Ezra Klein Is Making Sense
October 09, 2007
He offers the best and most succinct take I've seen on just how brilliantly Hillary has played Obama: The most remarkable political triumph of this campaign was the Clinton campaign effectively defining Barack Obama's "new politics" as "not attacking Hillary Clinton by name." Obama, of course, could have defined the new politics however he wanted, from a focus on transformative policy to a willingness to call out the DC establishment. Instead, he let the Clinton camp define his message in a way advantageous to them.
The Clinton Taboo
October 08, 2007
How determined is the Obama campaign to avoid mentioning Hillary Clinton's name? Here's a passage from an email update sent around by the campaign this weekend: Specifically, on Tuesday, the fifth anniversary of Obama's forceful speech opposing the war in Iraq, a day on which another campaign reportedly wanted to gum-up the substantive coverage by releasing her fundraising totals, Obama dominated local press in Iowa and even managed to get stories in other early primary states on issues he was discussing on the trail.
Your Daily Dose Of Health Policy
October 08, 2007
Now that Hillary Clinton has followed John Edwards in endorsing an "individual mandate" model for universal health care, lots of people are asking questions about the model -- some good, some not so good. In Business Week, columnist Glen Whitman raises several objections. It's difficult to enforce a mandate that everybody buy insurance, he says; just look at how many people don't carry car insurance, which states supposedly require of all drivers.
The Dartmouth Debate
September 27, 2007
In the "spin room" after tonight's debate, Elizabeth Edwards suggested her husband offers Democrats a rare opportunity: the chance to nominate someone who is both the most progressive and the most electable candidate running. (At least among the plausible candidates.) It's an intriguing notion, one that would play well among the notoriously liberal and notoriously strategic-minded Democrats of Iowa. The only question is whether it's actually possible.
September 27, 2007
I'm far from immune to the widespread sense that Barack Obama is going to have to take on Hillary Clinton a lot more directly if he hopes to snatch the Democratic nomination from her, and I liked Noam's semi-tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Obama should swap campaign strategies with John Edwards. But I do think this kind of analysis tends to gloss over the salient fact that Barack Obama is a black man. It's all well and good for Edwards, a white Southerner, to appear riled up, confrontational, and even divisive, but it's far from clear that this is a luxury Obama can afford.
Dartmouth Debate Highlights
September 27, 2007
The anticipated fireworks between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton failed to ignite at last night's Democratic debate at Dartmouth, but the evening was not without its highlights. We've assembled clips from the night's most newsworthy moments here. Michael Crowley thought it memorable that "Tim Russert coldly punctured Edwards's [health care] balloon by reminding him that in 2004 he had opposed such a plan as unworkable--leaving Edwards looking like he'd seen a ghost" (at the beginning).
What's Evan Bayh Up To?
September 24, 2007
Chris Cillizza reports that Evan Bayh is set to endorse Hillary Clinton this afternoon. As Chris points it, Bayh's move is likely to ease him onto the Clinton vice-presidential short-list should she win the nomination. Probably the most frequent question I get when I talk to friends and family members about the presidential campaign is whether Clinton would choose Obama as her running mate if she were the nominee. To put it simply: This strikes me as completely ludicrous.
Clintoncare, The Sequel
September 17, 2007
In a few hours, Hillary Clinton will be rolling out her health care plan before an audience in Iowa. When she does, I'll have more to say on it. But here's what I can tell you now, based on interviews with her advisers and some outside experts over the last few days. As Laura Meckler first reported in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, Clinton's plan is very ambitious -- as far-reaching, in the broad sense, as the one John Edwards first proposed back in January. Indeed, the basic framework of the Clinton plan is strikingly simliar to that in the Edwards plan.
Unified Clinton Theory
September 16, 2007
In the past week or so Hillary Clinton has scored two interesting endorsements: Wesley Clark and Magic Johnson. The former NATO general and ex-NBA star could hardly have less in common, right? Wrong. Two words: Ron and Burkle. [First link via Swampland] P.S. Notice that Clark endorsed, with all the attendant media buzz, less than two weeks after the publication of his new book. Very clever. More: Ben Smith notes that Hillary actually plugged the thing in the endorsement conference call. P.P.S. In addition to my recent item, there's more on Magic's shilling for private equity tax breaks here.
Obama's Iraq Week
September 14, 2007
Obama's swing through Iowa was all about Iraq. After delivering his initial address in Clinton, he held four town hall-style forums in the eastern part of the state. Before taking questions he opened each event with a 15-minute condensation of his Wednesday Iraq speech. His campaign also distributed Iraq-specific campaign brochures to supporters. One of them is headlined, "BARACK OBAMA: Opposed to the Iraq War from the Very Start." Printed on one side are the particulars of Obama's plans for a US withdrawal from the country.