Isaac Chotiner

Should Kosovo Be Independent?
February 27, 2008

In The New York Times today, Serbia's foreign minister has an op-ed on Kosovo's independence. Here's the key section: The case against recognition is based not only on the Security Council’s 1999 resolution reaffirming Serbia’s sovereignty over Kosovo, but also founded on the view that the international system has, as a result of this hostile act by the Kosovo Albanians, become more unstable, more insecure and more unpredictable. Here’s why. Recognizing the unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence from Serbia legitimizes the doctrine of imposing solutions to ethnic conflicts.

February 26, 2008

Readers can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that for the first time Clinton just apologized for her Iraq war vote. She has parsed this issue before, but tonight's answer seemed somehow different. If so, it is very interesting that she waited until now. ("Interesting" is a euphemism...) Update: Here is what she said: Well, obviously, I've said many times that, although my vote on the 2002 authorization regarding Iraq was a sincere vote, I would not have voted that way again.

Clinton's Best Moment Not Really Hers?
February 21, 2008

The Obama campaign wasted no time in sending out an email that claims Clinton's best moment of the night was plagiarized from John Edwards. Clinton: “You know, whatever happens, we're going to be fine.

Debate Round-up
February 21, 2008

I think Marc Ambinder, the Fox News focus group, and all the television analysis is basically correct: Obama had a very good debate and kept his momentum despite Clinton's marvelous final answer. I would just add that there were a couple of moments where Obama's cockiness was extremely off-putting. His comment about "very good" speeches was tonally wrong, and he needs to stop saying "I was right" about matters of foreign policy (especially when the subject is murky questions like what to do about Pakistan).

A Bad Debate Audience
February 21, 2008

Can't CNN tell the audience to stop clapping? Neither candidate can mention the current president or his administration without getting enthusiastic applause. Similarly, Obama just said he wants everyone in America to prosper, which drew sustained cheering.  --Isaac Chotiner

The Latest Numbers
February 21, 2008

The new ABC News/WaPo poll has Clinton ahead of Obama by 7 in Ohio and 1 in Texas. She had double-digit leads in both states last week. Meanwhile, Rasmussen has Clinton up three in Texas (last week he had the New York senator up 16). The most interesting internal from the WaPo survey is that Texas voters are one-and-a-half times more likely to say that health care, as opposed to the economy, is the most important issue facing the country (needless to say, this is not the case in Ohio). --Isaac Chotiner 

The Mccain Story
February 20, 2008

In a piece that reads as if a lot of stuff was edited out, these grafs are particularly important: Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her. “Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr.

Getting Rough
February 19, 2008

Clinton speaks, and says nothing about Obama's big Wisconsin win. Obama then starts speaking well before Clinton is done with her speech. Etiquette is out the window--and that Thursday night debate should be pretty interesting. --Isaac Chotiner 

February 19, 2008

MSNBC calls it for Barack. --Isaac Chotiner 

Tidbits From The Exit Polls
February 19, 2008

34% of voters thought Obama attacked Clinton unfairly. 54% thought Clinton attacked Obama unfairly. That, combined with the fact that Obama won late deciders fairly handily, suggests that the Clinton campaign's plagiarism attack may not have worked. --Isaac Chotiner