Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

Is Obama Really More 'electable' Than Hillary?
December 03, 2007

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.

November 30, 2007

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?
November 29, 2007

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?
November 29, 2007

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!
November 28, 2007

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.

Who Needs Drudge (cont'd)?
November 28, 2007

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?
November 27, 2007

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.

This Time It's Personal
November 27, 2007

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).

Are You Experienced?
November 27, 2007

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.

Houston, I Have A Problem
November 26, 2007

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.