That L.A. Times piece Mike linked to earlier had a couple more useful nuggets. First, a theory of Hillary's support that sounds both interesting and plausible: "When he talks about representing change, women who are considering Hillary look at him and say, If this is about change, she represents greater change than you do, simply by being a woman," [pollster Dick] Bennett said.
Say what you will about Kos, I think he nails it here: What I'm seeing is lots of people take a look at Hillary, then say, "Why was it that I hated her again?" The right-wing press told everyone for so long that they hated Clinton, that people simply assumed they did. When they see her, they're no longer so sure. Maybe that explains why the GOP is bashing Hillary on tax-and-spend, not character, grounds. --Michael Crowley
There's something odd about Barack Obama's latest attacks on Hillary Clinton for not offering a plan to "save" Social Security. Josh Marshall is already complaining that Obama's new strategem buys into the view of what Jon Chait wonderfully dubbed "entitlement hysterics." But beyond that substantive question is a meta question about the politics of Social Security.
People have yet to fully discover and appreciate the splendor of the New York Times making its complete archives from 1860 available online for free. Needless so say you can read endlessly about wars and presidents and so on. But the archives are also filled with stories like this 1886 tale of a Detroit man scalded to death by boiling candy. --Michael Crowley
Yesterday I noted that Sam Brownback's meeting with Rudy Giuliani looked like a direct slap at Mitt Romney, as though Brownback were saying he was so convinced Romney was a phony he'd rather support the pro-choice Giuliani instead. Now Greg Sargent has some evidence that that's how it's being received.
John Fund has an interesting column about Mike Huckabee in today's Wall Street Journal. It's interesting in that it reveals more about conservative elites than about Huckabee. Fund writes: Rudy Giuliani, for example, isn't running away from his socially liberal views, although he has modified them. But he is campaigning as a staunch, even acerbic economic conservative. Should he win the nomination, conventional wisdom has it he may balance the ticket by picking former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as a running mate. Mr.
My friend and former colleague Geoffrey Gray wrote a terrific article this week fingering a new suspect, Kenneth Christiansen, in the legendarily-unsolved case of skyjacker D.B. Cooper. The piece starts with a P.I. hand-delivering a note to Sleepless in Seattle writer/director Nora Ephron and takes off from there. Now, four days after publication, the FBI has reopened the case. But if Leonard Nimoy couldn't find the guy, maybe no one can ... --Ben Wasserstein
I'll have something to say about Ridley Scott's American Gangster when it opens next week (preview: well-made but somewhat familiar). In the meantime, though, you might want to take a look at the conversation New York magazine has up between the film's titular kingpin, Frank Lucas, and his chief competitor in the 70s Harlem heroin trade, Nicky Barnes, himself the subject of the new documentary Mr. Untouchable.
Michelle Obama tells Linda Douglas that her husband is plenty experienced, citing among other things the fact that "[h]e's had, you know, experiences like living abroad." Given America's recent ill-concieved foreign misadventures, this worldliness is one of Obama's better selling points. But Michelle's quote reminds me that it's not something he ever seems to talk about. This strikes me as a good explanation for the chasm between Obama's elite media hype and his feeble national poll numbers. Readers of TNR and the Times and The Atlantic etc.
Since our last statement on “Shock Troops,” a Diarist by Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp that we published in our July 23 issue, we have continued our investigation into the article’s veracity. On Wednesday, for a brief period, The Drudge Report posted several documents from the Army’s own investigation into Beauchamp’s claims.