Iowan Of The Day
January 01, 2008

Meet Jo Zunkel, a resident of rural Ogden who showed up to see Hillary Clinton at Iowa State University in Ames this morning. Jo is an archetypal Hillary supporter--a woman in her sixties who backs Clinton without reservations and loves the idea of a strong and brave woman in the White House. "She's very intelligent. We need somebody with brains," Zunkel told me, adding that she is totally commited to caucusing Thursday night.

Sunday Primetime
December 30, 2007

From time to time, we ask New York drama critic Jeremy McCarter to assess the theater of politics. Here's his take on some candidate appearances on this weekend's Sunday morning talk shows: Let the screenwriters keep striking. Without their help, the Sunday talk shows go on yielding tense plots and subplots, improbable characters in twisty relationships, and bold strokes of comedy. Some of them are even intentional. "Great to be here," said Hillary Clinton as she walked onto the set of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Is "great" the word she wants there?

Hillary And Rwanda
December 26, 2007

Today's NYT look at Hillary's White House foreign-policy role by Pat Healy is interesting in various ways, not least for Hillary's conspicuous paranoia of saying anything noteworthy about her influence on Bill's decision making. Also conspicuous is her apparent omission of any hint that she supported bombing in Bosnia and Kosovo. But I was most struck to see that when asked about the Rwandan genocide, "Mrs.

Dana Perino's Strange Nyt Response
December 19, 2007

Shorter Washington Post, on the White House's reaction to this morning's big New York Times story: "We might have told the CIA to destroy the interrogation tapes, but we definitely didn't lie about it afterward!" I'm not sure exactly how this is supposed to make the administration look better, although now that Perino mentions it, I guess it's true that most instances of Bush administration misconduct have been accompanied by efforts to mislead journalists. It seems like Perino's really being overly defensive here--the Times didn't accuse the administration of misleading the press.

Throwing Money Down The Palestinian Authority Sinkhole
December 18, 2007

This morning's Times, like most other news sources, reports that at an international conference in Paris presided over by Nicolas Sarkozy -- a gathering which Jacques Chirac would have never been allowed to chair -- the attendees pledged nearly two billion dollars more than the Palestinian Authority had requested from what is coyly termed the "international donor community."  This turned out to be, as the Times reminded, the "most ambitious" such venture since 1996, at which point Yassir Arafat was still ruling the roost from Ramallah and there was absolutely zero progress on arrangements betw

David Brooks: Presidential Pop-psychologist
December 18, 2007

David Brooks spends today's column explaining why Obama is more emotionally grounded than Hillary and would thus make a better president. This may very well be true. Whatever her virtues, Hillary doesn't strike many folks as particularly zen. But (surprise!) Brooks is a little too glibly authoritative is his broader pronouncements. Take this pearl: Many of the best presidents in U.S. history had their character forged before they entered politics and carried to it a degree of self-possession and tranquillity that was impervious to the Sturm und Drang of White House life.

Like (brainwashed) Father, Like (pandering) Son
December 18, 2007

The Apple Never Falls Far... [David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times]: "On the trail, his father’s ghost hovers constantly over the Romney campaign. ...

Tears For Oil In Hillaryland
December 18, 2007

Yesterday's news from the campaign trail--that Hillary Rodham Clinton got "visibly emotional" at a rally celebrating her political career--nicely complements her team's accelerating efforts to signpost her basic humanity. (Did anyone catch her middle-of-the-road New Year's resolutions at last week's debate?

Thompson Simply Hard-wired Wrong For The White House
December 13, 2007

The general consensus is that Fred Thompson turned in his best debate performance to date yesterday, actually appearing awake for at least a portion of the proceedings. With only three weeks to go until the caucuses, is it really possible that Thompson is going to at last get serious about the race and exert some sort of effort? I've always gotten the sense that ol' Fred likes to think of himself as a clutch player, the type of fella who doesn't need to work up a sweat in the early going then comes to life in the last few minutes of the game to carry the day.