Not Necessarily Stoned But... Beautiful
September 06, 2007

Via email, a couple of interesting reactions to my post about Hillary and experience. Here's one from someone on Capitol Hill who supports Obama: You touch on an issue that most folks have ignored to date. Hillary is billing herself as the candidate of experience, yet she has served in public office for only six months more than John Edwards and four years more than Barack Obama (less when you count his time in the IL legislature).

A Dysfunctional Administration
September 05, 2007

The Washington Post follows up on yesterday's piece by Jeffrey Rosen in the New York Times Magazine with a sneak preview of its own of Jack Goldsmith's book about his tenure at the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. The Post article goes even further than Rosen in depicting the ridiculous bureaucratic political posturing Goldsmith had to engage in to make sure his legal opinions would stick: Goldsmith learned to be a tough interagency player during his tumultuous nine-month stint at the OLC.

But First: Are You Experienced?
September 05, 2007

Hillary Clinton unveiled a new advertisement today, which you can find below. Its thrust is "change," but the new theme of her campaign is a mashup of "change" and "experience." As HRC said in New Hampshire this weekend: "'Change' is just a word without the strength and experience to make it happen. And I know some people think you have to choose between change and experience. Well, with me you don't have to choose." So far this "experience" theme seems to be keeping Hillary in the lead over Barack Obama. But what does she really mean when she talks about "experience"?

All The World's A Stage
September 04, 2007

Say what you will about the underlying substance, Bush's trip to Iraq was expert stagecraft. The White House knew two things about this week's news cycle: One, that the media would be starved for things to cover after a holiday weekend--ensuring that Bush's visit would get massive play. And two, that this week truly begins a critical battle with congressional Democrats over how the surge (and therefore the proper response to it) is framed and explained for the public. The Bush team's plan worked like a charm. Democrats will straggle into D.C.

September 04, 2007

This is rich. Joseph Farah, founder and editor of one of the internet's most popular conservative websites, WorldNetDaily, will moderate the GOP "Values Voter Presidential Debate" on September 17th.

Playing The Part
September 03, 2007

Fred, Fred, Fred. If you and your team want to quash the widespread grumbling about your being a spoiled, lazy candidate basing a White House run on little more than your Hollywood celebrity, why do you keep behaving like one? After months of good ol' Fred's jerking voters around with his Hillybilly Hamlet act (should I? could I? dare I not?), now comes word that he has finally finished testing the waters and will take the plunge this week. But instead of making up for lost time by heading to New Hampshire to mix things up with fellow Republicans in Wednesday's debate, what is Fred doing?

Get Fired Up!
September 02, 2007

Hillary, is this why you are really fired up? Please cut the crap. Friday's Boston Globe features a story headlined: "Clinton says N.H.

John Warner And Iraq
August 31, 2007

This may be overthinking, but my first-blush reaction is that while Virginia Republican Senator John Warner's retirement may be terrible news for the GOP, which will have trouble holding his seat, it might be good news for George W. Bush and his Iraq war strategy. Why? Because Warner, who has provided Bush with key support on Iraq, had been on the hot seat in a state that just elected the stridently anti-war Jim Webb.

Sadr Fodder
August 29, 2007

Sadr declares a six-month militia ceasefire. Sounds like this has to do with complex internecine Shiite politics. But it also happens to come at an extremely convenient moment for the Bush administration--just before the Petraeus-Crocker report and a new round of war funding votes in Congress--and it will be interesting to see whether the White House tries to spin it as a reason to keep up the fight in Iraq. --Michael Crowley

The Damage Is Done, So I Guess I'll Be Leavin'
August 28, 2007

The Post today has the one of the smartest political analyses of the Gonzo departure I've seen, at least this morning. Rather than celebrating the AG's resignation as a sign that he -- or the administration, depending on whether you buy the line that the White House shop was actually bummed he stepped down -- has finally accepted reality, we should be baffled that he decided to resign after he had done almost all the political damage he could possibly do, a phenomenon that was prefigured by the fatally late departures of Rumsfeld and Harriet Miers.