Jason Zengerle

Senior Editor

Are You Experienced?

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.


Top This, Ron Burgundy

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.


Oh lord. John Fund floats a trial balloon for a Lou Dobbs presidential bid: Friends of Mr. Dobbs say he is seriously contemplating a race for the first time, although it's still unlikely. They spin a scenario under which the acerbic commentator would parachute into the race if Michael Bloomberg, the New York billionaire and favorite of East Coast elites, enters the field as an independent. With Hillary Clinton continuing to score badly in polls in the categories of honesty and integrity, and with the public's many doubts about Rudy Giuliani and other GOP contenders, Mr.


I missed the debate. I haven't seen anything terribly interesting in today's blogosphere. In other words, I'm at a loss for a good Plank item. So, in lieu of one, let me recommend this really remarkable article in this week's New York about Gerald Boyd, the late New York Times managing editor whose career was ended by the Jayson Blair scandal. Even if you care nothing about the Times or media gossip, it's a thoroughly reported, wonderfully written, ultimately tragic story about race in America--and well worth your time.


The Osmond Primary

Mitt Romney may not have won Pat Robertson's or the NRLC's endorsements, but he doesn't need them now that he's got this. From the Boston Globe: Interviewed on "Larry King Live," the singing Osmond family has nothing but nice things to say about Mitt Romney, according to clips posted on CNN's website.


Ross Baker gives a quote to the NYT about Hillary that shows why political scientists make bad political strategists: "Edwards and Obama are still waltzing around her rather than hitting on doubts about her that would really resonate with voters," said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. "One absolutely devastating accusation that could resonate is that she is gullible--she bought into two false story lines, one from her husband about Monica Lewinsky and one from President Bush about Iraq," Mr.


Animal Planet

Brad's already highlighted one good animal story from today's Times, but would you believe there's another one? This NYT article about a Texas ornithologist on trial for shooting a cat--and the ill will his trial has created between the birder and cat fancier communities--is great.  My favorite bit is the interview with James Stevenson, the sharpshooting birder at the center of thestorm: In an interview in a courthouse elevator during a break in the trial, Mr.


He Loves New York

Rudy's first TV ad in New Hampshire looks a lot like a cross between Reagan's Morning in America and a tourism commerical for New York City (at least after the first 25 seconds or so):  But is the ad going to convince people in New Hampshire to vote for Rudy--or just make them want to head down to NYC for a weekend of theater and Christmas shopping? --Jason Zengerle