Noam Scheiber
Senior Editor

Too Much Romney-bashing
January 05, 2008

A quick thought on the GOP debate: Mitt-bashing has been a preoccupation of this blog*, and it was out in full-force tonight. Huckabee kicked off the proceedings after Romney told him to worry about explaining his own position "and I'll explain mine." (No transcript yet, so I've got to rely on my rough notes.) Huck's quick response: "Which one?" He went on to accuse Romney of calling for a timed withdrawal from Iraq before becoming a devout supporter of the surge and staying the course.

Trust Me, There's A Bounce
January 05, 2008

Just a quick thought about that new CNN/WMUR poll out tonight showing Hillary and Obama tied in New Hampshire. Clinton pollster Mark Penn holds it up as evidence that there's no Obama bounce coming out of Iowa. This strikes me as preposterous. We're talking about a poll conducted Friday night and during the day on Saturday. Why is that a problem? Two reasons: 1.) There's no way the full brunt of the Iowa result had trickled down to the average voter by Friday night.

Remember That Boston Globe Endorsement?
January 05, 2008

Something else to keep in mind: At the time it came out, The Boston Globe's Obama endorsement felt like a consolation prize--not nothing, certainly, but thin gruel alongside the Des Moines Register endorsement that appeared the same night and went to Hillary. Now it's paying some pretty serious dividends, if one can judge from the Obama camp's use of it. The endorsement is plastered all over their latest ad: I can't say it's going to hurt him...   Update: That Obama video doesn't appear to be working at the moment. You can view it on the Obama site here. --Noam Scheiber

Did Hillary Luck Out With Time Magazine?
January 05, 2008

A pair of random Hillary thoughts: 1.) Is it possible that Hillary has caught a big break from Time's new publication schedule? Since its re-launch about a year ago, Time has closed its weekly print issue on Wednesday night and hit news stands Friday. Newsweek continues to close Saturday night and hit news stands Monday. Now, obviously, the big news-weeklies don't pack the punch they used to. But I have to think that glowing coverage from both of them would have, in addition to effectively giving Obama millions of dollars in free direct-mail, created a mini-sensation on television, too.

Is New Hampshire A Must-win For Obama?
January 05, 2008

I'm watching Russert's cable show on MSNBC right now--he's got the ever-wise Chuck Todd on, along with Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory. (By the way, I feel like we at TNR are always saying how much better MSNBC's coverage is than its cable rivals'. I didn't catch too much of it Thursday night, but that rule seemed to apply based on what I saw...) Anyway, Todd was making what I thought was a pretty provocative point, though maybe I've been away from the DC pack too long to know what the current mood is. (Got out of Iowa late yesterday, then laid low when I got here.

More On The Clinton Counter-offensive
January 05, 2008

Marc Ambinder laid out the Clinton game-plan yesterday morning, apparently based on an internal campaign conference call.

The Story Of Obama's Victory
January 04, 2008

A few minutes after Barack Obama’s victory speech last night I ran into the ubiquitous Gordon Fischer, the former Iowa Democratic chairman turned dedicated Obama booster. In the weeks leading up to the caucuses, Fischer had developed a reputation for slightly-excessive optimism. For instance, when I’d seen him at an Obama event four days earlier, the pundits were whispering about an Obama swoon. Fischer pronounced the race “dead even." He’d also predicted a caucus-night turnout of 200,000 people—something most of us deemed preposterous. As it happened, of course, Fischer was too conservative.

What Did Surprise The Clintonites
January 04, 2008

Karen Tumulty makes a good point in her piece about Hillary's next move:  So it would appear Clinton has little choice but to try to create a new dynamic. Behind the scenes, her strategists have already begun to figure out how much heat to put on the sudden frontrunner, whose win was far more decisive than just about anyone had expected. My hunch was that the Clintons weren't blind-sided by the loss in Iowa. But the margin clearly did come as a surprise. (Just recall how vigorously Mark Penn objected to the Des Moines Register poll that predicted last night's outcome.

And Now For The Inevitable Trippi Angle
January 04, 2008

A Democratic consultant who knows Trippi writes: There is something almost poignant about what happened last night from Trippi's point of view. Obama pulled off in IA and is on the verge of pulling off nationally exactly what Joe's been dreaming about and working for his whole career. As I watched Obama last night--particularly the line, "I know you didn't do this for me" or words to that effect--it struck me that, in many ways, he's taken Trippi's public advice to heart (as expressed in an article you wrote) about making the movement "not about him." It's almost like he's advising Obama from

Whouley High Harmony
January 04, 2008

I agree with the CW that Hillary faces serious challenges in getting back into this race, but I'm not prepared to count her out so quickly. One reason is something I alluded to at the end of my caucus wrap-up piece last night but didn't completely tease out: The Iowa results didn't really catch the Clintonites by surprise. In fact, the Clinton camp had, on some level, been anticipating this for weeks. What's the evidence for this?

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