Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

Making Lemonade Out Of...
August 22, 2008

Apparently, three young kids who live near Evan Bayh's house have figured out a way to be productive during the long wait for an announcement. I'm glad somebody has! --Jonathan Cohn 

And There Goes Romney's Shot At Vp?
August 21, 2008

If this housing gaffe sticks and John McCain has a hard time shaking the economic elitist level, it's hard to imagine him picking Mitt Romney as running mate. According to documents that Romney released during his presidential run, he is worth between $190 and $250 million, making him the wealthiest presidential candidate to run this election cycle. And, yes, he owns several homes. Note: This is exactly the sort of baseless horserace speculation that I frequently criticize.

Last-minute Veep Thoughts On Biden
August 21, 2008

By now, it's quite possible the vice presidential nomination is a done deal: Barack Obama has already spoken to the nominee, along with the other finalists, and all that remains is for everybody's cell phones to start ringing or vibrating with text messages.* (I'd love to be in Washington right now: Will they all go off at once? What will it sound like at the Palm--or in one of the Dupont Circle Starbucks?) Still, I can't help but note how absolutely perfectly John McCain's housing comments would play to Joe Biden's political strenghts.

Hey, Obama: Remember Health Care?
August 21, 2008

What happened to the great health care debate? That's the question Jill Zuckman asks today in the Chicago Tribune: In the daily rat-a-tat-tat between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, the silence is deafening. ... In the drawn- out Democratic primary fight between [Hillary Clinton] and Obama, the cost and availability of health care were daily fodder in the debate over which candidate would do a better job as president. And now, there is ...

Crippling Medical Bills--coming To A Person Near You
August 20, 2008

One reason this country has never mustered the will to enact universal health care is that most Americans have felt their own insurance arrangements were adequate. They sympathized with the plight of people who couldn't pay their medical bills, but couldn't imagine themselves in that situation. A new report released Wednesday suggests that may be changing. The report, called "Losing Ground," comes from the Commonwealth Fund (which has underwritten some of my own research) and is based upon survey data the Fund has collected over the last few years.

Obama's Batting Average Just Went Up
August 19, 2008

It's a typical summer night in the Cohn household, which means the Red Sox are on television. McCain has been advertising pretty heavily on the New England Sports Network (NESN) for the last few weeks, usually with some version of his "celebrity" ad, presumably to reach the heavy New Hampshire audience. Obama, meanwhile, has run far fewer spots--and what I've seen has been relatively tepid. (It's an unscientific sample, yes, but I catch most of the games, so I have at least some basis for making this judgment.) Tonight, though, the NESN broadcast included an Obama contrast ad.

Obama Throws Punches--but Will They Hurt?
August 19, 2008

Barack Obama is getting feisty. On Monday, as Karen Tumulty reports, he went after John McCain hard on the economy: Where he would rarely even mention McCain in the past, Obama now openly mocks him. McCain boasts of putting country first, Obama said, "but I have to say, it's not an example of putting country first when you say George Bush's economic policies have shown 'great progress.' " As for McCain's contention that Obama would be an "economic disaster," Obama retorted, "Mr. McCain, let me explain to you. The economic disaster is happening right now.

Just Words?
August 18, 2008

The typical voter may not pay much attention to partly platforms these days, but activists certainly do. And at the Democratic Party platform hearings held in Pittsburgh just over a week ago, advocates for health care reform made their presence felt, proposing--and obtaining--revisions to the platform proposed by Obama and the party. The final platform proposal, which the full party will consider in Denver next week, now states that “every American man, woman, and child [should] be guaranteed affordable, comprehensive health care. ...

Biden? Yeah, That Works.
August 18, 2008

Well-connected Washington insider Steve Clemons has already reported that signs point to Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate. Now comes this tidbit, coutesy of the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray: Tony Blinken, the Biden foreign policy adviser who accompanied Obama on his overseas trip, left Washington to go on vacation late last week. Destination? Hawaii.  The timing of Blinken's trip isn't clear. Maybe he got there after Obama left. Or maybe he really was on vacation.

Veep Veep: Still Watching Jack Reed
August 16, 2008

No, I don't have any new information. As far as I know, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed may never have been a serious contender to join Barack Obama on the ticket--in no small part because Reed has said, repeatedly and with apparent sincerity, that he has no interest in the job. We certainly aren't hearing about Reed the way we are hearing about Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, and Tim Kaine.