Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

Dog Bites Man, Obama Gives (mostly) Great Speech
June 03, 2008

Although Barack Obama's victory speech was well-crafted and magnanimous, I spent the first half of it wondering why his delivery seemed flatter and more dour than usual. Was he tried after all the long weeks of campaigning? Was he preoccupied with Hillary Clinton's less-than-graceful address in New York? Was he thinking about what to order from room service back at the hotel?

Last Thought On The Clinton Speech
June 03, 2008

...and I do mean "last thought," because, by dwelling on it, I feel somehow complicitious in stealing the spotlight from Barack Obama on what should be his night. If Clinton couldn't bring herself to concede--or to be as magnanimous toward Barack Obama as he is now being to her--she could have simply taken a cue from John Edwards, who gave this fine oration after the South Carolina contest. --Jonathan Cohn 

Um, This Was Not The Speech To Give Tonight
June 03, 2008

I'm not as apoplectic about the Clinton speech as my colleagues Isaac and Jon, but I agree it was pretty bad. I have no problem with her reminding people of her campaign highlights--or postponing an actual concession. But implying that Obama can't win in November? Whether or not she believes that, she has no business saying it now. And suggesting that she'll fight on until her supporters are no longer "invisible" and get "some respect"? What on earth is she implying there? (Seriously, I don't get it. Has anybody suggested Barack Obama doesn't care about them?) --Jonathan Cohn 

June 03, 2008

Not that it matters, but MSNBC is calling South Dakota for Hillary Clinton. --Jonathan Cohn 

Where Are The Mccainiacs?
June 03, 2008

I caught the John McCain speech on MSNBC and, based on their camera angles, it was hard to get a sense of exactly how many people were in attendance--or how the speaking venue was arranged. But it sure sounded like a pretty small crowd of partisans--maybe a hundred or two hundred people--trying very hard to sound like a big one. Of course, the ability to attract large, boisterous crowds is only one metric of political strength--and a potentially misleading one at that.

Obama-clinton Ticket, Cont'd
June 03, 2008

Like Noam, I find the possibilty of an Obama-Clinton ticket to be remote--and, for reasons widely discussed here and elsewhere, fairly unappealing on several levels. Still, I think it's worth remembering what's important about the vice presidency. At the risk of sounding like a fuddy duddy, by far the most important criteria for the job should be the ability to serve as president--and, more specifically, to take over in a time of crisis, since by definition a president failing to serve out his or her term constitutes some sort of national crisis.

In Michigan, Obama Goes Lunchpail
June 03, 2008

TROY, Michigan--With the last two contests less than 24 hours away and Hillary Clinton sending signals that she might finally be ending her candidacy, most of the focus on Barack Obama's visit here yesterday was on how it would affect the primary race. Would Obama collect any of those final superdelegates he needed to clinch the nomination? (He did, garnering the support of Brenda Lawrence, mayor of nearby Southfield.) Would Obama say anything about Clinton directly? (He did, opening his speech with a gracious tribute to her as an "oustanding public servant" who ran "an outstanding race").

Obamamania Across The Pond
May 30, 2008

Via Ben Smith in Politico, I see that a new poll from the Telegraph in London shows Barack Obama trouncing John McCain among voters in five European countries. But lest TNR readers doubt the poll's veracity, I can confirm this finding with some real, live, first-hand reporting. (That's why they pay me the big bucks!) As it happens, I was in Europe for the last two weeks. And I, too, saw signs of Obama's popularity there. The first came in Paris, along the banks of the Seine, as I was walking along with my family.

Earth To Mccain: Universal Health Care Actually Works
May 30, 2008

If you've heard John McCain talk about health care lately, then you've heard him suggest that Democratic plans for universal health insurance would lead to long waits, higher costs, inferior care, etc.--since that's what they get in Europe. As I've mentioned before, one of the many, many flaws with this argument is that the people in those countries don't seem to agree.

How Much Will We Learn About Mccain's Health?
May 23, 2008

By the time you read this, a select group of reporters--apparently numbering about a dozen--may be inside a conference room at a Phoenix resort hotel, going over some 400 pages of Senator John McCain's medical records. McCain has been promising to release those records for more than a year. And, given McCain's age and history of cancer, the issue of his health is more serious than it would be for most candidates. But rather than make all the records public, the campaign has chosen to make them available to the pool reporters for a three-hour window.