Noam Scheiber
Senior Editor

Mitt Romney: Senator-killer Killer
January 08, 2008

I can't dispute what Jason is seeing with his own eyes, but, like my Republican idol Mitt Romney, I wish we could have a discussion about issues and not about personal attacks... Seriously, I think Jason is right--Romney is probably going to lose today, and that will most likely be it for his campaign.

Hillary Chokes Back Tears, Wins (my) Respect
January 07, 2008

Ben Smith has a poignant nugget from the campaign trail this morning--it involves Hillary on the verge of tears at an event in Portsmouth. Ben writes: The question was inoccuous: "As a woman I know it’s hard to get out of the house and get ready," asked Marianne Pernold, a local freelance photographer. "Who does your hair?" Clinton began by talking about her hair -- she has some help -- but moved to talk more generally about the campaign. "It’s not easy, it’s not easy, and I couldn’t do it if i just didn’t passionately belive it was the right thing to do," she said.

Will Registered Democrats Save Hillary?
January 07, 2008

Like a lot of other bloggers, I strongly recommend Tom Edsall's HuffPo piece about where Clinton goes from here if she loses tomorrow. One especially interesting nugget: Like Mondale in 1984, Clinton is configuring her campaign to win in states where independents cannot vote. "Clinton got killed among independents and those few Republicans who crossed over," an Iowa operative noted about last Thursday's caucuses.

Watching Obama Close...
January 07, 2008

Salem, New Hampshire I've probably attended over two dozen Obama events since November (Mike and I basically divided up Hillary and Obama, and I drew Obama.) Yesterday afternoon was the best I've seen him, with the possible exception of his victory speech Thursday night. He was concise, funny, uplifting, very energetic. He modulated his voice unusually well, even for someone with a naturally good delivery. If I had to explain it, I'd say there were two things going on. One was that Obama can clearly smell victory. I've written before about his reputation as a closer.

Tonight's Gop Debate--capping A Lousy Weekend For Mccain
January 07, 2008

If you read one thing about the Republican race and the GOP debates this weekend, read Joe Klein's post about John McCain. Klein argues that it was basically a "lost weekend" for the straight-talker: The polls still have John McCain comfortably ahead of Mitt Romney in the New Hampshire primary, but I don't believe them. For one thing, McCain has just dragged himself through two of his worst debate performances ever.

Can Someone Explain Mark Penn To Me?
January 06, 2008

Just a quick word about Mark Penn, Hillary's pollster and chief strategist. Based on everything I've heard and read, Penn genuinely didn't believe the Des Moines Register poll showing Obama up big prior to the caucuses. That, and not just campaign spin, is why he spent so much energy bashing it. Which is fine--everyone makes mistakes.

Das Bounce
January 06, 2008

The latest CNN/WMUR poll shows Obama up 10 points--39 to 29--over Clinton. Edwards at 16. My hunch is that we haven't seen the crest of this wave yet. As I noted yesterday, Sunday's probably the best day to get an accurate picture of what's going on, but we only got half of Sunday in this poll. A nation awaits the next Mark Penn memo... --Noam Scheiber

The Inevitable Turmoil In Hillaryland...
January 06, 2008

Time's Karen Tumulty has some great reporting about the turmoil within the Clinton campaign: The scope of Barack Obama's victory in Iowa has shaken the Clinton machine down to its bolts. Donors are panicking. The campaign has been making a round of calls to reassure notoriously fickle "superdelegates" — elected officials and party regulars who are awarded convention spots by virtue of their titles and positions — who might be reconsidering their decisions to back the candidate who formerly looked like a sure winner.

The Boston Herald Chooses Sides
January 06, 2008

I knew something was missing in Iowa, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it till I saw this (sent out by the Edwards campaign): Oh, how tedious life would be without the tabloids... --Noam Scheiber

More Debate Wrap-up
January 05, 2008

Some thoughts: 1.) One way or another, Hillary's "angry moment" is clearly going to be the take-away from this debate. My sense was that she came a tick or two away from really snapping, and that can't be good for getting back into this race. Having said that, I think it's possible that it could play another way: Maybe the average voter sees Edwards rushing to double-team her and thinks it was a little over the top. Maybe it even triggers the same gender dynamic that backfired so famously against Rick Lazio in 2000. Now, both of those things would have been more likely had she kept her cool.