Obama, Clinton On Crack
December 12, 2007
A recap: The U.S. Sentencing Commission recently decided to (slightly) reduce the over-inflated prison sentences for crack-cocaine crimes, which are punished far more harshly than equivalent powder-cocaine crimes—a nonsensical disparity that's accomplished little save for prison bloat. Then, yesterday, the commission voted unanimously to apply those guidelines retroactively, affecting some 20,000 current inmates.
December 11, 2007
At 12:58 pm today I got an email from the Obama campaign announcing a 2 pm conference call to unveil a "major endorsement" (which turns out to be anti-war New Hampshire freshman Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.) At 1:42 pm the Clinton campaign emailed announcing that--gee, what a coincidence!--it would stage its own 2 pm conference call, this one featuring Senator Evan Bayh and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, "to discuss why Hillary Clinton's [sic] is the most electable Democrat." Seems the Clinton people put their own call together so fast they couldn't avoid a typo--just a sign of how com
Is The Gop Losing Faith In Hillary?
December 10, 2007
It's starting to look that way. It used to be that the Republican candidates intoned the words "Hillary Clinton" like a mantra of sorts, but I'm pretty sure her name wasn't mentioned once in last night's GOP debate. And I noticed an interesting new hedge in a post-debate statement by McCain campaign manager Rick Davis: "John McCain is the only conservative who can beat Senator Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat next November.
Hillary's Political Tourette's
December 07, 2007
Before she developed her famous campaign discipline, there was one thing about Hillary Clinton that used to render me utterly apopleptic: She has something akin to political Tourette's Syndrome. Lord knows, it can't be easy to have your any stray word worked-over by a 24/7 media, but she still stood out for occasionally blurting out surprisingly inappropriate sentiments. For example, in May 2006 she blustered, apropos of nothing, that young people today "think work is a four-letter word," prompting an angry call from her daughter.
The Great Mandate Debate Continues
December 05, 2007
Kit Seelye's piece in today's New York Times concludes fairly strongly (too strongly, Paul Krugman thinks) that Hillary Clinton's health-care plan won't actually succeed in insuring more people than Barack Obama's, even though hers includes a mandate and his doesn't. Earlier this week Jon Cohn discussed his role in coming up with the 15 million figure (the number of people Clinton claims would remain uninsured under Obama's plan). Matt Yglesias thinks what's missing from the debate is some sense of who, if anyone, would actually be worse off under Obama's plan than under Hillary's plan.
Nie Fallout; Rasmussen Shows Huckabee Climbing
December 04, 2007
Hitting Back on Iran [Beth Fouhy, Associated Press]: "Hillary Rodham Clinton accused presidential rival John Edwards of making 'outlandish political charges' in portraying her vote against Iran as a pretext for war as the Democratic contenders confronted each other in a debate in Iowa just one month before the state's leadoff caucuses." Hsu Indicted [Matthew Mosk, Washington Post]: "The U.S.
December 03, 2007
We're living in a slow-motion constitutional crisis. The key questions of whether the president can torture people, declare a U.S. citizen an enemy combatant and remove him from the ordinary court system, or reinterpret law at the time of signing legislation (to name just three) were barely on the radar before six years ago. Voters fond of the Constitution’s limits on executive power and guarantees of civil liberties, then, need to take care in choosing the next president.
The Other Problem With Hillary's Character Attacks
December 03, 2007
Like Jason, I thought the Clintonites were really reaching by throwing Barack Obama's kindergarten oeuvre back in his face. In general, the last 24-hours of Clinton statements have made the campaign sound unusually panicked. My own feeling is that Clinton would be much better off banging away on differences in health-care plans than launching a round of what, by her own admission, will be character attacks. Besides potentially turning off Iowa voters, there's another reason for Hillary to hold her fire: It's only going to fuel the Obama fundraising juggernaut.
Hillary-obama, Gore-bradley, And Health Care
November 30, 2007
The Clinton-Obama battle has long had interesting parallels to the Gore-Bradley fight in 2000. Most obviously that means Obama's effort to make an argument against a Washington insider about political process and the nature of the capital, which is what Bradley sought to do to Gore. But people who followed the 2000 primary will recall how Gore ultimately beat down Bradley. It wasn't by counterattacking Bradley's vision for a new brand of politics. It was by savaging Bradley's health care plan. And that's what Hillary Clinton is doing know.
How Popular Is Powell?
November 29, 2007
Hillary Clinton's Colin Powell gambit is being blasted by a bunch of liberal bloggers. Here's a fairly representative critique from Matthew Yglesias: [I]f Clinton's looking to assuage people's doubts about her foreign policy judgment, this seems like a terrible way to do it. A lot of Clinton's pro-invasion advisors are too obscure for most people to recognize. But Powell was the public face of the Iraq sales pitch.