Clinton Goes Green
November 05, 2007

Hillary Clinton just released her climate and energy plan, which can be read in full here. The broad outlines are just as audacious as what Edwards and Obama have proposed. She'd aim to curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050—a goal urged by a growing number of scientists and green groups—through a cap-and-trade regime, with the pollution permits auctioned off rather than given away for free. That last bit is a key design point (see here for a handy explanation), and would help avoid some of the problems plaguing Europe's emissions-trading system.

Iowa Dems Huff, Puff At Hillary's White House Years
November 05, 2007

Saturday Night Obama [Jim Rutenberg, New York Times]:  "Coup of the Weekend: Barack Obama showed up on 'Saturday Night Live,' unannounced, to deliver the famous opening line, 'Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!' ” No GOP Strongman in 2008 [Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, Washington Post]: "For the first time in nearly 30 years, there is no breakaway front-runner for the Republican nomination as the first votes of Campaign 2008 loom, and a new Washington Post-ABC News poll underscores how open the GOP race remains."  Iowans on the Clinton Vault [John McCormick, Chicago Tribune]: "With Sen.

The Democrats' Biggest Obstacle To Power
November 04, 2007

Philip Stephens writes for the FT, and on Friday he published a rather sage little essay in it: "America is still indispensable but it must work with others."  OK, the last thought is both obvious and more than a bit hoary.  Still, it's true.  And everyone knows it.                                 The surprising argument that Stephens makes you did not get from the Democratic debate, at which the underlying theme was the decline and fall of the United States.  Instead, his major point is the indispensability of the U.S.

Rnc Goes After Hillary
November 02, 2007

Hunting Season: [Alexander Mooney, CNN]: “The Republican National Committee is out with an ad titled ‘Hillary Clinton: Long on rhetoric, short on answers,’ that edits together several different Washington pundits expressing criticism of the New York Democrat's answers at Tuesday's debate.”           Millionaires’ Club: [Nicole Brennan, The Hill]: “With former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) spending millions on his White House bid, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are weighing the possibility of adding a ‘millionaire’s amendment’ to presidential campaign finance reform measures.

The Fight Is Personal
November 02, 2007

The new Edwards TV spot, in which John cites Elizabeth's breast cancer as making the couple all the more committed to their White House run, will once again have some folks charging that the candidate is exploiting his wife's terminal illness for political gain.    Maybe. But this criticism seems to miss the fundamental nature of the Edwardses's relationship to politics. Whatever John's ego and ambition (and obviously a run for POTUS requires massive amounts of both), these people need politics. Not in the politics-defines-me way that Bill Clinton needs it.

Gratuitous Alliteration Friday
November 02, 2007

Donkey Dilemma [Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times]: "More than two decades after presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale called for tax increases--and lost the White House in a landslide--the Democratic Party is on the verge of a major political gamble: Some of its leading members are proposing an array of tax hikes on wealthier Americans.

The Hillary Frenzy
November 01, 2007

                                                      With the media in a minor frenzy over Hillary Clinton's debate performance Tuesday night, I'm questioning my own judgment. After all, I had initially declared Hillary's performance not so bad. We'll see how much average voters think about her "bad" moments, including that awkward exchange on drivers licenses for illegal immigrants and her obfuscation on her White House papers. But the media has clearly been longing to "correct" the Hillary bubble lest the race became a total dud.

Baldness And The Presidency
October 31, 2007

A correspondent e-mailed me today from Los Angeles with the suggestion that I do a piece about baldness and the American presidency.  He writes that not since Dwight Eisenhower have the American people elected a bald man to the White House, that's five and a half decades.  He also points out that the only hairless candidate this year is Rudolph Giuliani.Well, Time magazine has an article, "The Bald Truth," in this issue enumerating the full-maned presidents since Ike: especially JFK, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.  Of course, the electorate in 1952 (and then again in 1956) had no choice betwe

The Hillary Papers
October 31, 2007

As I said below, I find Hillary's coyness about her exact role in her husband's administration rather strange. That said, I found it pretty silly for Barack Obama to jump in and gravely declare it "a problem" that Hillary won't publicly release her White House papers archived at the Clinton library.

Philadelphia Story
October 30, 2007

I saw another pretty strong night for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia. On both substantive and stylistic levels we learned nothing virtually nothing new about the candidates tonight. In the media's funhouse of expectations and conventional wisdom, however, I suspect Barack Obama will again be judged to have come up a little flat. It may be a matter of his delivery, but even with sharpened critiques Obama somehow doesn't break through and grab your attention. A couple of things I haven't seen discussed elsewhere jumped out at me. One was Hillary's response to a question about her experience.