TNR Staff

Briefly digressing from a PowerPoint presentation on global trade that he was making to the Greenwood, South Carolina, Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Mitt Romney had this to say: “Actually, just look at what Osam, uh, Barack Obama, said just yesterday, Barack Obama, calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. ‘That is the battlefield. That is the central place,’ he said. ‘Come join us under one banner.’” Andrew Sullivan thinks this wasn't an accident on Romney's part.


Fred's First Policy

No Amnesty: [Brendan Farrington and Libby Quaid, AP]: "In his first major policy proposal, Thompson challenged presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney by criticizing 'sanctuary cities' where city workers are barred from reporting suspected illegal immigrants who enroll their children in school or seek hospital treatment.


More from Eric Kleefield on the burgeoning scandal that threatens to throw the entire presidential race into disarray: Dennis Kucinich's Congressional and campaign offices have not yet denied Shirley MacLaine's claim that Kucinich "heard directions in his mind" from a UFO while visiting her home in Washington state. "I am not commenting on that," said Natalie Laber, press secretary for the candidate's Congressional office, when asked by Election Central. The Truth is Out There. --Christopher Orr

A Fitful Analogy

  H.D.S. Greenway is a soppy foreign affairs commentator for The Boston Globe.  In this morning’s paper, he limns the differences between China and Tibet.  China is cruel.  Tibet is innocent.  I’m sure of the first.  I’m not sure of the second.


As long as we're picking on Rick Davis today, what was up with this nugget from that New York Times profile: But Mr. Davis, 50, a jacket-and-tie kind of guy with a runner’s build who stands out in the typically rumpled world of political operatives, has won upsets before. As deputy manager of Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign, for instance, he gained a come-from-behind victory at a Florida straw poll in part by staging an elaborate reception with Mr.


Appropriating The Past

Nicholas Sarkozy is not “pure” French.  In fact, his grandfather was Jewish but he has an acute sense of how authentic symbols make the nation one.  Sarkozy has established as an iconographic piece of history a letter from Guy Moquet, a seventeen year old boy, to his family on the eve of his execution by the Nazis.  Guy was a communist.  Communists were French, too. But he was also a member of the French Resistance -- an actual member. Sarkozy is getting it from all sides now; from the right for appropriating a communist and from the communists for appropriating one of their own.


  “Make walls, not war,” says Peter W. Galbraith.  It’shis solution to Iraq.  After all partition may be just what the country needs.  In fact, that’s what the Holy Land has needed for decades, and it is precisely why the government of Ariel Sharon began to build barriers to separate Israel from whatever will be Palestine.  Thank you, Peter Galbraith, for adding your sensible voice to this discussion.    

Rich Lowry passes along something I hadn't heard about Mike Huckabee before, though it makes perfect sense: With almost no organization, Huckabee lives off his words. In oratorical talent, he's something of a cross between Billy Sunday and Ronald Reagan. He rose to the leadership of the Arkansas State Baptist Convention on his speaking ability. As governor, he didn't have a speechwriter, and there was no such thing as an advanced text. His staff got reporters copies of his state of the state addresses by doing a quick transcription of his off-the-cuff remarks.


Ready For A Fight

Barack Obama's campaign was quite quick to release a forceful statement  this afternoon rebuking Mitt Romney for his rather bizarre confusion of Obama with Osama bin Laden. This was probably the fitting thing to do under any circumstances. Yet I can’t help but wonder whether he saw all the love hate Republicans directed at Hillary during their Sunday debate and decided it was time to take Garance’s advice and pick his own fight with them.   --Michael Crowley

Just a quick reminder to help us fill in the censored parts of Valerie Plame Wilson's memoir!  Winners will run in next week's magazine. --The Editors