February 12, 2008
MANASSAS, Va.--It's come down to this: Who can beat John McCain? Winning that argument could allow Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to reach beyond their respective demographic comfort zones. Only if one of them can build a clear majority will the party be saved from a descent into the mire of rules fights and backroom dealing.
Obama's Best Speech Yet
It's been a week or so since I've heard Obama's stump speech, so maybe this is old news. But -- wow -- he is really going after John McCain. And he's doing a damn fine job of it. He started by honoring McCain's service, with all apparent sincerity, and then pivoted quickly to this line: "John McCain has the wrong priorities -- because they are bound to the policies of the past." He then promised "a clear choice," tying McCain to the Bush tax cuts and, in particular, the war in Iraq: "John McCain won't be able to say I ever supported this war in Iraq, because I opposed it from the start. Sena
A key component of Hillary Clinton's campaign message is that she would be tougher on foreign policy than Barack Obama. She has spent a lifetime constructing this hawkish image (see Mike's excellent piece from last year on the formation of Hillary's views on the exercise of American power), in full knowledge that she would have to neutralize fears of her being a radical peacenik if she ever wished to make a serious run for president.
I just wanted to excerpt some key passages from Josh Green's Atlantic piece on Patti Solis Doyle, which illustrate the themes Mike mentioned earlier: After the race, Solis Doyle was put in charge of fund-raising and later became campaign manager for Clinton’s Senate reelection bid in 2006. She earned a reputation as a contentious, domineering boss.
Ed Rendell, Straight-talker
Via TPM Election Central, I see that Governor Ed Rendell is back to embarrassing a presidential candidate he ostensibly supports. Here's an account of how Rendell, a Hillary supporter, recently sized up Obama's chances in Pennsylviania: Gov. Ed "Don't Call Me 'Fast Eddie' " Rendell met with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week to talk about his latest budget.
February 11, 2008
R.i.p. Tom Lantos
Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, died today. His politics were complex--a big supporter of authorizing Bush to go to war in Iraq in '02, he also was one of the first legislators to go to Libya as things were starting to thaw in '04, and argued for normalizing relations--but the authority of his voice when he spoke about human rights was something incredibly special.
February 10, 2008
Maverick Vs. Iceman
A couple of years ago, as part of his campaign to reassure conservatives of his ideological reliability, John McCain sat for an interview with Stephen Moore, a Wall Street Journal editorial writer and fervent advocate of supply-side economics. In the course of the interview, McCain acknowledged that not all his positions were acceptable to the right, but he hinted that further rightward evolution might be possible. “His philosophy is best described as a work in progress,” wrote Moore somewhat hopefully.
Blame Hillary, Not Solis Doyle
I don't know much about the inner politics of the Clinton campaign. There is one top manager there whom I like and respect very much. But I wouldn't--for his sake--mention his name. And I can't estimate the political fall-out that's going to result from Hillary displacing Patti Solis Doyle, a Hispanic woman, with Maggie Williams, also a woman but a black woman. I do know that all of this was predicted in Michelle Cottle's fast-paced but scrupulous account of the hair-pulling in the Hillary camp.There is one thing I do grasp, however, and that is when a candidate begins replacing staff it i
Goodbye, Patti Solis Doyle!
Looks like Hillary booted her top campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, today. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who read Michelle's prescient article from last week's issue about the imminent shake-up in Hillaryland: The adviser most damaged by Iowa may be the one closest to the candidate: Hillary's longtime scheduler and alter ego, Solis Doyle. Among the most devout members of Hillaryland, Solis Doyle is cheered by supporters as an "unconventional" choice for campaign manager.
February 08, 2008
The Wrong Kind of Religious
Mitt Romney suspended his presidential campaign yesterday, after his poor showing on Super Tuesday made a victory over John McCain all but mathematically impossible. As much as McCain and Mike Huckabee loathe Mitt, it's been easy to imagine them conspiring to deliver the killing stroke. Conventional wisdom says Huckabee won five southern states outright and helped turn others, such as Missouri, to McCain by taking conservative votes away from Romney. But Romney probably wasn't going to earn those ballots anyway.