Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

He's The Luckiest Guy On The Upper West Side
December 10, 2007

I'm not really sure what to make of Frank Rich's Valentine to Mike Huckabee in yesterday's Times. On the one hand, Rich is able to cite plenty of evidence that Huckabee does represent a more palatable and Christian (in the best sense of the word) version of evangelical conservatism: Attacked by Mr. Romney for supporting an Arkansas program aiding the children of illegal immigrants, he replied, “In all due respect, we’re a better country than to punish children for what their parents did.” It was a winning moment, politically as well as morally. And a no-brainer at that. Given that Mr.

Is The Gop Losing Faith In Hillary?
December 10, 2007

It's starting to look that way. It used to be that the Republican candidates intoned the words "Hillary Clinton" like a mantra of sorts, but I'm pretty sure her name wasn't mentioned once in last night's GOP debate. And I noticed an interesting new hedge in a post-debate statement by McCain campaign manager Rick Davis: "John McCain is the only conservative who can beat Senator Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat next November.

Mccain As Shrink
December 06, 2007

Portsmouth, New Hampshire--I can't say I've ever understood why people with deep, deep troubles go to campaign events to unburden themselves to politicians. My guess is that they do it after they've tried--and failed--to seek relief in numerous other places. Today, one such person came to a John McCain campaign event, and while these sorts of things are usually incredibly awkward to watch, this one was almost inspiring. McCain was almost finished with an hour-long forum on the environment in Portsmouth when a severely disabled man named Greg indicated that he wanted to ask a question.

Are Snowmen The Soccer Moms Of '08?
December 06, 2007

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.

Schilling Pitches For Mccain
December 05, 2007

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.

How Thick Is The Clinton Campaign's Oppo Research File?
December 03, 2007

It goes back to his grade school years!

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.