Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

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.

Top This, Ron Burgundy
November 26, 2007

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 

Department Of Self-parody
November 26, 2007

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.

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse
November 16, 2007

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.

Friday Afternoon Reading
November 16, 2007

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.

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