BEFORE HE EARNED his reputation as one of the best ad men in politics, before he wrote for several major television shows, and long before he became Mitt Romney’s top campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens found himself in Cameroon, face to face with a machine-gun-wielding soldier looking to shake him down. It was 1988, and a few weeks earlier, Stevens had deposited himself in the nearby Central African Republic to pick up a friend’s Land Rover and drive it back to France. But the trip was a disaster from the get-go. Local officials confiscated the car and refused to release it.
JACKSON, Michigan – Did Mitt Romney win the Michigan primary? Or did he merely survive it? That really depends on your perspective. As recently as a few days ago, Romney was trailing in the polls. And as recently as Tuesday afternoon, Romney staffers were talking down expectations. But Romney won a clean victory on Tuesday night. He won handily in the Detroit metro area, his home turf, but he also ran strong in more contested counties, like Livingston and Jackson, to the west. But why was it ever this close? Romney had superior money, organization, and, for a long time, name recognition.
Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush By John Yoo (Kaplan, 544 pp., $29.95) Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State By Garry Wills (Penguin, 288 pp., $27.95) I. In December 2008, Chris Wallace asked Vice President Cheney, “If the president, during war, decides to do something to protect the country, is it legal?” Cheney’s answer included a reference to a military authority that President Bush did not exercise.
It's early December and Chris Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist, is describing the exotic hunting trophies--from assorted skulls to giant warthog hooves that serve as bookends--that decorate his Capitol Hill office. "The Kudu. The Livingston Eland. The Blue Wildebeest," says Cox in his mellifluous Jackson, Tennessee, accent, ticking off the creatures he has downed. He pauses, then beams, "And the Cape Buffalo. It's one of the Big Five--one of the five most dangerous animals you can hunt in Africa." But there's one recent kill that Cox isn't bragging about.
Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books by H.J. Jackson (Yale University Press, 324 pp., $27.95) A certain Cambridge classics teacher named Walter Whiter suddenly became fairly famous when a peculiar book of his, A Specimen of a Commentary on Shakespeare, originally published and scorned in 1794, was rediscovered and for a while admired in the twentieth century. The brief vogue of the Specimen prompted some research into its author, so we know that Whiter was for some years the close friend of Richard Porson, the great Greek scholar.
Fort Payne, Alabama The State of Alabama, itching faintly in its conscience and outraged violently in its public relations sense, has charged Floyd Simpson, a grocer, with having murdered William Moore, a pilgrim, on US Highway 11, 28 miles from here, an hour or so after dark. Bill Moore had set himself to walk from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., where, as a white man, he would ask Governor Ross Barnett to begin to understand the aspirations of Negroes to “be gracious and give more than is immediately demanded of you.” He planned to cover 40 miles a day pushing his belongings in a su