Jonathan Cohn

Senior Editor

Mittmentum?

Via National Review, the early exit polls from Michigan have it Romney 35 - McCain 29 - Huckabee 15.  I've heard the same thing.  NR is also citing local news reports that McCain has already left Michigan for South Carolina.  That leaves Romney as the only candidate still in state -- presumably, at the Southfield Embassy Suites where his campaign is staging their primary night rally. Of course, early exits had Obama winning New Hampshire, too, so make of this what you will. --Jonathan Cohn

Today's New York Times looks into the issue of whether Barack Obama can win over Latino voters, given their complicated relationship with -- and opinion of -- the African-American community.  It' follows closely on the heels of old friend Ryan Lizza's New Yorker article, in which Clinton pollster Sergio Bendixen noted “the Hispanic voter—and I want to say this very carefully—has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates.” It's an important story, for reasons that go well beyond the campaign horserace.  And -- just a reminder -- you read it here first, back in Dece

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Over the last few days, I've heard more than one person suggest that Hillary Clinton is Barack Obama's perfect foil -- old to his young, establishment to his insurgency, shrill to his smooth, and so on.  In other words, her weaknesses almost perfectly highlighted his strengths.  I think that's all true. But watching Clinton speak to her supporters just now, it struck me that the opposite holds, as well.  This was the best speech I've seen her give, maybe ever.  It was clever, for sure -- the way she managed to hit "reset" on the entire campaign by declaring she "found her voice" in New Hampshi

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That sound you hear is the sound of conventional wisdom slamming into the wall. --Jonathan Cohn 

Early Call Is...

MSNBC: Dems too close to call, McCain ahead but GOP too early to call. Going to be an interesting night. Olbermann and Matthews already debating expectations.   We're into serious meta- territory, and the polls have been closed for all of three minutes. --Jonathan Cohn 

Over at MSNBC, Norah O'Donnell just reviewed the early exit polls.  No, she didn't tell us who was in front.  She did, however, tell what issues Democratic voters found most important.  As with Iowa, it was the economy, health care, and the Iraq war -- although this time the economy was first by a healthy margin.  (Last week, the economy and war were tied for first.) I, for one, am glad.  We all know Barack Obama can run an inspiring campaign and build a movement.  And, lord knows, that's important.  As I've said, movements are the ultimate source of political power.  (That's even more true in

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Over at the Huffington Post, our friend Tom Edsall has a terrific article, laying out in detail the Clinton campaign's strategy for what he calls "trench warfare" -- a drawn-out fight focussing on later primaries and caucuses, when the bulk of the party's nominating delegates will be at stake. The hope, apparently, is to capitalize on Clinton's lingering support among the Democratic base, given the fact that many (though by no means all) of the upcoming contests exclude the sorts of independent voters so pivotal to Obama's rise.

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Bill Richardson just chastised his colleagues for "bickering" about their different visions of change.  Shame on him.  This is not bickering.  It's the one of the most important -- if not the most important -- differences among the leading candidates and is critically important to those of us who want to enact progressive policies.  Obama's vision focuses more on creating consensus and reaching out to win over critics; Edwards' vision focuses more on simply overwhelming the opposition through raw political strength.  (Clinton's version -- I thnk it's safe to say -- is closer to Edwards', alth

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I was about to write an item suggesting that Hillary Clinton's angry response to John Edwards was going to become "the moment" of this debate, because the media -- which, regrettably, always focuses on theatrics more than substance -- would deem it evidence that she had lost control of her temper.  Sure enough, Ana Marie Cox at Swampland made that very point.  Then I heard from two people who thought she looked terrific and that it was Edwards who looked awful -- which, I now see, is what my friend Ezra Klein thinks, too. I have no idea who's right.  (I still kinda think I am.)  But it reminds

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Towards the end of the Republican debate tonight, we got a nice preview of how the Republicans will go after Barack Obama if he's the nominee.  Mitt Romney attacked Obama as a hopeless liberal, because -- among other things -- he would spend billions of dollars on a new health care program.  (For why that's a good idea, see my item below.)  The rest -- save one -- went after Obama as dangerously inexperienced, particularly on issues of foreign policy.  I thought it interesting that when Giuliani made his version of the argument, he read off a list of candidates who did have the requisite expe

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