In what has become a regular ritual this spring, the punditocracy is cracking itself up tonight over Barack Obama's embarrassingly poor performance in Democratic primaries in Appalachia and the Upland South.
It’s been heartening to see a broad response to the disclosure, deep within the magazine’s new cover story on the Ohio political landscape, that the FBI is investigating questionable donations by employees of a direct-marketing company in Canton, Ohio to the campaigns of Republicans Josh Mandel, the state treasurer challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running against Rep. Betty Sutton in a newly configured House district.
In further evidence that this city knows what to do with molehills (suggested Trenton-style motto: “what Washington makes, the world re-tweets”), much has already been said and written about Newark superman (and mayor) Cory Booker’s unhelpful criticism of Team Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital, the private equity firm that made Mitt Romney a quarter-billionaire and taught him “how jobs come and how they go.” For those who missed it, Booker declared on Meet The Press: “I have to just say from a very personal level I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” he said.
Lodge 141 of the Fraternal Order of Police is housed, along with 446 jail cells, inside the Mahoning County Justice Center, a forbidding brick and steel hulk at the edge of the frayed downtown of Youngstown, Ohio. It’s a humble office, but its proprietors have embellished it with a number of rather pointed political decorations.
My colleague Tim Noah and many others are rightly lampooning the aborted effort to resuscitate Jeremiah Wright for another go-round. But it’s worth noting that this trial balloon did accomplish something for Republicans, intended or not—it drew scrutiny away from the anti-Obama attack ad that is running, a minute-long broadside from Crossroads GPS, the group co-founded by Karl Rove, that went up this week in all the big swing states with a $25 million buy. Folks, that is a lot of dough, even in this day and age. And who’s behind that money?
One of the rewards of being a loyal Wall Street Journal subscriber is that one gets to read things one might not see anywhere else.
Now we know what the doomsayers feel like when the decreed day of judgment passes by without thunderbolts or second comings. Americans Elect, which was going to save our benighted political system with the ultimate deus ex machina—a bipartisan, third-choice presidential ticket borne from an online nominating process funded by leveraged-buyout tycoon Peter Ackerman and other deep-pocketed centrists—announced at midnight that the savior has not yet made his or her appearance.
Amid all the hoopla over President Obama’s gay marriage announcement last week, there were a few cautionary head shakes from the wise old men (and wise young old men) of the punditocracy: Obama may be basking in the glow of history now, they said, but his strategy of trying to elevate social issues to the Democrats’ benefit, and thus distract voters from economic issues, was a dubious one.
Not long ago, I argued that Democratic candidates ought to be trying to make transportation infrastructure an issue in areas where voters care about such things and where Republican anti-spending dogma was undermining projects, such as New Jersey, where Chris Christie rejected the new tunnel under the Hudson River.
Pity Dick Lugar. Not only was he resoundingly rejected by Republican voters in the state he had served for decades, but he has not received anything close to the kind of valedictory from the Washington establishment that one might have expected for one of his reputation. Consider: when Evan Bayh announced that he would not run for reelection in 2010, the conservative Democrat from Indiana inspired all manner of Beltway laments.