Person Relation

Mccain Takes After Obama--again
February 19, 2008

Sounds like John McCain had seen the same exit polls we had by the time he gave his victory speech just now. Lots of shots at Obama's empty rhetoric, inexperience, confused ideas, etc. Even a shot at Michelle Obama's recent quip that she's proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. ("I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I haven't been proud" of serving my country, McCain said.) My colleague John Judis e-mails to say Mark Salter (McCain's longtime chief of staff) is a talented speechwriter.

Former Clinton Speechwriter Weighs In On Plagiarism-gate
February 18, 2008

We asked former Bill Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet if today's plagiarism accusations against Barack Obama were justified. In his mind, was what Obama did acceptable, or a violation of speechmaking ethics? Here are his thoughts ...   Barack Obama’s greatest strength is the originality of his rhetoric.

February 13, 2008

"If you look at the Clinton and Huckabee votes in Virginia, they mirror each other. They both do well where it's poor and white. Look at the few counties in Virginia where she managed to prevail. She generally took them by 3:1 or greater margins which would be good for her except they're tiny depopulated rural counties near the Tennessee border like Scott and Washington.... If her trends continue like this she'll resemble Huckabee--a boutique candidate, catering to a small portion of the electorate.

More On The Clintons' Piggy Bank
February 07, 2008

Just to pick up where Mike left off, the prospect of the Clintons self-funding part of Hillary's campaign really does raise a lot of questions, some of them uncomfortable. For example, according to this Washington Post story from last year, Bill frequently commands between $200,000 and $300,000 per speech (with foreign clients usually paying the highest prices).

Why John Edwards Won
January 30, 2008

John Edwards ends his presidential candidacy today. This is not surprising news: He finished third in every single contest except for Iowa, where he narrowly beat Hillary Clinton. Going forward, he doesn't have the money or the organization to compete with either her or Barack Obama. And, most important, Democratic voters seem content with choosing between the two front-runners—as, in fact, they should. Both Clinton and Obama are capable of running formidable campaigns and, if elected, both could lead successfully. This is hardly a knock on Edwards's political talents.

What Happened To Bill Clinton?
January 27, 2008

I know what’s happened to my feelings about Bill Clinton, so I assume that the same change has taken place in others.I’ve been a fan of Bill Clinton’s since his first presidential campaign, I voted for him twice and felt for him deeply when the Congressional lynch mob Clarence Thomas took unto himself ganged up to throw him out of office.

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.

Edwards Obsessed With Pakistan!
December 30, 2007

It's hard to do justice to Josephine Hearn's hilarious piece on John Edwards and Pakistan, but I'll try: The man in the audience here at the Holiday Inn hadn’t asked about Pakistan; he’d asked about a Department of Peace as proposed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. But John Edwards, flush with praise for his swift response to the Pakistan crisis, was determined to talk about political unrest in the faraway country. “Pakistan. Let’s use Pakistan as a vehicle for talking about this,” he said during a question-and-answer session with voters.

Hillary's Iowa Hand
December 30, 2007

  That's Hillary's Iowa state director, Teresa Vilmain, working the rope line and passing out caucus signup cards at Clinton's event tonight in the east-central town of Traer. (With a population of 1,594, Traer isn't exactly a prime campaign destination. One local at the event tonight told me Hillary was the first candidate she can recall visiting, and added that she'd never considered caucusing until Clinton showed up. "I never gave it any thought, but I'm kind of excited [now]," said Kathleen Cochran, who appeared to be in her sixties.

Lessons From 2000; Spouses In Iowa
November 28, 2007

Sneak Preview [Adam Nagourney, The New York Times]: "The 12 months leading to Mr. Giuliani’s departure [from the 2000 Senate race] are as instructive today as they were riveting then: a blistering year of mental gamesmanship, piercing attacks, contrasts in personalities and positions, and blunders, played out by two outsize political figures in a super-heated atmosphere. Bill Hits the Trail [Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register]: "Former President Clinton laid it on thick Tuesday with statements of loyalty and admiration for his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton. ...