Gop Debate
October 09, 2007

Some reactions: Fred Thompson looked distracted, especially when answering questions about the economy. It was as if he were thinking of something else (his next movie or what he was going to order for dinner that night) and had to focus instead on some boring political question about social security or the disparity between the Dow and people's perception of the economy. Is he just rusty, or does he not really want to do this? Of the frontrunners, Romney had the clearest and most forthright answers. If you listen closely, you hear a moderate Republican beneath the rhetoric.

Obama's New Ad
October 05, 2007

His latest Iowa spot focuses on--surprise!--Iraq, and stars Retired Air Force General Merrill McPeak. The general praises Obama for "showing insight and courage others did not" in opposing the war, and declares that "the old Washington hands have let us down.

Armenian Genocide Update
October 05, 2007

With the Armenian genocide resolution nearing a vote in the House, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan spoke with President Bush today.

Your Classy Bush Administration
October 04, 2007

Or: How the White House decides who gets jobs--from that great piece on torture in this morning's Times: Among his first tasks at the Justice Department was to find a trusted chief for the Office of Legal Counsel. First he informed Daniel Levin, the acting head who had backed Mr. Goldsmith's dissents and signed the new opinion renouncing torture, that he would not get the job. He encouraged Mr. Levin to take a position at the National Security Council, in effect sidelining him.Mr. Bradbury soon emerged as the presumed favorite. But White House officials, still smarting from Mr.

Who Is James Dobson?
October 04, 2007

Focus on the Family leader James Dobson is threatening to take his ball and go home if the GOP dares nominate a pro-choice White House candidate. But Dobson has talked this way before, as I explained in this 2004 Slate "Assessment" of "The Religious Right's New Kingmaker." Come for the politics. Stay for the boy who tried to suck his own-- ...well, just read it. --Michael Crowley

The Kennedys
October 03, 2007

The Arthur Schlesinger diaries seem to be surprisingly interesting--at least from excerpts this month in The New York Review of Books (subscription only) and Vanity Fair (free). This, however, was pretty funny: March 31, 1962. The White House. The issue of raising children came up. The President, probably in order to provoke Marian and [society hostess] Martha Bartlett, said that he did not see why children should not be brought up in community nurseries. This led to a discussion of the role of the family.

Bush To Kids: Drop Dead
October 03, 2007

As expected, President Bush today vetoed a proposed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). By now, faithful readers of this website are familiar with the administration's arguments--and the many flaws they contain. (If not, see here and here.) But I can't help but seize on one of the statements Bush just made while making a speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania: "the policies of the government ought to be to help people find private insurance, not federal coverage." Really?

More Evidence Of A Secret Clinton Pact?
October 02, 2007

I'm a little late on this, but here's another comment that stood out when I went over the transcript of Bill Clinton's "Meet the Press" appearance this weekend: I think she's the best suited, best qualified nonincumbent I've had a chance to vote for for president for this moment in time. So I don't want to see her eliminated because, because we've been together for so long, and we've had a life we enjoyed immensely and--because I always thought, when we were going together in law school, I thought--I literally told her she shouldn't marry me because she was more gifted than me at politics.

Newt Says Nyet
September 29, 2007

That lasted all of two days. Newt decides he's not going to raise $30 million in a single month after all: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run for president in 2008 after determining he could not legally explore a bid and remain as head of his tax-exempt political organization, a spokesman said Saturday.Just last week, Gingrich said he had given himself a deadline of Oct.

Their Lips Are Sealed
September 26, 2007

Just when you think the Bush administration can't get any more galling in its handling of Iraq: "State Department bars employees from responding to corruption inquiry" So what do congressional Republicans think of this kind of White House maneuver? Do they worry that it will further erode public confidence in the party? Or do they assume that most Americans aren't paying attention? --Michelle Cottle