When Jackie Kennedy led a television crew through the White House in February 1962, millions of Americans were riveted to the screen. This Wednesday, when Michelle Obama appears on The Colbert Report, it will be a much less exciting, and more commonplace event. It’s starting to seem like the First Lady has been everywhere on our televisions lately, celebrating her “Joining Forces” initiative to help military families or promoting her “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity.
[Guest post by Perry Stein and Simon Meiners] The three-day marathon Supreme Court hearing on Obamacare is over and, to no one’s surprise, Justice Clarence Thomas didn’t say a word. The justice has long-been famous for his silence on the bench, having spoken just once since 2006. We decided to determine precisely how many times Thomas has spoken during oral arguments since he joined the bench in 1991. The task seemed pretty simple: just search through the Supreme Court transcripts.
Much of the thrill of watching Mad Men is the unabashed way it displays the retrograde views of its leading characters. The same is true, of course, of the ongoing Republican presidential primary. In fact, while it’s hard for us to picture the GOP candidates joining the hedonistic adventures of 1960s Madison Avenue (one pictures Mitt Romney gleefully pouring himself a second glass of chocolate milk), we did think some aspects of their personalities (and their political platforms) would fit right in.
Given that Mitt Romney is ostensibly the “establishment candidate” of his party, it’s surprising to see just how much of the Republican establishment has refrained from endorsing him. And that reticence is now starting to take its toll: There’s little doubt that if Republican elites more consistently rallied around Mitt, he could probably be spared an even longer, more dragged-out primary.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum aren’t the only ones facing voters this Super Tuesday. Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich is one of eleven incumbents in Congress who will be fighting to keep their seats as a result of redistricting. Current polls suggest that Kucinich will lose to fellow Democratic Congressman Marcy Kaptur. But if today marks the end of Kucinich’s political career, no one can claim it was a boring ride.
Last April, former TNR Senior Editor Jonathan Chait asked a piercing question: “Why Does the Weekly Standard Hate Hippies So Much?” Chait’s pictorial tour of hippies on the cover of the right-wing magazine did little to stop the epidemic. In fact, The Weekly Standard may have taken it as a challenge: In the last six months alone, the magazine has had no less than five covers depicting liberals in long-haired hippie glory. Sandals? Check. Unkempt hair? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Rolling Stones t-shirt? Check. Poor George Harrison.
The 84th Academy Awards are on Sunday, and this year’s nominees are a large group of crowd pleasers who spend a lot of time—sometimes too much—addressing war, infidelity, the sanctity of life, and nostalgia for the 20th century. Sound familiar? It should: That also sums up the GOP’s 2012 presidential field.
Now that Jeremy Lin has performed the unlikely feat of saving the New York Knicks from another dismal season, we thought it would be only fair for him to take his talents beyond the basketball court. Indeed, if the young Harvard graduate’s Lintastic powers of Linprovement are as special as advertised, there’s no reason he should be Lingering around the NBA.
After a disappointing showing in Florida, Newt Gingrich may soon need to give up his dream of becoming President of the United States (not to mention “Definer of civilization”). It will probably be a while yet until Newt qualifies for food stamps, but in the meantime we thought we’d offer him some pro bono career counseling. The former Speaker is ambitious; he’s well-educated; and even if his historical analysis is shoddy, even we’ll admit he’s not a dumb guy.
In advance of today’s primary, the Republican establishment has gone into overdrive to convince Florida voters that Newt Gingrich is a faux-conservative, ethically challenged has-been. The collective Republican panic has been fun to watch, not least because some of the GOP all-stars condemning Newt are best known for their own ethical lapses and heated rhetoric.