The group blog of The New Republic

September 20, 2007

Marc Ambinder--who's been writing some terrific stuff lately--riffs on Obama's latest Iowa ad and puts his finger on something that's been bugging me from the get-go:

Iowa is a weird place to run this ad, which is why it's so audacious in the first place. A partisan primary is a very weird time to run this ad, which is why it stands out so much. Independents don't vote in the Iowa caucus; Democrats do.

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Even though I have something of a rooting interest in Tom Vilsack's veep chances--if only because the profile I wrote of him during his short-lived presidential campaign would again become relevant--I didn't think his selection was terribly likely. Yes, Hillary--or Obama, for that matter--will probably pick a moderate white guy as a running mate; but Vilsack's moderation tends to manifest itself as blandness. He's seemingly not someone who'd add much pizazz to the ticket.

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Pravda, of all places, has an article today theorizing the mysterious (supposed) "meteorite" that smashed into Peru and (supposedly) sickened 200 people was in fact a U.S. satellite. And:

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To fan the who-is-Bush-subtly-endorsing flames, here's a tidbit from a Mort Kondracke write-up of a meeting with Bush in which he waxes philosophical about what he's looking for in the next prez:

"He should be comfortable with his family," Bush said. "Should be somebody who'll work hard to make sure there's love in the White House ..."

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Jason, I guess I'm wondering whether a lead Hillary surrogate like Tom Vilsack (who hosted the "Darth Vader" fundraiser for her in New York last night) should be opening up the personal-life can of worms.

--Michael Crowley

It's a cute enough little conceit, I suppose, especially if you're eleven. But when this is the top "story" at CNN's "Election Center 2008" I think it's safe to say there's something wrong with the nation's political coverage.

--Christopher Orr

If you thought Obama looked cool on the cover of GQ, check this out.

Money quote:

Can the freshman senator from Illinois stick to his ideals and still become the first man to rock Air Force Ones on Air Force One?

--Michael Crowley

Over at the Corner, they're busy posting the names of Senators who voted for and against the resolution condemning last week's MoveOn ad, and Byron York finds it "interesting" that "Some of the senators who won the greatest support from the netroots in the last election, like McCaskill, Tester, Klobuchar, and Webb, voted to condemn the ad."

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Remember when Canadian foreign minister Peter MacKay, in perhaps the best geopolitical put-down of the year, ridiculed Russia's claim to the Arctic Ocean basin? ("This isn't the 15th century. You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory'.")

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According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bill "Don't Call Me Pullman" Paxton will serve as an executive producer on a new HBO mini-series based on Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which argues for the lone-gunman theory of the assassination.

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