In China, a perennial T.V. favorite is the “rear palace” costume drama, depicting the conspiratorial high politics of bygone dynasties. An analogous kind of half-concealed theatre seems to be taking place today, not behind the sequestered walls of the imperial palace, but in the Chinese Communist Party’s headquarters at Zhongnanhai.
High oil prices have given Republicans the opportunity to do some Obama-bashing on energy.
Mitt Romney is not what you could call a man of the people—that is, if by “the people” you mean the voters he meets on the campaign trail. (The one-percent types he rubs shoulders with at dinner parties are a different story.) Much has been made of how out-of-touch Romney is with the middle-class Americans he is trying to win over. For some reason, we can’t help but recall that he’s the son of a governor, that he went to Harvard, and that he is fantastically rich. But his social troubles go beyond making gaffes in public: His attempts at small talk come off no less alien.