Martin Peretz

Hillary is ready to be president from  Day One. Or so she says. Yet her "nothing but the best" expenditures say otherwise. They are telltale. So what does the best mean to Mrs. Clinton?  Bellagio, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton. All the ritzy kitsch of your typical arriviste.  But the hardworking Democratic public doesn't want wastrels in  the White House. Read in today's Times the story about how Clinton spent her supporters' cash.  Keep her away from the people's till.

Hillary's Hypocrisy

The tackiest accusation lodged in this campaign was the one by Hillary Clinton accusing Barack Obama of plagiarism. I have already posted about this indignity in "Plagiarism and Ghostwriters," and Jason Zengerle has uncovered a pattern of unacknowledged writing claimed to be Hillary's but written by others.


Hillary's Cynicism

Hillary and her pals are desperate, and so they are doing desperate acts. Here's a photograph they've been circulating: The FT this morning is confident enough that the responsibility forthis obscenity belongs at Hillary's doorstep that it has basicallyattributed the distribution to her minions. And, in a smarmy response tothe controversy, a Clinton official said, "If Barack Obama's campaign wantsto suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing isdivisive, they should be ashamed." Such hypocrisy. Yuk!

Eli Lake of the New York Sun has a big, fair and thoughtful piece in today’s paper explaining Barack Obama’s foreign policy team. I have expressed my doubts about some of his advisers. Let me highlight the quote I gave: A supporter of Mr. Obama's, the editor in chief of the New Republic, Martin Peretz, yesterday chalked up concerns about the senator's foreign policy with concerns about the Democratic Party. "The weaknesses of the Obama foreign policy advisory team are a result of a contagion in the Democratic party itself," he said.


Do you remember Madonna G. Constantine? She was the professor at Columbia University's Teachers' College who one dark morning -- or was it a bright morning? -- found a noose draped around the handle of her office door. Maybe the Ku Klux Klan had arrived in Morningside Heights. After all, there are weirder things happening at this elite campus. Actually quite scummy things.


Arrogant Vanity

Conductors of orchestras are said to be (mostly) men of tremendous ego. Even Toscanini, who has come down to us as a brilliant sweet old man, was -- how shall I say this? -- terribly egocentric, and with a horrible temper besides. But he was a democrat and, by the way, also an Italian Catholic Zionist. Lorin Maazel has not come down to us as a sweet old man. And his irritable persona is regularly visited on the New York Philharmonic. But his appearance in public today was not at a concert.


The Boston Globe is sure that the Kosovans are not ready for independence. But its editors, favored columnists and biased news writers are absolutely certain the Palestinians are. Yes, it is true that several states, even European states, have withheld recognition of Kosovar sovereignty. And the Palestinians have embassies all over the friggin' world, and foreign emissaries in Ramallah, too. What does that prove? Absolutley nothing. They can't wipe the blood of internecine battles off the streets fast enough.

Ted Sorensen quarrelled with Richard Goodwin who, in turn, quarrelled with Arthur M. Schlesinger (or "little Arthur," as he was known to those who knew or knew of his father, the great American historian by the same name) over who had authored that corny but pretentious dictum, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country," Once JFK had uttered these commandments, he morphed into an eloquent man.   Ghostwriters and speechwriters are very much with us.  ut they are barely acknowledged.


Necessarily? No. But certainly Barack Obama's chances are much better than Hillary's. A new page, a new chapter, virtually a new book. And both likeable and well, yes, brilliant.   And she? Not likeable at all.


If the Houston speech of Barack Obama was wonkish, Jon, what would you take to be inspirational? Not that wonkish is always out of place. But speaking in an arena after a great victory is no venue for statistics. In any case, Obama was very general. No president -- and certainly no presidential candidate -- can really promise details. After all, there is still a congress with which to deal.What the triumphant candidate did do was to make concrete how this administration had broadened and deepened the class divide. So that it is actuality cruel.