Obama's Soft Paternalism
January 02, 2008
David Leonhardt has a very good piece in today's New York Times taking a look at the (relatively minor) philosophical differences between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on economic issues. Key takeaway: The easiest way to describe Senator Clinton’s philosophy is to say that she believes in the promise of narrowly tailored government policies, like focused tax cuts. She has more faith that government can do what it sets out to do, which is a traditionally liberal view. Yet she also subscribes to the conservative idea that people respond rationally to financial incentives.
Clinton The Independent Favorite? Pshaw.
January 02, 2008
I think the most interesting news about the Des Moines Register poll is that it shows, again, how much more appeal Barack Obama has with swing voters than does Hillary Clinton. Indeed, all sides now seem to agree that the outcome of the caucus will depend on how many independent or Republican voters, who strongly favor Obama, will actually caucus. It's reminiscent of the 2000 Republican primary contest between John McCain, who had enormous crossover appeal, and George W. Bush, the favorite of party regulars.
What That Register Poll Really Says (or Doesn't Say)
January 02, 2008
For those who spent the past 36 hours celebrating (and recovering) rather than obsessing over presidential politics, the big news over New Year's was the final Des Moines Register poll. Released just hours before the end of 2007, it showed Barack Obama increasing his lead in Iowa over fellow Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. But even before theRegister's morning edition began hitting doorsteps, both the Clinton and Edwards campaigns had put out their counter-spin.
Clinton Jedi Mind Tricks On Pakistan
January 01, 2008
The breaking news of Hillary Clinton’s unrepentant stumbles on the subject of Pakistan hasn't shocked me. It's an old story. During interviews in the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto’s killing Thursday, Clinton had suggested she was a familiar hand at Pakistani politics and a close acquaintance of Bhutto (which is apparently due more to Bhutto’s outreach in Washington than to HRC’s globetrotting). In the process, she got a few details of her friend’s life wrong—the number of children, the manner of her father’s death—but the worst was yet to come.
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.
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?
Quote Of The Day: Chris Rock
December 28, 2007
From the NYT: “I love Hillary Clinton, but to me she is the Democratic version of George Bush: someone who is running, and the only reason you know who this person is is because of their name.” --Ben Wasserstein (Illustration: NYT/Sean McCabe)
Who's Sean Wilentz Calling Delusional?
December 20, 2007
If you haven't yet read Sean Wilentz's anti-Obama brief on our site, you should. I take Wilentz's point that the political press (myself included) is probably too enamored of Obama's biography--and the insight and instincts that we presume he's acquired from his life experiences. But, that said, I'm not really clear how Wilentz himself doesn't fall into that trap when assessing his own preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Obama Snags Former Clinton Advisers
December 18, 2007
Jumping Ship: [Amy Lorentzen, AP]: “On Tuesday, [Obama] brought out a group of policy advisers including Tony Lake, a national security adviser to former President Clinton, and Susan Rice, former assistant secretary of state for African Affairs under Clinton.” Making Up For Lost Time:[Michael Luo, The New York Times]: “Mr. Romney is scheduled to make five appearances across South Carolina today, hopscotching across the state with the help of four different plane flights on a charter jet ... It is his first trip back to the state since Nov. 9 and markedly different because of Mr.
Edwards Receives Endorsement; Clinton Cries
December 17, 2007
Edwards’s First Lady, Not Named Elizabeth: [Julie Bosman, The New York Times]: “This afternoon at an Edwards campaign event, [Iowa’s First Lady] Mrs. Culver announced that she would endorse Mr.