a country where the announcement of a $7.5 billion U.S. aid package actually set off anti-American protests.