More On Clinton And Elected Delegates
March 09, 2008

Isaac, in noting that Hillary Clinton is seemingly once again raising the possibility of pursuing Obama's pledged delegates, says: All this ensures is that the media will run a lot stories about a dirty campaign intent on stealing the election. Given that the Clintonites are going to need some good will in July (if in fact they want to garner a delegate majority through superdelegates), the logic of this ploy eludes me. Sounds like time for some idle speculation!  I was having lunch today with a friend who's convinced Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

Most Absurd Clinton Argument Yet?
March 06, 2008

It seems pretty apparent that the Hillary Clinton campaign's "kitchen sink" strategy -- that is, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Barack Obama -- is working.  It's not the only reason Clinton stopped Obama's political momentum and won the critical Ohio and Texas primaries on Tuesday.  But surely it's one of them. So it's hardly surprising that Obama and his advisers have decided to hit back.  On Wednesday, Obama made clear that he would be responding to Clinton attacks more forcefully in the future -- and asking her to answer the same sorts of quesitons that she has been putting to

Why Hillary Drops Her Final "g"s
March 05, 2008

Why isn’t it noticed, or, if noticed, not commented upon? At least in her Ohio and Texas talks, Hillary Clinton drops the final "G" from the "ing" words (participles, gerunds)--an annoyance, especially to those who’ve heard her talking to other people and groups where not one "G" is dropped and she sounds like the young woman who gave a famous Wellesley College commencement address, was one of America’s 100 most successful lawyers, was first lady of Arkansas and the United States, and has been a successful U.S.

The Mccain - Clinton Ticket
March 04, 2008

It's one thing for Hillary Clinton to attack Barack Obama, the overwhelmingly likely Democratic nominee, in terms virtually identical to those used by John McCain, his presumed general-election opponent. It's another thing for her to do this while explicitly praising McCain relative to Obama:  Defending her provocative television ad suggesting he was not up to the challenge of answering the White House phone at 3 a.m. in a crisis, she told reporters at a news conference Monday in Toledo: "I have a lifetime of experience I will bring to the White House.

A Document For Our Times
March 03, 2008

Dennis Ross wrote an article last week for TNR on-line which, while it is not exactly my take on American options in Iraq, is an important contribution to a real debate on future policy. But we are not having a real debate, certainly not in the Democratic Party in which the two candidates are arguing over who was right first and more consistently. Ross, an authoritative voice on matters Middle Eastern, believes that neither Hillary's nor Obama's position on withdrawal is realistic. And the fact is that they are not realistic because the surge has itself changed the variables.

Senate Looking Great For Democrats
March 03, 2008

The Swing State project has a fun, detailed rundown up of the Democrats' 2008 Senate prospects. It's worth looking at to get a sense of how things stand downticket. (I know, I know: There are elections besides Hillary versus Obama?) Upshot: Say '08 is only a medium year for Democrats and they win only five of the ten most competitive Senate races (in '06, by contrast, they won* every single competitive race but one). And say Joe Lieberman becomes a Republican.

Canada Strikes Back
March 03, 2008

If you haven't been following this Austan Goolsbee/Canadian consulate mini-flap, this piece is probably as good a place as any to get up to speed. I was actually alerted to the piece--which focuses on a memo written by a Canadian consular official after Goolsbee's meeting there--by the Clinton campaign. But while it's clearly an annoyance for the Obama campaign, it doesn't strike me as hugely damning. Anyway, here's the key passage, based on the memo: Goolsbee disputed a section that read: "Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S.

Are The Obama Wonks Really So Great?
March 03, 2008

My piece about Obama's wonks seems to have generated a lot of feedback last week (see, for example, Kevin Drum, Ezra Klein, and Matt Yglesias). Since many of the responses raised similar points, I figured I'd address them all at once. The most common objection is that I deemed Obama's policy shop to be better or more sophisticated than Hillary's, when in fact they take similar (if not identical) positions on maybe 90 percent of the issues facing the country.

The 3 A.m. President
February 29, 2008

Chait is bemused by Hillary's new ad envisioning a scary international crisis which precipitates a 3 a.m. phone call to the president. (The ad has been the subject of fierce dueling between the campaigns today, giving it a guaranteed free-media punch beyond its actual viewership.)   I don't find the ad remotely comparable to LBJ's (once-aired) "Daisy" ad, which essentially depicts a little girl being anhilliated by a nuclear explosion. I do agree with Jon that it's a bit substantively puzzling. The White House gets lots of calls in the middle of the night about foreign crises.

Uncle Sam, Shorthanded
February 29, 2008

Ryan Grim reports in the Politico that a number of federal agencies are severely undermanned because the White House and Senate Democrats can't agree on mutually acceptable nominees to fill the positions: At the height of concern over product safety and lead-tainted toys, the Consumer Product Safety Commission doesn’t have enough members to meet. The nation is facing the prospect of a presidential contest with no referee, because the Federal Election Commission is too short-handed to call a quorum.