How McCain's VP Choice Will Be Perceived
August 28, 2008

Howard Wolfson, former communications director for Hillary Clinton, has been writing for us from Denver. Here are his thoughts on McCain's upcoming v.p. selection. What will John McCain's pick, due tomorrow, of his vice-presidential running mate, say about him to the American people? McCain is running ahead of the generic Republican ballot because many Americans believe he is an independent maverick, an image he forged during his 2000 run.

The Lady Is A Champ
August 26, 2008

Howard Wolfson, former communications director for Hillary Clinton, has been writing for us from Denver. Here are his thoughts on Michelle Obama's performance last night (cross-posted at his blog, Gotham Acme). The job of First Lady has no set job description and no formal responsibilities. That fact hasn't stopped the GOP from attacking our candidates for First Lady--beginning with Hillary Clinton in 1992 and then Teresa Heinz Kerry in 2004. That playbook was dusted off earlier this year when the criticisms of Michelle Obama began.

While You Were Outside, Having A Picnic...
August 24, 2008

Here's a rundown of TNR's Joe Biden coverage this weekend. *Jon Cohn explained why Biden is  "very qualified for the job." He also bemoaned the continuing Clinton saga and detailed why--and how--Obama came to make his vice presidential selection.  *Howard Wolfson, Clinton's former communications director, said that Biden was the best choice of the contenders not named Hillary. *John Judis likes having Biden around because it shows that Obama "recognizes his own weaknesses." *Noam Scheiber looked at Biden's potential downsides and came away not that worried.

August 13, 2008

Earlier this summer, when the Obama campaign announced that Jason Furman was joining its staff as director of economic policy, the storyline seemed to write itself: Centrist adviser will pull Obama to the right. Furman had first made a name for himself as a wonky twentysomething wunderkind in the later years of the Clinton administration--a period when, to the consternation of many liberals, Clinton emphasized balanced budgets, free trade, and welfare reform.

The Post-Rove Guru
July 31, 2008

Sergeant Schmidt. The Artillery Shell.

The Movie Review: 'Hellboy 2'
July 10, 2008

Near the midpoint of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the titular demon is asked by his all-too-human girlfriend, “Do you need everyone to love you? Or am I enough?” The original Hellboy, which director Guillermo del Toro launched on an unsuspecting public in 2004, felt as though it would have been content with the latter option--the unconditional affection of comic-book and fantasy-film geeks, the ironic indie crowd, and an eclectic bag of viewers eager for something just a little different.

Taking A Dive
June 10, 2008

From a distance, it might seem that environmentalists should be crestfallen that the 2008 Climate Security Act--shorthanded as Lieberman-Warner after its lead sponsors in the Senate--went down in flames on the Senate floor on Friday. The bill, which would cap fossil fuel emissions in the United States above a certain level and ask industry to pay more for any excesses, was easily the most aggressive and comprehensive environmental reform ever to hit Congress. But the bipartisan plan to cut U.S.

Are Conservatives Capable Of Defending The United States?
April 16, 2008

While most of official Washington is atwitter about the grave risks of Obama's cultural elitism, witnesses before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs testified yesterday that that the likelihood of nuclear attack on a U.S. city continues to increase: "I definitely conclude the threat is greater and is increasing every year with the march of technology," said Cham E. Dallas, director of the Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia. This is indeed the case.

Obama By A Coin Flip
March 07, 2008

At 6 P.M. on Tuesday night, Crystal Viagran is standing on a street corner in East Austin, Texas, holding an Obama sign above her head. In less than an hour, she ditches the sign and walks toward Govalle Elementary School, the primary voting and caucus site for Precinct 426, and picks up a manila packet containing all the instructions for conducting that night's precinct convention. Crystal, 32, who works as a student adviser at the University of Texas, her alma mater, was elected precinct convention chair in 2006 by a total of three votes. That's how many people showed up to caucus.

Oscar Thoughts
January 22, 2008

I'm at Sundance for a couple of days, trying to cram in as many screenings as I can (I'll write about at least some of them soon), so I'll be brief and perhaps return with further thoughts in the coming days. Michael Clayton is obviously a big, big winner, with nods for Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Music, and Original Screenplay. A good day for There Will Be Blood, too, with nominations for Picture, Actor, Art Direction, Cinematography, Director, Editing, and Adapted Screenplay. Its good fortune is probably bad news for No Country for Old Men, though.