The group blog of The New Republic

October 7, 2007

The latest Des Moines Register poll is out, and it shows Hillary building a significant, if hardly daunting, lead over John Edwards and Barack Obama: 29-23-22. The poll has Edwards dropping six points since May, when he led the field, something the Register attributes partly to the flap over his $5 million North Carolina home, his work for a private equity fund that invests in subprime mortgages, and reports of his $400 haircut.

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October 6, 2007

Via Alex Massie, I see that Gordon Brown has ruled out an election this Fall in Britain. The decision comes after tightening polls and a phenomenal speech by Conservative leader David Cameron.

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Mississippi governor and famed influence-peddler Haley Barbour had an interesting response Thursday to the piece Brad Plumer and I wrote about his K-Street ties. He made the comment to the Christian news service OneNewsNow.com:

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What to think of Clarence Thomas' memoirs? In The Washington Post, Jabari Asim offers up a mixed review, and notes that Thomas' famous comment about his Court hearings--"a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves"--was inspired by To Kill A Mockingbird.

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October 5, 2007

Thursday, the award for Most Obnoxious Political Threat went to James Dobson, for his pledge to punish the GOP if it dares nominate a presidential candidate he disapproves of. After much consideration and early-morning caffeine, I'm giving today's award to the AARP, whose knickers are in a twist over the Bush administration's support for Republican Senator John Ensign's plan to impose a means test on seniors enrolled in the Medicare Drug Plan. Responding to the proposal, which would impact participants with incomes over $80,000 a year, AARP policy director John Rother warns:

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Overall, I think the Romney campaign can feel okay about the way this quarter's fundraising numbers shook out. Granted, everyone in the GOP is concerned that their candidates are getting lapped by the Democratic field. But, among Republicans, Romney was probably close enough to Giuliani to call it a wash (nearly $10 million to around $11 million). And, of course, Romney kicked in $8.5 million of his own to ensure that he could hold his own in cash on hand.

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For those who missed it, Mitt Romney really went on the offensive yesterday, lashing into Rudy Giuliani's opposition to the line-item veto (or at least a version of it that passed in the '90s), and his support for the commuter tax in New York City. It was clear from one of Romney's first stops of the day, a town hall-type setting in Manchester, that Giuliani's fiscal-conservative credentials were going to be the theme for the day.

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There was a tiny piece in yesterday's Washington Post about a new study out indicating a pretty significant flaw in Bush's beloved No Child Left Behind law.

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After yesterday's threat to bolt the GOP, the Boston Globe wonders where he's going to come down on Romney:

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His latest Iowa spot focuses on--surprise!--Iraq, and stars Retired Air Force General Merrill McPeak. The general praises Obama for "showing insight and courage others did not" in opposing the war, and declares that "the old Washington hands have let us down. We need a new leader to lift America."

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