John Heilemann

January 13, 2010

As readers may have discerned, if only from the Harry Reid "Negro Dialect" furor the big whoop in Washington during the last few days has revolved around Game Change, a 2008 campaign chronicle by DC press veterans John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The people flacking this book have done a brilliant job of trickling out "juicy" insider anecdotes in which major campaign figures do and say deeply embarrassing things.

Sending A Message With Rahm And Summers
November 10, 2008

John Heilemann has an interesting piece this week about the calculus behind Obama's personnel decisions. He's high on Rahm and a potential Larry Summers appointment in particular, arguing that they send the right message to the country and to the various powers that be in Washington: The easy, no-drama call for Obama would simply be to bypass Summers in favor of Geithner, a younger man and a fresher face and thus a more vibrant symbol of the change Obama has promised. But tapping Summers would have advantages—not despite but precisely because of the opposition he has stirred up.

Hillary's Martyrdom Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be
June 16, 2008

I'm all for counterintuitive articles, and John Heilemann's big New York story making the case that Hillary has emerged from her defeat a "more resonant, consequential, and potent figure than she has ever been before" is a good one. But I'd like to take exception to one point Heilemann makes. He writes: It was only after Bill Clinton’s impeachment ordeal that he became a beloved figure on the traditional left, which had long regarded him warily before his persecution by the special prosecutor and the congressional Republicans. WJC, in other words, was fortunate in his enemies.

What Does Hillary Want?
June 01, 2008

New York's John Heilemann tries to answer the question: Whenever this query is put to me — which only takes place, oh, on the order of 100 times a day — my response is simple: She wants to be president. Duh. And if it ain’t gonna happen this year, then her central objective is to make it as likely as possible in 2012. As I’ve written many times, Hillary believes with every fiber of her being that Obama is going to lose this year.

Did Obama Blow It With Edwards?
March 30, 2008

I have no reason to doubt John Heilemann's account of Obama's two meetings with Elizabeth and John Edwards after Edwards ended his campaign. But, like Mike Allen, I'm skeptical that that's the reason Edwards hasn't endorsed Obama. Heilemann writes: But now two months have passed since Edwards dropped out—tempus fugit!—and still no endorsement. Why? According to a Democratic strategist unaligned with any campaign but with knowledge of the situation gleaned from all three camps, the answer is simple: Obama blew it.

Mccain's Non-comeback

If, shamefully, you have not been following every twist and turn in the John-McCain-is-deader-than-dead story, John Heilemann's New York piece on the subject is worth a read. This graf caught my attention: It would be pleasingly counterintuitive to declare that McCain, at this, his lowest moment, is now poised for a miraculous recovery. Indeed, I've been itching to write exactly that all through his recent free fall. But, alas, the contrarian impulse has its limits.