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.
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.
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.
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.
Like many people, I've basically been sitting back and enjoying the increasingly nasty back-and-forth between Romney and Giuliani. But I want to take a brief timeout to delve into one particular facet of it: Former Massachusetts GOP chairman Jim Rappaport's recent endorsement of Giuliani (and savaging of Romney).
I think Obama has finally found an effective rejoinder to Clinton's continued attacks on his experience (or lack thereof). From an interview with ABC's "Nightline": "I think the fact of the matter is that Sen.
Over on The Stump, Mike points to a few new polls that show Hillary trailing the major GOP candidates in hypothetical head-to-head matchups. As someone who just wrote a story on the pseudoscience of electability that argued, in part, that "the case for Hillary’s electability turns out to be pretty strong," this is unwelcome news. But I think these new polls just show the bankruptcy of the whole electability argument--which was the larger point of my story.
Say what you will about Dan Rather, but I always thought it was kind of great to have someone so clearly stark-raving mad in a position that was (supposedly) vested with so much gravitas. This New York Magazine piece does a great job of capturing Rather in all his madness, including this excellent detail: The next night, Rather’s last as anchor of the CBS Evening News, he wore a T-shirt under his suit and tie that read F.E.A.—“Fuck ’em all.” Somehow, I can't imagine Charlie Gibson--a boring Fruit of the Loom guy if there ever was one--doing something like this. --Jason Zengerle
From today's big NYT article on Condi Rice and the Middle East: Ms. Rice, who had heralded the election as a symbol of the new stirrings of democracy in the Middle East, was so blindsided by the [Hamas] victory [in the Palestinian elections] that she was startled when she saw a crawl of words on her television screen while exercising on her elliptical trainer the morning after the election: “In wake of Hamas victory, Palestinian cabinet resigns.” “I thought, ‘Well, that’s not right,’” Ms. Rice recalled.