Bill Clinton

February 09, 2004

RETIRED GENERAL Wesley Clark has faced many enemies in his career, from the Viet Cong to Slobodan Milosevic. At last week’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, however, Clark was ambushed by an unexpected foe. ABC News anchor Peter Jennings took the general to task for staying silent while liberal filmmaker—and Clark supporter—Michael Moore labeled President Bush a “deserter” at a campaign rally. “That’s a reckless charge not supported by the facts,” Jennings admonished Clark, all but demanding that he exhibit “a better example of ethical behavior” by repudiating the claim. An off-guard Clark

Campaign Journal: Full Circle
February 09, 2004

  Dateline: January 24, Nashua, New Hampshire IT’S SATURDAY EVENING, three days before the New Hampshire primary, and a healthy chunk of the national media is in Manchester attending a discussion about politics and the press with comedian Jon Stewart. I was headed there, too, but guilt pulled me off the turnpike and onto Main Street in Nashua to watch a town-hall meeting with Joe Lieberman instead. Among campaign reporters, it is so uncool to attend Lieberman events that, when I show up at the Jon Stewart party later tonight, I find myself practically apologizing for wasting my time with him.

Full Circle
February 09, 2004

Ryan Lizza’s 2004 New Hampshire journal.

Tax Evasion
January 26, 2004

Everybody knew Howard Dean's proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts would prove controversial in the general election. But during the Democratic nomination fight, too? Over the last few weeks, rivals have attacked Dean for saying that, as president, he would rescind even those parts of the Bush tax cut that are not directed at the very rich. "Some in my party want to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class," John Kerry declared recently, in a typical broadside.

Mad About You
September 29, 2003

I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it. I think his policies rank him among the worst presidents in U.S. history. And, while I'm tempted to leave it at that, the truth is that I hate him for less substantive reasons, too. I hate the inequitable way he has come to his economic and political achievements and his utter lack of humility (disguised behind transparently false modesty) at having done so.

Race to the Bottom
June 02, 2003

To understand how deeply the United States has descended into fiscal madness, compare the present situation with the last time GOP tax-cutters ran Washington, the Reagan presidency. Just like George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan used his first year in office to enact a series of tax cuts tilted toward the well-off that helped plunge the nation into debt. For this, Reagan is remembered by both the right and left as an unflinching avatar of supply-side economics.

Southern Exposure
May 19, 2003

Ryan Lizza's 2003 look at the Democratic jockeying in the Palmetto state.

Upside-Down Cake
April 21, 2003

The press has reported that the Iraqi regime spent the prewar months scrutinizing tapes of Black Hawk Down for military lessons. I've begun to suspect that they've also been studying White House press conferences. How else to explain the eerie similarity between the pedagogical styles of Saddam Hussein's chief spokesman, Mohammed Said Al Sahaf, and Ari Fleischer?

April 21, 2003

TOM'S WAR Every now and then, a politician will, through accident or poor judgment, say something that tells you everything you need to know about him. (It is usually a him.) Bill Clinton's contention that "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" captured forever his evasiveness and moral relativism; Dan Quayle's mangling of the United Negro College Fund motto, "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful," couldn't help but suggest that he perhaps spoke from experience. Recently, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay joined this proud fraternity.

Personal Best
April 21, 2003

Michael Kelly died last week covering the war in Iraq. And, in many of the obituaries written since, you can detect a hint of anxiety, a fear that people who knew him only from his columns first in this space as TRB, then in The Washington Post would remember him differently from how he really was. That's understandable. In his columns, Mike could be combative, aggressive, unyielding. In life, he was gentle, warm, playful.