Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

Huckabee's Buckraking
December 27, 2007

I guess Iowans should consider themselves lucky: They get to see Mike Huckabee speak for free. A lot of other people have to pay for the privilege. That's the news from Politico, which reports that, even while he's running for president, Huckabee is still giving paid speeches (often for $25k a pop): “Unlike the members of the Senate or Congress who continue to get their paycheck and get a taxpayer-funded salary, and unlike people who are independently wealthy, if I don’t work, I don’t eat,” Huckabee told Politico on Wednesday in a phone interview from Iowa.

Biden & Bhutto
December 27, 2007

I have no real idea how--or even if--Benzair Bhutto's assassination will impact the presidential race, but it's interesting to see that the Biden campaign has just announced that its candidate will hold a press conference in Iowa in about an hour to discuss it. Biden, you may remember, boasted that he spoke to Musharraf before Bush did after the Pakistan president declared a state of emergency in November. I wonder if he'll beat Bush to Musharraf this time, too. P.S. I see that Crowley thinks the turmoil in Pakistan might benefit Hillary.

Edwards Goes In Search Of New Hampshire Voters
December 26, 2007

Nashua, New Hampshire--John Edwards thinks he has a great closing argument to win over New Hampshire voters. Now he just needs to find some to make it to.   This morning Edwards showed up in a tidy middle-class neighborhood here intent on delivering his message about fighting for the middle class and against corporate greed. The only problem was, as Edwards went house to house knocking on doors, a lot of people weren’t home.

The Krugman-obama Grudge Match Continues
December 24, 2007

Paul Krugman lays into Barack Obama this morning for Obama's criticisms of some labor 527s  supporting John Edwards: Mr. Obama has lashed out at Mr. Edwards because two 527s — independent groups that are allowed to support candidates, but are legally forbidden from coordinating directly with their campaigns — are running ads on his rival’s behalf. They are, Mr.

Meet Mccain's Id
December 24, 2007

That would be Mark Salter, McCain's longtime aide who's best known as his co-author on books like Faith of My Fathers and Worth the Fighting For. In the current campaign, one of Salter's jobs seems to be to sit on the back of the Straight Talk Express and make sure that reporters don't bait McCain into saying something nasty about Mitt Romney--whom it's pretty clear McCain can't stand.

And The Cry Went Out, 'who Lost Richardson?!'
December 21, 2007

If I'm Hillary, the biggest sign that my campaign's in trouble isn't my declining poll numbers, it's the fact that Bill Richardson is attacking me. From the NYT's Patrick Healy: MUSCATINE, Iowa — I just got a phone call — unprompted — from Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, a Democratic candidate for president, blasting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for saying she would withdraw nearly all American troops from Iraq within a year of beginning redeployment.

How Much Does The Gop Establishment Hate Huckabee?
December 21, 2007

So much that they're no longer willing to fight back against the "War on Christmas." From The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes's report on Huck in Iowa: And as he has done at each stop over the last couple days, Huckabee ended his speech this way: "I know this is probably a very controversial thing, but may I say to you, Merry Christmas!" Of course, saying "Merry Christmas" to Republicans in Iowa is hardly a risky thing to do.

Who's Winning The Drudge Primary (cont'd)?
December 21, 2007

Mark Halperin poses this riddle about Drudge's aforementioned fixation on the McCain/NYT story: Why is Drudge highlighting the McCain story, but has not touched other political hot potatoes that are swirling in the ether? Answer that, and you probably will have a better handle on who the major parties will nominate than any polling data can give you. So, despite the Obama surge and the Huckaboom, it looks like Halperin's still putting his money on Clinton and Romney. P.S. For more on Drudge's forbidden love of Hillary, read Phlip Weiss's NYMag profile.  --Jason Zengerle 

Who's Winning The Drudge Primary?
December 20, 2007

Earlier I did a post about how the McCain campaign appears to be hoping the New Hampshire AG will find the Romney campaign guilty of some dirty tricks. Now, just as McCain is pulling closer to Romney in New Hampshire, I see that Drudge is pimping a story about how McCain's said to be fighting tooth and nail to kill a damaging NYT story about him and some favors he supposedly did for a lobbyist. It's interesting that this showed up on Drudge.

Mccain-giuliani '08?
December 20, 2007

The Weekly Standard's Mike Murphy Richelieu spins out a fairly unconvincing (to me at least) scenario by which McCain captures the Republican nomination. But he does go on to raise one very intriguing possibility: Rudy could be more than a mere spectator in all of this. Here is a farfetched but not impossible scenario you can use to wow your friends at cocktail parties: Rudy continues to drop in the polls. His campaign is indeed broke. The media continue to hammer him on ethics. He finishes a dismal fifth or even sixth in Iowa. Polls show him third or worse in New Hampshire.