Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

Is Romney Really The Ideal Opponent?
January 21, 2008

It's conventional wisdom that Democrats would have an easier time defeating Mitt Romney than John McCain.  Among the reasons: Romney is a transparent panderer, doesn't excite evangelicals, can't claim more experience on national security, and is simply not that likeable a figure.  Most of the time, I think that's right.  But yesterday, as I watched Romney on "Fox News Sunday," I had one of these fleeting moments when I began to wonder whether Romney wasn't a better candidate than McCain.  It wasn't because he changed any of the above conditions.  It was because he could speak credibly on the

Is That Hillary Clinton Talking? Or Grover Norquist?
January 17, 2008

Barack Obama has taken a lot of grief for appropriating right-wing talking points.  And rightly so.  Consider health care.  When he has argued against "forcing" people to buy insurance, as Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have proposed to do, he undermined the case for an individual mandate -- something virtually every expert agrees is necessary to achieve truly universal coverage.  But look who's talking like a conservative now.

Motown Mitt
January 15, 2008

Livonia, Michigan--John Hillman, 63, is a veteran car salesman for a Ford dealership here in suburban Detroit. And it's just not just any dealership. It's one that claims to have the most Ford sales of any in the nation. But lately business hasn't been so good. Hillman figures it's about half, maybe two-thirds of what it was at its peak, many years ago. And, he knows, those good times may not be returning anytime soon, now that the economy is widely believed to be slowing down.

Obama Pulls Up To The Kitchen Table
January 15, 2008

A lot of people were watching the first segment in tonight's Democratic debate to see how the candidates would talk about race.  But it was an early reference to another subject entirely that caught my attention.

January 15, 2008

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

Can Barack Obama Win Over Latinos?
January 15, 2008

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

How Obama Made Clinton
January 08, 2008

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

Msnbc Calls It For Clinton
January 08, 2008

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

Early Call Is...
January 08, 2008

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 

Is It The Economy, Stupid?
January 08, 2008

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