Ben Wasserstein

On Sarah Palin: Colorful Life, Not-so-colorful Clothes
September 04, 2008

From the Department of Visual Studies: If your life is colorful, your clothing need not be. This was the message conveyed by Sarah Palin and her family last night. By now, the salient, fascinating biographical details are familiar: working mother; five kids; pregnant 17-year-old; baby with Down Syndrome; revenge allegedly taken, mafia-style, on a deadbeat ex-brother in law.

Who Really Runs Russia: A Mathematical Proof
August 26, 2008

Michael Idov is the editor of Russia! magazine. He writes about the country for TNR.   Leonid Bershidsky, one of Russia ’s leading business writers, points out (link in Russian) how, last month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gave a speech denouncing a large mining company for skirting its tax obligations. (The former president's address also introduced the country’s hottest new catchphrase: “Where’s the margin?”). Russia ’s leading stock index, RTS, immediately dropped by five percent.

Get Drunk On Booze *and* Hope With Tnr's Convention Drinking Game!
August 25, 2008

Writers from "The Simpsons" and Comedy Central's upcoming "Chocolate News" bring you the only DNC drinking game that matters. Check it out here.  --The Editors

Bush's Team Of Unrivals
July 26, 2008

What is the best explanation of the moral, legal, economic, and strategic failures of the Bush Administration? Scott McClennan's What Happened offers a series of illuminating answers. While the book has received a great deal of attention, one of his principal, and most interesting, themes has been barely noticed.As McClennan describes the Bush White House, it is the very opposite of the team of rivals described in Doris Kearns Goodwin's account of Lincoln's executive branch.

Ich Bin Ein Ohioan
July 24, 2008

Even the AP seems bemused by the contrast between John McCain's latest choice of campaign venue and Barack Obama's global lovefest in Berlin. But is McCain's stagecraft really as pathetic as it seems? According to the latest Quinnipiac University polling, McCain is getting increased support in several key states--especially from men and independents. Perhaps a weiner schnitzel back home with a crusty old warrior who calls you a little jerk is a whole lot less threatening to your average American male than watching the big man on campus earth charm the pants off Old Europe?

Second to None
June 25, 2008

Though he's never been involved in national politics, the one man with the odd distinction of appearing on both Barack Obama's and John McCain's vice-presidential shortlists has more name recognition than any contender shy of Hillary Clinton. His surname festoons more than 126 offices worldwide, adorns a 24-hour cable news network, is cited in newspapers around the globe, and is credited as a producer on each night's episode of "Charlie Rose." That name--"ethnic," as he has noted, "and all the more memorable for it"--is Bloomberg.