James Kirchick

William F. Buckley Jr. died this morning at the age of 82.  While liberalism was his favorite target, liberals could not find a more gracious intellectual opponent than WFB. He disarmed even the most radical activists.

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I guess the only defense that Ron Paul supporters had in regards to his ugly newsletters was that they were published in the 1980's and 1990's. Wonder how they explain this: --James Kirchick

The New York Times yesterday published a piece on Barack Obama's increasing "cockiness" on the campaign trail now that he has all but sewn up the Democratic nomination. Obama has certainly had a charmed career, due largely to a string of incompenent opponents that made his winning a U.S. Senate seat rather easy. His meteoric rise and fawning press coverage has endowed him with an arrogance which is becoming all too apparent.

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Noam has a post up over at the Stump about Ben Smith's Friday story in the Politico about Barack Obama's affiliation with William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, one-time members of the radical, left-wing terrorist group, The Weathermen. I agree with Noam that -- at face value, at least -- Obama's encounters with this couple are not in any way indicative of his political beliefs, that he's some sort of closet, left-wing, pro-terrorist Manchurian Candidate.

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What Story?

So here's the essence of the Times' 3,000-word "bombshell" on John McCain. John Weaver, whom McCain fired last summer (indentified in the Times piece as  "now an informal campaign adviser" to McCain, which sounds like a puffed-up euphemism for "unemployed") says that 8 years ago, he and two other former employees who have since "become disillusioned" (read: disgruntled), suspected that McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist.

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Michelle Obama's Pride

I'm a little late in getting to this, and I'm sorry to spoil the Obamamania tonight, but Michelle Obama said a remarkable thing on Monday: At a midday event on Monday in Milwaukee, Obama said, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback." A few hours later in Madison, she made a similar point, although with some adjustments to her language: "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country -- not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.

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Howie Kurtz is the capitol's -- no, the country's -- authoritative commentator on contemporary political journalism.  In this morning's Washington Post, he has published a column on poor Hillary's travails (which are plenty) and especially her travails with the people covering her campaign or commenting on it. He accurately calls this article "It's All Uphill From Here." Kurtz includes my Spine, "The End of BillaryLand Is On Its Way.

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In April 2005, when President Bush decided to transfer Zalmay Khalilzad from Afghanistan to Iraq, Afghan President Hamid Karzai complained. The Afghan-born Khalilzad had been serving as U.S. ambassador to his native country, and his relationship with Karzai--which dated back to the late 1990s, when both men advised the U.S. oil company Unocal on the construction of a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline--was strong.

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A key component of Hillary Clinton's campaign message is that she would be tougher on foreign policy than Barack Obama. She has spent a lifetime constructing this hawkish image (see Mike's excellent piece from last year on the formation of Hillary's views on the exercise of American power), in full knowledge that she would have to neutralize fears of her being a radical peacenik if she ever wished to make a serious run for president.

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Per Chris' post below on the shameless and Orwellian (though hardly surprising) efforts of the Clinton campaign to refer to super-delegates as "automatic delegates," Ted Bromund has an interesting piece tracing the history of these all too powerful delegates and the reason for their existence: to protect the party from itself.

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