David Greenberg writes: Despite what you may have heard, there is nothing slow or delayed about Hillary Clinton's decision to wait until Saturday to formally concede the Democratic nomination--at least as a historical matter. He then goes on to provide historical examples of Democrats waiting to concede. The problem is that these examples are beside the point. A few comments: 1. I don't know the exact circumstances surrounding the examples Greenberg mentions, but I am not sure exactly what he is arguing. Were the examples he cites bad for Democratic Party unity?
I had coffee today with two foreigners who were excited by Barack Obama's victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. One of them had spent a couple of years living here in America, while the other had only visited a few times. Both were pleasantly surprised that--given the prevalence of racism in this country--a black man was now the odds-on favorite to win the presidency. Neither could quite grasp how this could be so, and the reason for that, I think, is that both of them were incorrectly evaluating the American scene.
Maybe Clinton will endorse Obama tomorrow, in which case this post will be moot, but her speech tonight has been combative and petty (mentioning the states she won, saying the primaries ended in South Dakota, not Montana, claiming a popular vote win), with scant praise for the Democratic nominee. If Clinton wants people to believe that she cares more about the Democratic Party than her own career, she is failing badly. --Isaac Chotiner
Excerpt here. Interestingly, he is presenting Obama as a tool of special interests. I've always thought the problem with certain McCain speeches--this one included--is that he seems so unenthused when giving them. He keeps repeating the line, "That's not change we can believe in," but his tone and smile suggest that he finds the line to be, well, somewhat lame. That being said, there is no denying the contempt he has for Obama's talk of shaking up Washington. --Isaac Chotiner
The best line from the NYT's excellent front page piece on media control in Putin's Medvedev's Russia: Senior government officials deny the existence of a stop list, saying that people hostile to the Kremlin do not appear on TV simply because their views are not newsworthy. --Isaac Chotiner
Ambinder looks for hints--and notices a few. --Isaac Chotiner
Maybe Mike is right, and we shouldn't be blogging rumors about Bill Clinton's sex life. But, as long as his wife decides to continue her quest for the Democratic nomination, we should do her the honor of taking her at her word--and thus act as if she has some chance to actually win. And if we do so, Bill Clinton's personal life and the media's treatment of that personal life, are worthy of discussion (and, if you are a Democrat, concern).
Tood Purdum's Vanity Fair profile of Bill Clinton has all sorts of good stuff, but this anecdote is particularly enjoyable: Less amusingly, in the run-up to the 1996 re-election campaign, when Clinton took one of his many fund-raising trips to California, I teasingly asked his press secretary, Mike McCurry, whether the president intended to go jogging with Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of the former vice president—as he had on a previous trip—after he was spotted with her (and Barbra Streisand) in the wee hours of the morning.
Mike has an excerpt from Geraldine Ferraro's op-ed in The Boston Globe. Here is the part I found interesting: As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist.
Why don't things like this happen at book festivals in America? Where's the excitement in our literary lives? --Isaac Chotiner