Isaac Chotiner

Political junkies should check out the always excellent David Leonhardt's NYT piece on the political betting markets. Leonhardt accurately notes the main problem with the markets, which is that they give long-shots too much of a chance: Mr. Ravitch has made a nice profit betting against Ron Paul, the libertarian who late last year was, amazingly, given almost a 10 percent chance of becoming the Republican nominee. “If you asked anyone in politics whether there was ever, at any point, a 10 percent chance of Ron Paul being the nominee,” Mr. Ravitch said, without finishing the sentence.


Derbyshire On Obama!

Over at The Corner, the delightfully insane John Derbyshire has been kind enough to share his thoughts on Barack Obama's candidacy:  And then there is the matter of ethnic triumphalism, which is shifting and murmuring in the background of Obama's campaign. Be interesting to get Obama's opinion on, for example, Justice Thurgood Marshall's remark to his colleagues in the Bakke case, that, "You guys have been practicing discrimination for years.


I know I am late getting to this, but one thing in that big Times story on the Clinton campaign today seemed worth noting: “She has to win both Ohio and Texas comfortably, or she’s out,” said one superdelegate who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment. “The campaign is starting to come to terms with that.” Campaign advisers, also speaking privately in order to speak plainly, confirmed this view. The key word here is "comfortably." Why is the campaign saying this, even anonymously?


Paul Krugman's shockingly incoherent column today, 'Hate Springs Eternal,' begins by darkly referencing the Nixon years: The quote comes from “Nixonland,” a soon-to-be-published political history of the years from 1964 to 1972 written by Rick Perlstein, the author of “Before the Storm.” As Mr. Perlstein shows, Stevenson warned in vain: during those years America did indeed become the land of slander and scare, of the politics of hatred. And it still is. In fact, these days even the Democratic Party seems to be turning into Nixonland. Oh dear--that sounds bad.


When Chris Wallace sits down for a not-quite-Valentine's Day love fest with President Bush, you can be sure there will be some fun moments. This one caught my eye: WALLACE: How does [McCain] overcome all of that and... BUSH: Because there's two big issues. One is, who's going to keep your taxes low?


Real Clear Politics has a handy page displaying all the Obama-McCain and Clinton-McCain polls. In the past two weeks, seven different organizations have polled the races and on average Obama beats McCain by 3.2%, while Clinton loses to the Arizona senator by 2%. Not a single polls has Clinton doing as well as Obama. Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal--after all, most people don't obsessively read polling data. But this year's race might be different.


Asian Alienation

Anyone who has been watching or reading coverage of the Super Tuesday results has heard about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's success with Latino voters. In California, the day’s biggest prize, Clinton beat Barack Obama by a margin of 67 percent to 32 percent. While her edge was smaller in other states, including New Mexico and Arizona, Clinton's achievement with Latinos helped offset Obama's overwhelming win with African Americans and his gains among white voters, particularly men, since South Carolina.


Weirdest. Thing. Ever.

Yes, this has been a strange election. McCain came back from the brink, Hillary and Barack are, absurdly, still neck-and-neck after Super Tuesday, and we could actually have a brokered convention. But, while everyone has been focused on politics, what is surely the most bizarre NBA trade of the decade appears to be on the verge of happening. If sports fan can think of a trade in any sport that rivals this one in the weirdness department, feel free to share it with us in the comments section. --Isaac Chotiner 


Chuck Todd just broke it down on MSNBC in an extremely helpful way. He had Obama winning four more delegates than Hillary (out of 1700!). Wow. A real split decision. P.S. One thing to keep in mind, now that this thing has a real chance of going all the way to the convention: watch those head-to-head polls. If either Hillary or Obama looks a lot stronger against McCain as the year progresses (right now Obama looks about 4 points better, on average), those superdelegates might feel moved to follow the numbers. --Isaac Chotiner 

Missouri For Obama

According to MSNBC. --Isaac Chotiner