Isaac Chotiner

I'll try and muster the will to write more later about Emily Gould's New York Times Magazine cover story (!) on her life before, during, and after working for Gawker, but suffice it to say that not since Russell Crowe went on 'The Late Show to "apologize" for his phone-throwing incident, has a public apology for past behavior seemed so insincere (not to mention solipsistic). As a side note, always beware of people setting out on "new beginnings" not because of a realization that they have caused other people pain, but rather because they themselves started to feel inconvenienced. --Isaac Choti


Jon Chait's post below does a good job of summarizing Hillary Clinton's disgraceful posturing over Florida. I tuned into Hardball today to find Chris Matthews playing a clip of Senator Clinton talking about Florida, and it was preceded by Barack Obama saying this: We are at the threshold of being able to obtain this nomination. But I know that this has been a long contest, and so there are people who are concerned that, golly, you know, the Clinton people might not vote for the Obama people. The Obama people are mad at the Clinton people. Maybe they`re going to be divided.


As if his main goal in life is to make Jon Chait's blog posts even more topical, Joe Lieberman decided to pen an op-ed in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal. There's nothing in the piece that you have not read before (Democrats used to be strong, but now are weak; John McCain hates terrorism; Lieberman's more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone), but he does make a point about John F. Kennedy that is worth exploring.


Kudos to Michael Slackman for his superb New York Times story today on Saudi Arabian youths (male youths, to be exact). The piece starts with a Tom Friedman-esque anecdote about a young Saudi trying to get a girl's phone number, and the reader is reasonably certain that what follows will be a heartwarming tale about how kids in every culture are basically the same, and how the next generation of liberals will do away with the desert kingdom's oppressive regime. Alas (for Saudi Arabia, if not the reader), Slackman's story goes in a completely different direction.


John C. Hulsman and A. Wess Mitchell have a fun and smart article in The National Interest comparing the Corleone family's response to the attempted assassination of Vito to America's response to 9/11. Tom Hagen counsels prudence and negotiation, and therefore represents the "liberal institutionalism" of the Democratic Party. Sonny Corleone wants vengeance and conflict, and thus represents today's neocons. And then there is Michael, the realist, who saves the Corleone family, and also presents a good model for the United States to follow in the post-9/11 world.


Courtesy of Bill Kristol, who really, really loves the surge:  [McCain should] calm down and spend much more time studying up on the economy especially, and come out with a really big conservative reformist agenda which could include the economy, institutional reform.He could say, "Look, I was a great proponent of the surge. What was the surge about? It was Dave Petraeus changing the way the U.S. military works, and it worked. It succeeded. Why can't we do this for the rest of the U.S. government? Lots of the U.S. government is broken.


Crowley has the McCain/O'Reilly transcript where the senator denies voting against Bush in 2000 here. And Mike notes that either McCain or Arianna Huffington is lying. According to Mickey Kaus' math, it is actually now 4 people who say they heard McCain make the comment. Even better than the transcript, however, is the video itself. Not only does McCain make a (Freudian?) slip, but he seems, er, unconvincing. The time counts down from around 7 minutes. The crucial section starts with about 1:10 remaining. You can wtach it here.  --Isaac Chotiner

Over at The Stump, Mike asks: If Hillary thinks white Americans won't elect a black president, is it so transgressive for her to say it out loud? Generally speaking, one should not get in trouble for stating what they believe to be the truth. But it's a matter of context. Clinton is saying this about the man who is going to be the Democratic nominee for President; these comments are not happening in a vaccum. And if she really cares about electing a Democrat in November, she probably should not be saying such things.  --Isaac Chotiner 

Race, Again

We'll see what happens tomorrow, but this may indeed become a big story (from a USA Today interview): Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Wednesday to continue her quest for the Democratic nomination, arguing she would be the stronger nominee because she appeals to a wider coalition of voters — including whites who have not supported Barack Obama in recent contests. "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen.


If indeed the gas tax issue hurt Clinton in Indiana, there is something nice about the fact that pandering--whether over the gas tax in Indiana on Clinton's part, or over NAFTA in Ohio on Obama's part--has boomeranged. --Isaac Chotiner