Isaac Chotiner

Rhythm
September 04, 2008

McCain did well enough handling the protesters, but the speech seems to really lack any sense of rhythm and cohesion. Crowley is right, too. --Isaac Chotiner 

Another Bright Green Background?
September 04, 2008

Really? On this viewer's television, at least, it comes close to burning the retina.  --Isaac Chotiner 

Obama Going On Fox Thursday Night
September 02, 2008

There are reports out that Barack Obama will go on The O'Reilly Factor Thursday to steal some headlines from John McCain (Fox News is sure to have a huge, huge audience that night). Basically I think this is a smart move on the part of the Obama campaign, with one caveat. Anyone who has seen O'Reilly's show over the past six months can attest to two truths: First, O'Reilly has been kinder to Obama than one would have expected, and second, O'Reilly has been obsessed with getting Obama to come on the show.

The TNR Q&A: Charles Barkley
September 01, 2008

With the political season kicking into high gear, it seemed like the right time for another chat with Sir Charles Barkley. Over the past year, he has been a vocal and active Barack Obama supporter, so we decided to talk to him about that, as well as the Democratic convention, his own future in politics, and his distressingly Luddite tendencies.   Have you been hanging out with Barack at all? Not lately. He’s busy. I talk to him, though. And obviously I wanted to be in Denver [for the DNC].

Question Of The Day: Will A One-term Pledge Help Mccain?
August 12, 2008

McCain staffers are hinting that the senator may take a one-term pledge at the GOP convention next month (Mike has the transcript of an interesting Rick Davis/Chris Wallace exchange here).  And now, via Andrew Sullivan, I see that the Anonymous Liberal is speculating on what such a move would mean: But if McCain uses his speech to make a one term pledge, that's all anyone will talk about for days. It will trigger an orgy of adulatory press coverage for McCain.

Why Famous Men Keep Having Affairs
August 10, 2008

Maureen Dowd's column today on the John Edwards scandal reminded me of a pet peeve I have. Dowd writes: Still, it’s bizarre the way these pols spend millions getting their faces plastered everywhere and then think they can do something in secret. “Yeah, I didn’t think anyone would ever know about it, I didn’t,” Edwards said. You hear this sort of thing a lot: Why do people cheat when they are so likely to get caught? In a similar vein, why do politicans commit illegal or corrupt acts while the memory of Watergate is on everyone's mind?

Edwards Admits To Affair
August 08, 2008

According to ABC News, John Edwards has admitted to a long-rumored affair with Rielle Hunter, a filmmaker he met in 2006. Apparently the Edwards family also became aware of the affair that year. This is a tricky story to write about, and since no one has any idea about the Edwards' marriage, there is not too much to say (other than, per Marc Ambinder's item, we can expect a rather raucous welcome for Elizabeth when she speaks in Denver this month).

The Clinton Soap Opera Continues
August 08, 2008

When asked by ABC News last week whether Barack Obama was ready to be president, Bill Clinton answered that, well, no one is ever really ready to be president. (As Jon Stewart helpfully reminded his audience last night, the former president, in his notorious interview with Charlie Rose last December, had praised Joe Biden and other rivals of his wife for unquestionably being prepared to become commander-in-chief).  Meanwhile, a few days prior to her husband's none-too-generous words for the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton met with supporters in California.

A School's Place In The Community
August 03, 2008

In the August/September issue of Policy Review, Stanley Fish has a long essay explaining why teachers should not strive to "fashion moral character or produce citizens of a certain temper." Instead, the goal of educators should be to "equip those same students with the analytical skills — of argument, statistical modeling, laboratory procedure — that will enable them to move confidently within those traditions and to engage in independent research after a course is over." Fish is much more concerned by classroom advocacy than seems warranted (although admittedly he probably has his ear pretty

Stop The Presses: Obama Is Black!
August 02, 2008

Stanley Kurtz, classy as ever, has the following critical appraisal of Barack Obama's Chicago days in this week's Weekly Standard: Any rounded treatment of Obama's early political career has got to give prominence to the issue of race. Obama has recently made efforts to preemptively blunt discussion of the race issue, warning that his critics will highlight the fact that he is African American.

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