October 01, 2008
With Great Power Comes ... What?
WASHINGTON--John McCain won the first presidential debate, but Barack Obama probably won the election. McCain was the impatient tactician, Obama the patient strategist. Obama did not set out to debate against McCain so much as to counter the perception that he is a rookie, a closet Muslim radical or a foreigner. His suave demeanor was intended to make people comfortable with him. In the wild, the hungry wolf will always devour the elegant gazelle. In the debate, and perhaps in this election, the opposite seems true. But here is my problem.
Hello Darkness, My Old Friend
Actually, contrary to early reports, Sarah Palin's answer when Katie Couric asked her what Supreme Court cases she disagreed with other than Roe v. Wade was not "silence." Whether it was better or worse, I'll leave to readers. (Might want to work on that "right to privacy" response, too.) Her comments begin around the two-minute mark. --Christopher Orr
The Palin Chronicles: Make It Stop!
Tonight's trip to the Couric chamber may have been the most painful to date. I literally put my hands over my face as I watched. And I don't see how a few days in tranquil Sedona can compensate for her roaring ignorance on such fundamental issues--it's like trying to cram for the bar in a weekend. Tomorrow night could be very painful. My advice to Joe Biden: Be boring, and focus on McCain. Palin should take care of herself.
"Live from St. Louis, it's Thursday night!" Gov. Sarah Palin isn't likely to open the debate that way, but the public could be excused if they expected her to. After all, in the last week we have seen more of Tina Fey's "Saturday Night Live" imitation of Sarah Palin than we have of the Governor herself. That will finally change, when Gov. Palin steps out on the big stage and debates Sen. Joe Biden.What must Gov. Palin do to make Americans forget Fey's send-up and demonstrate she is ready to lead? What must Sen.
527 Watch: Vets For Freedom
The 527 group Vets for Freedom is running a new ad accusing Barack Obama of skipping Senate votes and "voting against funding for our troops." The organization, which has been around since 2006, calls itself "a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...
September 30, 2008
Perception isn’t everything in markets, but it sure is close. If investors think housing prices will go up, they’ll go in for complex derivatives backed by home mortgages. If they think those mortgages will all fail--even if only a small percentage actually do--they’ll run like hell. The same goes for the bailout. It was never going to solve the crisis, though it would have stanched the bleeding. But passing it was intended as a signal to global investors that Washington was serious about intervening, a bid to boost investor confidence long enough to get credit moving again.
Anti-bailout Liberals, Cont'd
This may digress from The Stump's official mission, yet the Hill really is driving the presidential campaign right now, so here's an email from a reader with direct knowledge of House liberal politics setting me straight and shedding more light: I’d quarrel with your characterization of Lynn Woolsey as “extremely close” to the Speaker. There’s been tension in that relationship for some time, especially since the early 2007 debate over Iraq funding. At the risk of oversimplifying, Lynn and her “bring the troops home now” allies felt that Pelosi sold out.
Talking To The Camera About Taxes
Barack's talking to the camera again! With the markets in crisis, the Obama campaign this morning unveilled a new ad featuring the Illinois Senator addressing voters face-to-face about taxes and the economy. Some thoughts: -Likeability? Yes. If he's staring at us for two long televisual minutes--OK, probably two long streaming-video minutes in most people's cases--we'd better find it pleasant. Obama sounds authoritative and nice and grown-up. Kind of like a CEO in a corporate video. -Connection to Current Crisis? Tenuous.
In the debate, Barack Obama called North Korea's nuclear re-boot a symptom of the country's internal politics. But this nuclear breakdown may have less to do with Pyongyang than it does with internal divisions in Washington, D.C. This summer, Kim delivered on his part of the nuclear bargain: providing an account of his nuclear activities, submitting the North's plutonium program to safeguards, and destroying Yongbyon's cooling tower.
September 29, 2008
Meet Juan Crow
As the presidential campaigns frantically try to register new voters, Republicans have pushed forward a new law in Arizona that requires applicants to document their citizenship. Though the law's supporters say they are trying to prevent voter fraud by illegal immigrants, voting rights advocates are concerned about the thousands of eligible voters that have been disenfranchised by it. As a dozen new states consider similar legislation, TNR TV examines its impact.Renee Feltz and Stokely Baksh are multimedia investigative journalists based in New York City and Washington, DC.