Isaac Chotiner

Taking On Mccain In Pennsylvania
February 17, 2008

The Clinton campaign's argument that Hillary does better than Barack in big states, especially big swing states, is completely moot if polls like this are even remotely accurate: Pennsylvania: Obama 49, McCain 39...McCain 44, Clinton 42  --Isaac Chotiner 

Kosovo Declares Independence!
February 17, 2008

There will surely be lots of interesting commentary on Kosovo declaring independence from Serbia, but in the meantime I found this story in Saturday's New York Times fascinating. As the Times' brilliant Russia correspondent, C.J. Chivers, reports: Russia held a high-level meeting with the leaders of two breakaway republics in Georgia on Friday, and vowed to increase its support for the separatists if Kosovo declared its independence and was recognized by the West.

The Endlessly Compelling Sarkozy
February 16, 2008

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

Why The Media Does Not Like Clinton
February 16, 2008

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.

Assigning The Clinton Campaign Too Much Blame
February 14, 2008

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.

Indiana Jones Is Back!
February 14, 2008

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 

Quote Of The Day--bill Clinton Edition
February 14, 2008

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 

The Problem With Political Betting Markets
February 14, 2008

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!
February 12, 2008

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.

The Clinton Campaign Sets Expectations Very High
February 12, 2008

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?

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