TNR Staff

More On That Obama Op-ed
October 15, 2007

A rival campaign points me to a speech Obama made in November 2006, where he used language that's substantively similar to the amendment he criticized in today's op-ed (which I wrote about earlier). Here's the key graf from the Obama speech: In such a scenario, it is conceivable that a significantly reduced U.S. force might remain in Iraq for a more extended period of time. But only if U.S.

Rudy Down South
October 15, 2007

Today I saw Rudy Giuliani make a couple of appearances in upstate South Carolina. In the afternoon he dropped in at Spill the Beans, a charming ice cream shop outside of Greenville. (As I parked my car, a radio advertisement was guaranteeing termite-free mulch.) Squeezing into the packed cafe--surrounded by his menacing coterie of private bodyguards (some of whom could pass for Blackwater employees)--Rudy delivered quick remarks notable for their square focus on Hillary Clinton. "I have a list of how much money Hillary is going to cost you!" Rudy said.

Rudy: "i Don't Care" About Clinton's Mistakes
October 15, 2007

A footnote to Giuliani's speech in Rock Hill: During a long riff on national security, Rudy ripped into Bill Clinton for the "massive damage" Clinton supposedly did to the U.S. military by underfunding it during his presidency. He called this "the biggest mistake" Clinton made, before throwing in a striking aside: I don't care about his other mistakes... some [of which] we may have exaggerated as Republicans. To me this sounded like a reference to the Clinton impeachment. Apparently Rudy opposed impeachment, something I hadn't known until checking just now.

Half-baked Gore Speculation
October 15, 2007

Al Gore's Nobel Prize has us all wondering who he'll endorse, something Marc Ambinder says is likely to happen in December. My two cents: If at that point it looks like Obama has some chance of winning the nomination, it'll be Obama. I say that for the following reasons: 1.) Obama has the most credible claim to being a transformative figure, something Gore (rightly) fancies himself, too. 2.) Obama, like Gore, got the war right from the get-go. 3.) Hillary, in addition to coming up short on points one and two, has long been a rival of Gore's, and vice versa. And 4.) Crass politics.

Rudy V. Hillary, Cont'd
October 15, 2007

In an event of questionable import, Tommy Thompson endorsed Rudy Giuliani today in Charleston, SC. Thompson began by acknowledging that, although he's a former presidential candidate himself, "I'm sure most of you didn't even know it," which rather undermined the oomph of his announcement. Thompson hailed Rudy as a "reformer" who, like Thompson, battled to trim welfare rolls in the 1990s.

Is Rudy Really Such A Tough Guy?
October 15, 2007

A thought: Amid all this Hillary Clinton-bashing by Rudy Giuliani, is he ever going to have to explain why, the one time he had a chance to beat her--in the New York Senate race in 2000--he chickened out and quit the race? I'm not sure why he'd get a pass on this in any case. But it's particularly weird given that he's selling himself as the Republican with the best chance of "stopping" her. Obviously, if Rudy had actually beaten Hillary the one time he had the chance, then Republicans wouldn't have to worry about stopping her in 2008.

How Being A Woman Helps Hillary On The War
October 15, 2007

This graf in Anne Kornblut's piece in today's Post was kind of interesting: At the next Clinton stop, a town hall meeting in Derry, N.H., Leslie Harrison, 52, said the fact that Clinton is a woman is important as she considers how to vote in the New Hampshire primary. "Men have been making a mess of things for a long time," she said. "A woman would be more sensitive to sending our children off to war." It made me wonder if being a woman has made it easier for Hillary to inch away from her Iraq vote.

Rudy Vs. The Aliens!
October 15, 2007

I know Rudy is campaigning largely on security, but this is ridiculous: (EXETER, N.H.) - Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said preparedness will be key for all crises, even an attack from outer space. During a town hall meeting in Exeter, a young questioner asked the former New York mayor about his plan to protect Earth. "If (there's) something living on another planet and it's bad and it comes over here, what would you do?" the boy asked. Giuliani, grin on his face, said it was the first time he's been asked about an intergalactic attack. "Of all the things that can happen in thi

Mccain Opens Fire
October 15, 2007

When I first read about John McCain unloading on Mitt Romney's Republican bona fides this weekend, I immediately thought it was a pretty discouraging development for Romney. After all, McCain and Rudy Giuliani are supposedly pretty fond of one another. If McCain was now attacking Romney, it might mean he'd decided that if he can't win, he'd much rather see Giuliani as the nominee than Romney. Nothing would benefit Giuliani more, I think, than being able to outsource his dirty-work to McCain. That may still be McCain's private calculation.

Blog Talk
October 15, 2007

Deciphering Obama [Ezra Klein]: "As the race runs on, I feel less and less certain of my grasp on 'who' Obama is, what he believes, what he'll do in office, how he'll do it. ... the disjuncture between the grand ambition of the rhetoric and the more modest output of his policy shop confuses me." Big Apple Abortions [Ramesh Ponnuru, The Corner]: "Giuliani can take credit for a lot of great things that happened in New York City under his watch.

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