If you are looking for an interesting glimpse into the character of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, you could do a lot worse than Saturday's New York Times story on the teaching of the Holocaust in French schools: President Nicolas Sarkozy dropped an intellectual bombshell this week, surprising the nation and touching off waves of protest with his revision of the school curriculum: beginning next fall, he said, every fifth grader will have to learn the life story of one of the 11,000 French children killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. “Nothing is more moving, for a child, than the story o
John Heilemann's insightful column in New York magazine this week does a very good job of explaining how Barack Obama has managed to garner more favorable press coverage than Hillary Clinton. Heilemann notes some of the more obvious reasons (the media likes Obama more, northeastern liberals want a black president, etc.) and then gets to the crux of his argument: All these theories contain at least some truth, but it’s the last one that edges closest to what I think has actually gone on.
All the major papers had big articles today on the trouble in Hillaryland, but I think one of the criticisms leveled at the Clintonites is unfair. From the excellent Times piece on the subject: The answers go to the heart of Mrs. Clinton’s current political challenge. She and her team showered so much money, attention and other resources on Iowa, New Hampshire and some of the 22-state nominating contests on Feb. 5 that they have been caught flat-footed — or worse — in the critical contests that followed, her political advisers said.
This is really Chris' turf, but I must admit that, despite having made my share of jokes about the 104-year-old Harrison Ford's return to his greatest role, I had trouble supressing a lump in my throat after seeing this. On the same subject, it's worth checking out last month's Vanity Fair cover story on the making of the movie. The article serves as undeniable proof that George Lucas, seemingly not content with ruining Star Wars, will stop at nothing to destroy another movie series. --Isaac Chotiner
Former president, and man who receives hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech of the people Bill Clinton: "The caucuses aren't good for [Hillary]. They disproportionately favor upper-income voters who, who, don't really need a president but feel like they need a change." --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.
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?