Matt Yglesias writes: I won't even pretend to be appalled by Clinton's cynicism -- the disenfranchisement gambit and all the rest -- because, frankly, the idea that Clinton would use dishonest political tactics to beat the GOP is, in my view, probably the most appealing thing about her. I assume this is meant partially in jest, so there's no need to get all high-minded, but I still think there is an important point here that Matt analyzes incorrectly.
Given that cable news and the internet are abuzz with talk of Robert Johnson's despicable allusions to Obama's teenage drug use, I was curious to see what Clinton surrogates would be saying about the matter. And, sure enough, Chris Matthews had Sheila Jackson Lee, an African-American Congresswoman from Texas, on to talk about the campaign (she's a big Clinton supporter). Anyway, Matthews asked her what she thought about the comments. She conspiculously did not even try to address the question, instead blathering on about Hillary's heart.
From this morning's Times: Top Giuliani Aides Forgo Salaries. From this morning's Post: Yesterday, Giuliani's campaign revealed that top aides are working without pay to save money, an indication that donors are growing restless as they watch the candidate finish repeatedly near the bottom of the GOP pack. From Matthew Continetti in The Weekly Standard: The Giuliani Implosion: From frontrunner to also-ran in eight short weeks. Has the campaign stopped giving Continetti a salary?! Is this the result? Say it ain't so... --Isaac Chotiner
You should read Ryan Lizza's summary/analysis of the Clinton/Obama contest, especially the later paragraphs which detail Clinton's cynical "Hispanic Strategy." Also, Ryan somehow got Sergio Bendixen, a top Clinton pollster, to open up: When I asked Bendixen about the source of Clinton’s strength in the Hispanic community, he mentioned her support for health care, and Hispanic voters’ affinity for the Clinton era. “It’s one group where going back to the past really works,” he said.
The film adaptation of English writer Ian McEwan’s prize-winning novel Atonement opened last month to widespread critical acclaim. Winners of the Golden Globes will be announced this weekend, and Atonement sits on top of the field, with the most nominationsof any film. Isaac Chotiner spoke with McEwan about letting go, growing up, and why atheists need to speak out. Was it hard to watch Atonement be adapted to film by other people? Did you feel possessive? I’m fairly used to the process. I think this is the fifth or sixth of my stories or novels that have been made into films.
In honor of Jon Chait, I thought I would call readers' attention to the lead editorial in Friday's Wall Street Journal. Jon has for many years noticed that the paper enjoys putting quotation marks around words it doesn't like, even when completely inappropriate (as in, 'people say the "deficit" is too big'). Now, however, they seem to simply be placing quotation marks around words for no particular reason at all.
With Kerry getting all the headlines, it's worth noting that California Congressman George Miller also endorsed Obama today. And, as Chuck Todd notes, "This is perhaps the closest thing to getting a Nancy Pelosi endorsement as you can come without actually getting it." That's because Miller is probably closer to Pelosi than anyone in Congress. It will be interesting to watch the Speaker in the days leading up to the California primary. (Full disclosure: I used to intern for Miller) --Isaac Chotiner
I can't help but feel a bit of schadenfreude at the dismal showing of Ron Paul in last night's New Hampshire primary. He received about nine percent of the vote, good enough for fifth place. Interestingly, the warm feeling I am getting does not have much to do with the fact that Paul is worse than a kook (you should click and read Jamie's piece). Rather, it is always satisfying to see a libertarian candidate crash and burn--something which forces libertarians to face the reality that their philosophy has almost no appeal.
From the WaPost: The New Hampshire ballot rules may also have played a role. In previous contests, the state rotated candidate names from precinct to precinct, but this year the names were consistently in alphabetical order, with Clinton near the top and Obama lower down. Stanford professor Jon A. Krosnick, a survey specialist, has estimated the impact of appearing high on the New Hampshire ballot at three percentage points or greater. I have no reason--other than patriotism(!)--to think this isn't true!
She is delivering it more smoothly than I have seen her deliver a speech in a long, long time. There is more emotion in her voice and she seems very sincere. She is also not-so-subtly referencing her teary moment from yesterday. Slightly grating, to be sure, but probably just as effective as yesterday's big moment turned out to be. P.S. Even in defeat, Obama's speech was spectacular. --Isaac Chotiner