John Sununu

Rethinking the Other in AntiquityBy Erich S. Gruen (Princeton University Press, 415 pp., $39.50)   MITT ROMNEY, along with other Republicans, has worked hard over the last few months to present Barack Obama as something other than a genuine native-born American. He has stopped short of the absurdities of the “birther movement,” but he has insisted that the president, in all the ways that really matter, is somehow less American, and more foreign, than he and the members of his party.

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The Republican race briefly jumped ahead from Michigan to Ohio today with the rather overhyped announcement that the state’s attorney general, former U.S. senator Mike DeWine, was switching his support from Mitt Romney to Rick Santorum. DeWine, who was driven from the Senate in the same year as Santorum, 2006, did not mince words in announcing his desertion: “Let’s be honest.

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You may well have missed it while steeped in eggnog and wrapping paper this past weekend, but Bob Woodward returned to the pages of the Washington Post with a big double-truck piece on Newt Gingrich's revolt against President Bush Senior's deficit-reduction deal in the fall of 1990.

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A conference call from the Romney campaign on Thursday may prove to be a critical moment in the 2012 presidential campaign. The subject of the call was Paul Ryan’s controversial proposal for Medicare – and the very different ways that Romney and Newt Gingrich, have treated it. Ryan’s plan, as you may recall, is controversial because it would end Medicare as we know it, transforming the government insurance plan into a voucher scheme with no guarantee that the vouchers would enable seniors to buy comprehensive insurance.

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There's some news buzz around Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and Chuck Schumer's proposal, introduced earlier this week, to create a Financial Product Safety Commission (FPSC) that would regulate, among other things, mortgages, credit, and payday loans to "reduce [their] consumer risk." The Chicago Sun-Times even touted the commission as "Durbin's big idea." But, as Clay Risen noted this morning, the brain behind the idea is Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, bankruptcy expert, and chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel (COP). In her COP role, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ha

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It seems to be consensus that this election has become a referendum on Barack Obama. That has some upsides for the Democrats: It means the press will air an Obama speech in its entirety while cutting off a McCain talk in favor of a bear named Li'l Smokey, for one. But it's worth remembering that downticket Democrats had an entirely different kind of referendum in mind for this year: a(nother) referendum on George W. Bush.

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Let The Games Begin!

Michael Lewis's 1996 New Hampshire diary.

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Dicks

In July, 1994, when Bill Clinton was touring Europe, the president's aides were, well, awestruck by the tenacity of Richard Holbrooke, then the United States Ambassador to Germany. What accounted for this reaction? During the president's visit to Germany, Holbrooke was, as one official put it, "a whirling dervish." He managed to wangle his way into top-level meetings and hounded White House staff to get airplane and helicopter seats close to Clinton.

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Sidney Blumenthal on Pat Buchanan's 1992 primary coup.

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All The President's Perks

ON A WARM AND SPRING SUNNY day Bonnie Newman, then assistant to the president for management and administration of the Bush White House, ate lunch at the Occidental restaurant with two former presidential aides, Jonathan Miller and Christopher Hicks. The restaurant is one block from the White House. As 2 p.m.

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