Winning A Third Term
August 01, 2007
Charlie Cook has an interesting column about some challenges facing the Republican contenders in '08. Still, this part of his argument was entirely unconvincing: The fundamentals are quite clear. Four out of five times in the post-World War II era, the party holding the White House for two consecutive terms failed in their attempt to win a third term. In 1960, 1968, 1976 and 2000, the party occupying the White House saw its string end with two terms. Well, okay. Or you could say that the score is really 2-1-2 rather than 4-1.
The Gop's Glum View
August 01, 2007
Along with several other reporters today I attended a background lunch (held at 101 Constitution Avenue, naturally) with a prominent Republican senator. It doesn't seem like much fun to be in his shoes right now. He could barely mount a case for a Republican comeback in the short term, and even fretted about the possibility of Democratic numbers in the Senate growing to the point where Harry Reid can easily break filibusters. Particularly telling was his response when someone asked which issues he thought the GOP could ride back into power.
Fred Thompson's Launch Date
July 27, 2007
Via this morning's Hotline, I see that Fred Thompson told Hannity & Colmes last night that he'll probably announce his candidacy in September. His reasoning: "August is kind of a down month, not much going on, so it wouldn't make sense to do it in August." Sound familiar? It should. Here's Andy Card, explaining back in 2002 why the White House waited until September to start aggressively making the case for war with Iraq: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." And the Thompson analogies just keep on coming. --Jason Zengerle
July 27, 2007
By Jacob T. Levy A few days ago, Linda Hirshman (I apologize for having misspelled her name a few times below) wrote: Perversely, Rawlsian liberalism also produced a slippery slope into its opposite, complete selfishness. After all, unless you could achieve the degree of selflessness he required, there was no other place to stop.
The Loneliness Of Alberto Gonzales
July 26, 2007
Not even his FBI Director will back him up. From the AP: FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said Thursday the government's terrorist surveillance program was the topic of a 2004 hospital room dispute between top Bush administration officials, contradicting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' sworn Senate testimony. Mueller was not in the hospital room at the time of the dramatic March 10, 2004, confrontation between then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and presidential advisers Andy Card and Gonzales, who was then serving as White House counsel.
The Mystery Of Bush's Unpopularity
July 25, 2007
The Washington Post's Peter Baker has an article today on President Bush's massive unpopularity. Oddly, Baker treats the phenomenon as both hard to explain and largely unrelated to anything Bush has done: Yet Bush's political troubles seem to go beyond particular policies.
July 24, 2007
Like Eve, I thought Bill Richardson had some impressive moments last night (he had some bumbling ones too, recalling Ryan Lizza's profile of the candidate). I particularly liked his honest answer on gay marriage: "Well, I would say to the two young women, I would level with you--I would do what is achievable." In my mind, he scored the best line of the night during the touchy-feely "what do you like about each other" moment (besides Hillary's smart quip about disliking Bush's 2000 election too).
July 20, 2007
This story in the Post today is absolutely incredible--if unsurprising. The White House has refused to let Harriet Miers testify before Congress, citing executive privilege. Congress has threatened to charge her with contempt. But now the Bush administration has responded by saying that the Justice Department will never pursue contempt charges against Miers or any other official who invokes executive privilege.
July 20, 2007
I'm quite sure that no one ever gave up meat-eating because they were harassed by environmentalists.
Bigmouth Strikes Again
July 18, 2007
George W. Bush, 2002 State of the Union address: My hope is that all nations will heed our call, and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. Many nations are acting forcefully. Pakistan is now cracking down on terror, and I admire the strong leadership of President Musharraf. But some governments will be timid in the face of terror.