Isaac Chotiner

Rove On Obama As Veep
April 02, 2008

Noam has an excerpt from that interesting GQ interview with Karl Rove: What do you make of this whole thing where Hillary was talking him up as a vice president and he came back saying, "Wait a minute, I'm winning—why are you asking me to be your number two?"Very calculating on the part of the Clintons, and a mistake for him on his part. Why?Because they wanted him to get down to their level. They want him to look like, you know, not the golden inspiring figure but instead, you know, like an average ordinary pol who's got three years in the United States Senate. So they lay it out there.

But What Happened To Rocky?
April 01, 2008

The news of the day is that Hillary Clinton is comparing herself to Rocky Balboa. As she said this morning: “Let me tell you something, when it comes to finishing the fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit. I never give up. And neither do the American people.” And the campaign even has a new theme song (take a wild guess). Now, it's true that Rocky went all fifteen rounds against the fearsome Apollo Creed, but is it worth mentioning that, in the end, Rocky lost? P.S. A colleague opines: She should be analogizing herself to Paulie. That's the real white working class cred.

Worst Prediction Of The Century (so Far!)
April 01, 2008

Courtesy of affirmative action opponent Ward Connerly, as quoted in Dahlia Lithwick's Slate piece on Barack Obama and racial preferences: Affirmative action, says Connerly, "is probably the most difficult race issue [Obama] will have to face." If the candidate denounces affirmative action [in the general election], Connerly predicts, "his support among blacks will plummet from around 80 to 50 percent." That's right: Should Obama take the same position on affirmative action as John McCain, they will evenly split the black vote. --Isaac Chotiner 

Trouble In Pennsylvania?
April 01, 2008

Yes, it's just one poll, but Rasmussen today has Clinton up only five points in Pennsylvania, 47%-42%. A week ago it was ten points, two weeks ago it was thirteen points, and three weeks ago it was fifteen points. --Isaac Chotiner 

How To Flirt In India
March 31, 2008

It's easy, apparently. According to The New York Times, a wave of romantic text messages is cresting over the subcontinent: Text messages have become an integral part of courtships in many countries. But the short messaging service, or SMS, is proving particularly revolutionary in India, where it is paving a way for the young to maneuver around deep-rooted barriers to premarital mingling. I am not sure this strategy is best, however:  If a woman shows interest, Mr.

Why Hillary Should Take The Huckabee Route
March 30, 2008

On Meet The Press this morning, David Brooks said this: I think she should slow down the campaign, run what Mike Huckabee ran, a dignified campaign, not attacking her opponents, go through North Carolina and then get out.  She really has very little opportunity to win.  The Jeremiah Wright thing was big, the big scandal, the biggest thing Barack Obama's faced really in months.  It didn't hurt him.  We now have the polling results from poll after poll.  It's clear it didn't hurt him.  The voters were not shaken off him.  The--Michigan and Florida are not going to revote, the superdelegates are

Sexism, Real And Perceived
March 29, 2008

If you find yourself dutifully trudging through The Wall Street Journal's front page story on Clinton's female supporters--many of whom are concerned that the New York senator's campaign is going to end up setting back the cause of female equality--you may be forced to sit upright and shake your head upon reading this: Heather Arnet, a Clinton supporter who runs a Pittsburgh organization that lobbies for more women on public commissions and corporate boards, recently surveyed the Internet and found more than 50 anti-Hillary Clinton sites on Facebook.

Casey For Vp?
March 29, 2008

Noam makes the case here. I don't disagree with any of his arguments, but I think the possibility of an Obama-Casey ticket is still close to zero. And that's because--it must be said--Casey seems so completely out of his depth. Political junkies may remember that in 2006 Casey destroyed Rick Santorum in a Pennsylvania senate race noteable for its nastiness.

Making A (very Poor) Case For Abstinence
March 28, 2008

If you are an abstinence advocate--a college student, perhaps, intent on encouraging your peers to put off sex until marriage--you may find yourself in an unfortunate catch-22.  Let's say a New York Times Magazine reporter approaches you and wants to write a story about your cause (the NYT Mag seems to have at least one such piece a year). And of course you want to publicize your activism.

A Heartening Development In India
March 28, 2008

Six years ago, in the Indian state of Gujarat, as many as 2000 people were killed in Hindu-Muslim violence. It all started when a train carrying hundreds of Hindus caught fire, probably by accident. But thanks to a nationalist government intent on stoking sectarian anger, riots began and--over the course of many months--Gujarati Muslims were raped and killed in huge numbers.