Jason Zengerle

Senior Editor

Mike reminds me of a funny moment I failed to mention from the McCain-Schilling event: Standing in the back of the auditorium at McCain's event this evening was a global warming activist in an elaborate snowman costume, complete with red scarf and long carrot nose. During the question-and-answer period, McCain actually called on the guy--although McCain somehow initially thought the snowman was a chicken. You sorta had to be there.  But then Mike leaves out the next part.


Manchester, New Hampshire -- I know that over on his fancypants blog Mike already promised you details of the John McCain-Curt Schilling confab. But since we both wound up at the same event, Mike's graciously decided to throw the Plank a bone and has allowed me to do the honors. If McCain wants to go from second to first in the New Hampshire polls, he might want to consider bringing Schilling along with him to every campaign stop.


It goes back to his grade school years!


Frank Rich certainly thinks so. Andrew Sullivan does, too. As for me, I'm not so sure. The crux of Rich's argument seems to be that Obama (unlike Clinton) disarms conservatives--pointing to the kind words people like Peggy Noonan and Rich Lowry have had for him--and that Obama's race would actually be an advantage in a general election campaign, in that it would prompt the GOP to engage in their cynical brand of racial politics, which in turn would drive white swing voters into the Democrats' corner. I hope those two things are true, but color me unconvinced for the moment.



In case you aren't near a TV, there's a hostage situation at Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign office. WMUR seems to have the most frequently updated online coverage. --Jason Zengerle 

1976 All Over Again?

Ross Douthat makes a smart point that up until now I haven't seen anyone else make: It's interesting that the Huck's rise coincides with Rich Lowry's provocative piece in the latest NR comparing Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter. As far as their skimpy resumes and "too good for politics" political styles go, the Lowry parallel is persuasive.


How Popular Is Powell?

Hillary Clinton's Colin Powell gambit is being blasted by a bunch of liberal bloggers. Here's a fairly representative critique from Matthew Yglesias: [I]f Clinton's looking to assuage people's doubts about her foreign policy judgment, this seems like a terrible way to do it. A lot of Clinton's pro-invasion advisors are too obscure for most people to recognize. But Powell was the public face of the Iraq sales pitch.


Bawk! Bawk!

I remember thinking that Noam was wrong to accuse Rudy Giuliani of "chicken[ing] out" in his aborted 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton. After all, Rudy dropped out of the race after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Is that the same thing as chickening out? Well, maybe it is. From today's NYT article on the Senate race that wasn't: In announcing his withdrawal from the race to succeed Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, Mr. Giuliani said he wanted to turn his attention to fighting his cancer.


Is there a Democratic sex "scandal"--no matter how bogus--that Mickey Kaus won't promote? Today he's plugging (albeit in a somewhat passive aggressive fashion) the ridiculous rumor that Hillary Clinton is the lesbian lover of her aide Huma Abedin. Here's my favorite bit of Kausian sophistry: Let's assume what is likely to be the case--that the Huma rumor is a) unprovable if true and b) un-disprovable if untrue. Under the old rules that means it would never be proved and would probably never surface.


Powell In '08?

The NYT political blog reports that Hillary Clinton put some meat on the bones of her oft-stated pledge to tap both Democratic and Republican statesmen as diplomats should she become president: While Mrs. Clinton has pointed to her husband as an emissary, it has been unclear for some time which Republicans she had in mind.