1. In his posting of January 27th, Cass Sunstein, with the success of “McCain, Obama and to some extent Huckabee” in mind, wrote that “unifying candidates are now being taken as a most refreshing change from the last years.” I beg to differ. In my view, the most remarkable aspect of the Obama’s campaign has been his ability to make the tone of his politics mask their substance as well as the willingness of highly educated voters to go along with this illusion. His voting record and his views on foreign policy place him firmly on the left-wing of the Democratic Party.
Alaska is big, far, and sparsely populated. It is difficult to get to and even harder to navigate. For these reasons, no candidate has visited the state. Mitt Romney sent a son. Mike Huckabee dispatched his wife. Barack Obama is the only major candidate with a state headquarters.
Sick of the meaninglessness of its traditional June primary, Alabama was one of the first states to move its 2008 primary forward to February 5. Unfortunately, many of the larger states it was trying to leapfrog followed suit, and it finds itself in their shadows once again. This is unfortunate, since it is hosting two competitive races: Multiple candidates in both parties have good shots at victory. Delegates: Democrats, 60; Republican, 48. Formats: Both parties host open primaries.
Beneath Arkansas’s red surface (it went for Bush in 2000 and 2004) lies a blue underbelly: Five of six congressional seats are held by Democrats, as are many state and local offices. According to Janine Parry, a political science professor at the University of Arkansas, 35 to 39 percent of voters are self-identified Democrats, while only about 25 percent are Republicans. She expects that the Democratic primary turnout will be at least four times the Republican.
Aside from being John McCain's home state, Arizona is one of America’s fastest growing states, increasing its delegate count and importance over the past 15 years. The state is one of the few to house more registered Republicans than Democrats, but because both parties’ primaries are closed, this shouldn’t make a difference on February 5. Delegates: Democrats: 67; Republicans: 53. Format: The Democrats distribute their delegates proportionally via a closed primary; the Republican winner receives all of the state’s delegates via a closed primary.
Readers of today’s Washington Post may have been surprised to find tucked behind Sports a new “Russia” section, which looks like part of the newspaper but which, upon closer inspection, is an “advertising supplement” paid for by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
On July 18, 1698, 1,200 Scots set sail to colonize a section of Panama known as Darien. Scotland was the first Western European nation to realize Panama's strategic potential as a bottleneck of interoceanic trade, but it was among the last to learn the cruelty of the tropical clime: less than a year after their arrival, the settlers abandoned the colony. The majority perished, their fevered corpses buried alongside failed crops of potatoes and yams.
In 2006, The New York Times tempered its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Senate with the following caveat: The real question is not whether she can turn in continued good performance in the Senate, or even whether she can run a smart campaign for president. It is whether she can put some great idea ahead of her own political upward mobility, whether there is a cause so important to her that she will risk her political security for it.
Under a photograph of Barack Obama laying a wreath at the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr. (posted at 2:45 today), there is the following headline: "At King's Church, Obama Speaks of Unity." Then the caption for the photo: "Senator Barack Obama, with Coretta Scott King, laid a wreath at the tomb of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr after speaking at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church." Look at the picture: the woman to his left does look a bit like Mrs. King. But she died on January 30, 2006.
I don't know exactly what this means. But an article by Chuck Bennett in Saturday's New York Post reports that George Clooney "has been tapped to serve as the UN's new 'messenger of peace'." The UN has failed so utterly in its rhetorical efforts to bring not so much peace but an end to the mass killings in Darfur that it has anointed People magazine's two time choice for "sexiest man alive" to do the hard lifting in the effort to end the murders. As for Clooney, his acceptance of this role is either stupid or cynical: "I look forward to working with the United Nations in order to build publi