Isaac Chotiner

A Michigan/florida Solution?
March 13, 2008

Mark Halperin has the outlines of a plan currently under discussion for seating the Michigan and Florida delegations. Florida would be seated with half a vote each (netting Clinton 19 delegates) and Michigan would be split 50-50. According to Halperin, Clinton and the DNC would be happy with the proposal but Obama might not be. Call me crazy, but isn't this a fantastic deal for Obama? He puts the Florida and Michigan results behind him, and assures that he goes into the convention with a 125 pledged delegate lead. Moreover, there is no possible Clinton momentum from re-scheduled primaries.

The Best Story In Sports
March 12, 2008

It is perhaps bad form to have two sports-related posts in a row, but tonight the Houston Rockets accomplished something that has only happened twice before in NBA history: They won their 20th straight game. To win twenty games in today's NBA is no joke (there are a lot of very good teams, espcially in the Rockets' own Western Conference), but this streak is noteable for other reasons. About two weeks ago, the Rockets' second best player, Yao Ming, went down with a season-ending foot injury.

More On Obama And Florida
March 12, 2008

Josh's post below raises the interesting question of whether Obama should let the Florida delegates be seated at the convention. And, I think there is a good case to be made that he--Obama, not Josh--should.  Suppose the results from the January primary are allowed to stand. This will net Clinton 37 pledged delegates, and therefore Obama's pledged delegate lead will go from approximately 161 to 124.

Ferraro Everywhere
March 12, 2008

After Senator Clinton disavowed Geraldine Ferraro's comments about Obama and race, Ferraro proceeded to dig a little deeper by saying the Obama camp was harassing her because she was white. Surely she had become an embarassment to the Clinton campaign, I thought; we won't be seeing her much anymore. But wait, here she is on Good Morning America (according to Time's summary): Said “every time someone opens their mouth” to speak about Obama they are accused of racism. Stood by the comments, and is “absolutely not” sorry she made them.

The Latest From Florida
March 11, 2008

Interesting: Florida's congressional delegation said Tuesday it opposes holding a Democratic presidential vote by mail, and Barack Obama expressed concerns about the fairness of that option. Democratic leaders in Florida and Michigan have been considering a mail-in election to allocate delegates to the Democratic national convention between Sens. Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Spitzer, Prostitution, And Moral Wrongs
March 10, 2008

The Spitzer scandal has brought forth some articles like this very good one from Emily Bazelon on whether prostitution should be illegal. Meanwhile, Matt Yglesias opines: Whenever a politician gets caught up in a prostitution scandal, I do need to return to the fact that at the end of the day I don't really think the exchange of sex for money is serious wrongdoing in the sense that justifies criminal sanctions. One thing that I think often gets lost in these debates (whether they be over prostitution or drug legalization), is that an action can be wrong because it is illegal.

Clinton Campaign Takes Aim At Elected Delegates
March 09, 2008

Hillary Clinton in Newsweek: How can you win the nomination when the math looks so bleak for you?It doesn't look bleak at all. I have a very close race with Senator Obama. There are elected delegates, caucus delegates and superdelegates, all for different reasons, and they're all equal in their ability to cast their vote for whomever they choose. Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to. The strategy here seems completely mystifying.

Clinton V. "uncommitted"
March 09, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell avoided saying anything inappropriate on Meet The Press this morning, which must have calmed nerves in Clinton-land. Still, this comment about Clinton's "win" in Michigan, where Obama was not even on the ballot, was pretty amusing: I'm calling for a revote.  But, Tim, you run against uncommitted, that's the toughest election to win. I'd rather run against an opponent anytime than against uncommitted, and Hillary Clinton got 55 percent of the vote against uncommitted.   --Isaac Chotiner

Penn: Obama Not Ready
March 09, 2008

The Clinton campaign, and the candidate herself, have lately been hinting that Obama is not ready to be Commander-in-Chief. But I had not seen any top level Clintonite actually say so outright--until now. From exiled TNR alum Ryan Lizza's campaign report in next week's New Yorker (quoting Mark Penn): “As [voters] get more of a sense that he’s not ready to be Commander-in-Chief, a lot of Independents who were supporting him are disappearing.” That seems pretty clear! Still, you have to admire the effrontery of a campaign that can claim their oppenent: A.

Mccain Vs. The Dems
March 05, 2008

The new ABC News/WaPo poll has some interesting nuggets. Obama beats McCain by twelve, and Clinton beats McCain by six. What accounts for Obama's bigger margin? Well, men prefer him by three points to McCain, and prefer McCain by seven points to Clinton.