The group blog of The New Republic
August 1, 2007
"[Is it] a bigger feat to break 2,000 yards in one season or slice two necks in one night?"
--Caller to a web-radio interview featuring O.J. Simpson yesterday. The AP says the host rephrased the question as "What was your biggest accomplishment, basically, in football?"
"As his mom, I never really thought he was good-looking."
--The mother of Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth, reacting to her son's number-one position on The Hill's "50 Most Beautiful" list.
Charlie Cook has an interesting column about some challenges facing the Republican contenders in '08. Still, this part of his argument was entirely unconvincing:
The fundamentals are quite clear. Four out of five times in the post-World War II era, the party holding the White House for two consecutive terms failed in their attempt to win a third term. In 1960, 1968, 1976 and 2000, the party occupying the White House saw its string end with two terms.
So, yes, if I were Mitt Romney and my primary competitors for the GOP nomination were, to a greater or lesser degree, divorced ladies men, I'd probably make prominent political use of my large, beautiful family as well. But do we really need this video of them all "advising" him as he struggles to decide whether or not to run for president?
Along with several other reporters today I attended a background lunch (held at 101 Constitution Avenue, naturally) with a prominent Republican senator. It doesn't seem like much fun to be in his shoes right now. He could barely mount a case for a Republican comeback in the short term, and even fretted about the possibility of Democratic numbers in the Senate growing to the point where Harry Reid can easily break filibusters.
July 31, 2007
Ben Smith takes a look today at the three Washington tip sheets--The Note, First Read, and The Politico Playbook--vying to define conventional wisdom in this post-Mark Halperin world.
No one wants to offend Rick Klein, Chuck Todd, and Mike Allen, fearing their candidate may fall off the news-summary bandwagon.
"It's like choosing between Harvard, Yale and Princeton," gushes political consultant Chris Lehane.
While dutifully trudging my way through the Stephen Hayes book, I came to one central conclusion: The man cannot write. Since everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Rich Lowry to Jonah Goldberg is slobbering all over the damn thing, I felt the need to cite some examples.
Hayes's mangled prose is visible from the start.
Dick Cheney always wants to kill?That's one way of looking at him. And while this book was not meant to be the other, I sought to include that side in order to tell a more complete story.