Person Relation

The End Of Don Young?
July 14, 2008

Over at The Fix, you can check out the details on the first DCCC ad buy of the '08 House campaign. Not a lot of surprises there --  they're planning to play very heavily in southwestern and midwestern states like New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and aren't dumping money yet into some of the tight New York races (like Democrat Dan Maffei's in Syracuse) possibly on the theory that these northeastern seats are more likely to just flip themselves on the demographics -- but there is one buy that should excite you: $586,000 in reserved air time against Alaska GOPer Don Young.

Jesse Helms
July 04, 2008

After reading over the coverage of Jesse Helms' passing on a prominent conservative blog, it seems apt to quote Sean Connery in Goldfinger, and say that it is "shocking, positively shocking" that the conservative movement has trouble winning over black voters. Anyway, the two best Helms stories remain: Soon after the Senate vote on the Confederate flag insignia, Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.) ran into [African-American Illinois Senator Carol] Mosely-Braun in a Capitol elevator. Helms turned to his friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), and said, "Watch me make her cry. I'm going to make her cry.

One Elitist's Attempt To Understand The Real America
June 30, 2008

Eli Saslow's finely reported and dutifully balanced Washington Post front page piece on Findlay, Ohio has gotten a lot of comment in the blogosphere (see Jason, below). Over on some conservative blogs like The Corner (see here and here), there seems to be general anger at the story, which the right sees as another sign of liberal media elitism. Saslow spent some time in Findlay with Jim Peterman, a retiree and military veteran who is unsure whether he should vote for Obama, or McCain, or not at all.

Today's Polls: The Bounce Hits The Badger State
June 12, 2008

Beginning today, I will be cross-posting the daily polling thread at The Plank. For those of you who don't know me, I am the proprietor of, which is sort of a self-help group for polling junkies. Most all of the rest of my blogging will remain exclusive to FiveThirtyEight, except when I feel like making fun of Jonathan Chait. We are, however, also contemplating a weekly, graphics-intensive feature in TNR's print edition.It's a good day to get started, because the pollsters are up bright and early.

The Ballad Of Mark Penn
June 08, 2008

It's funny how, in the Times worthwhile behind-the-scenes account of the Clinton campaign, the ideas rejected because they would have worsened an already bad situation were almost always Mark Penn's: At one point, Mr. Penn argued that Mrs. Clinton should find subtle ways to exploit what he called Mr. Obama’s “lack of American roots,” referring to his Kenyan father and his childhood years in Indonesia and even the offshore state of Hawaii, the campaign officials said. Mr. Penn recommended that Mrs.

Gaming Out Cap-and-trade In The Next Congress
June 06, 2008

As Brad notes, Lieberman–Warner didn't come close to getting the 60 votes needed for cloture this year. It got 48 votes (roll call here), plus pledges from six more senators who missed the vote but say they would have voted for cloture. So that means it came up six votes short. Where might those votes come from if a similar bill is brought up next year? Obviously, a whip count this far out is very, very rough, but here's some idea.

Dap Politics
June 04, 2008

On the lighter side of my earlier post on race spokesmanship in American politics--the accompanying photo has exposed a seam in the almost-smooth transition to multi-ethnic, if not post-racial news coverage. Here, again, "the dap":   For the record, I thought it was incredibly cute, an intimate, yet tasteful (get a clue, Gore) expression of the Obamas excitement and mutual affection. Yet for those who have never watched professional sports, the "dap" apparently still requires translation. Chris Beam at Slate has a witty rundown of the various attempts at description in news outlets today.

Bill Unleashed!
June 02, 2008

He may have saved his most dramatic outburst for the very end: Tightly gripping this reporter's hand and refusing to let go, Clinton heatedly denounced [Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum], who is currently married to his former White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers. "[He's] sleazy," he said referring to Purdum. "He's a really dishonest reporter.... There's just five or six blatant lies in there.

Scenes From Today's Rbc Hillary Protest
May 31, 2008

Howard Dean may hope that the "healing will begin today," but two blocks away from the northwest Washington Marriott where the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting right now to try to figure out Florida and Michigan, the Hillary protesters are occupying an utterly alternate (and healing-free) universe: a universe in which one of the big lawn rally's speakers yells that the Democratic Party no longer is in the business of "promoting equality and fairness for all"; in which a Hillary supporter with two poodles shouts, "Howard Dean is a leftist freak!"; in which a man exhibits a sign that

More On Sydney Pollack
May 28, 2008

David Edelstein pens a characteristically smart and moving eulogy to Sydney Pollack, the actor: It began with Tootsie, a role that Pollack stepped into reluctantly, and the reluctance is right there onscreen, in a good way: The agent, George, just wants to do his job, eat his lunch. (That’s his motivation.) ... In Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives, Pollack is even more brilliantly instinctive.