Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

Why Obama Should Copy Bush (really!)
November 09, 2008

You hear lots of talk about which former president Barack Obama should use as a model. Bill Clinton comes up regularly. Franklin Roosevelt, too. But what about the guy in the White House now? I know, President Bush’s approval ratings are hovering around 30 percent. This election was in many ways a referendum on his tenure and the verdict could not have been more unambiguous. The voters didn't like it. “Saturday Night Live” got an entire skit (and a pretty funny one) out of John McCain trying to escape the stigma of his failure. But was Bush really a “failure”?

Fareed Zakaria To Obama: Think Big.
November 09, 2008

ABC's "This Week" just had a terrific roundtable about Obama's legislative ambition. For the last few weeks, most of the A-list pundits have been arguing that Obama needs to jettison some of his grandiose plans, given the high budget deficits he will inherit and dangers of overreaching politically. Fareed Zakaria argued against this, strongly, and made two crucial points. One was about the analogy to 1993, when high deficits compelled Bill Clinton to ditch his spending plans.

So This Is What History Looks Like
November 06, 2008

At my local drug store this morning, two people were in line to buy special editions of the Detroit Free Press, commemorating Barack Obama's election. One had come from a nearby grocery store, which was already out of them. Alas, he and the other customer were out of luck. Rite-Aid's supply was gone, too. Yesterday, the News and Free Press had printed an extra 30,000 copies of their regular editions, the ones actually bringing the news of Obama's election. Those didn't last too long, either.  And what's happening in Detroit has been happening all over the country.

The Senator Who Controls Obama's Domestic Agenda
November 06, 2008

Which Senator holds the most sway over Barack Obama's domestic policy agenda? The answer probably isn't Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, or even Harry Reid. Instead, as Ezra Klein points out in a lengthy feature piece today, it's probably Max Baucus. Baucus is chairman of the Senate Finance Commitee, whose jurisdiction includes virtually any legislation that requires raising or lowering taxes. Middle class tax cuts. Universal health insurance. Cap-and-trade.

Memo To Pundits: Ideology Is Not A Four-letter Word
November 05, 2008

Today on MSNBC's Hardball, Politico columnist Roger Simon offered some advice to the President-Elect: Get past ideology and just deliver progress. As he explained it--and, apologies, I didn't take direct notes--American voters don't want big, pitched battles in Washington. They just want somebody to pass laws and enact programs that will make their lives better. I've heard this argument many times before. And, in a sense, it's true.

Barack Obama, An American Story
November 05, 2008

Barack Obama's campaign began with lofty appeals to idealism, as he called upon supporters to build a movement that could change the way we relate to each other. It ended with a series of concrete, pedestrian promises, as Obama vowed to deliver jobs, health care, and lower prices at the pump. But tonight in Chicago, standing before a crowd of cheering throngs in Grant Park, Obama rediscovered his former self. Conjuring up the old language of idealism, and reaching out to his vanquished opponent, Obama renewed his plea for unity and common purpose.

Mccain's Concession Speech
November 04, 2008

McCain just gave an incredibly gracious concession speech. He spent the first few minutes reflecting on America's history of racism--and the moral significance of electing an African-American. He saluted Obama for inspiring so many young people and first-time voters, then offered his sympathies for the death of Obama's grandmother. The address contained not a whiff of ideology or partisanship. Instead, McCain called upon all Americans, even those who had voted for him, to offer the new administration its support and seek common ground.

And That's It.
November 04, 2008

MSNBC calls the election. I assume other networks are, too. --Jonathan Cohn 

Just One Electoral Vote, But A Symbolically Important One
November 04, 2008

On MSNBC, Chuck Todd says it looks like Obama may pick up that single electoral vote from the Omaha area in Nebraska. I know, college town and all that. Still, it's Nebraska.  --Jonathan Cohn 

This Blog Post Will Become Obsolete In...
November 04, 2008

...well, not too long. But, just after 10 p.m., note that Obama has now gone ahead in Virginia with returns from the D.C. suburbs still coming in. The numbers in Florida continue to look good, too. --Jonathan Cohn 

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