February 01, 2008

New Jersey
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Sandwiched between New York City and Philadelphia, and lacking a statewide television news source, the Garden State is usually ignored by party candidates who would rather spend their time and money in the surrounding larger markets. But as a blue state run by a slick and powerful Democratic machine, New Jersey embodies both the strength and organization of the Clinton campaign and the challenge for Obama in states where he is running an insurgent campaign.

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Sick of the meaninglessness of its traditional June primary, Alabama was one of the first states to move its 2008 primary forward to February 5. Unfortunately, many of the larger states it was trying to leapfrog followed suit, and it finds itself in their shadows once again. This is unfortunate, since it is hosting two competitive races: Multiple candidates in both parties have good shots at victory. Delegates: Democrats, 60; Republican, 48. Formats: Both parties host open primaries.

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As the “buckle of the Bible Belt,” Tennessee is traditionally conservative and tends to support Republicans, going for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Though Mike Huckabee is relying on its strong evangelical community, the state has a history of being more economically and racially liberal than other southern states. Hillary Clinton is also hoping that, with its relatively small black population, Tennessee can be one of the few southern states she can win.

Who's Afraid Of The Methodist Church? Or The Presbyterians?
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The Methodist Church in the United States seems to have embarked on its annual foray into the murky waters where hostility to Zionism and Israel just barely averts anti-Semitism.  Or maybe not.The righteous Methodists are once again considering disinvesting from public companies which do business in Israel in general and with companies that somehow help sustain the occupation of the West Bank.  This might mean a farm machine company like International Harvester or John Deere or perhaps a seed company.  Of course, it depends in which companies Methodist endowment and pensions are invested.  But

Harry And Louise -- They're Back!
12:00 AM

A quick follow-up on last night's debate over health care reform -- and then a new development. 1.

Will Gore Endorse Obama?
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  Josh Green makes the case, with an interesting reportorial tidbit: "Obama and Gore have been speaking regularly, about every two weeks or so." Josh offers a list of reasons why Gore might choose Obama. I'll add a key point obvious to insiders but perhaps not to everyone: There is no love lost between Gore and Hillary. I very much doubt they're talking every couple of weeks. (I have heard that Gore and Edwards spoke a few times, by the way.) But wait! What if Hillary gets elected?

January 31, 2008

The Olmert Omerta

The good news about Ehud Olmert is that he is not a willful murderer of Israeli soldiers.

Le Divorce
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WASHINGTON--If John McCain secures the Republican presidential nomination, his victory would signal a revolution in American politics--a divorce, after a 28-year marriage, between the Republican and conservative establishments.McCain would be the first Republican nominee since Gerald Ford in 1976 to win despite opposition from organized conservatism, and also the first whose base in Republican primaries rested on the party's center and its dwindling left.

Can Friends of Israel--and Jews--Trust Obama?
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Florida, of course, is a different story, but back in Iowa there was no need for Barack Obama or any other candidate to worry about the Jewish vote. There are 7,000 Jews in the entire state, including 100 Hassidim who work a kosher meat-packing plant in Pottsville.

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Sandwiched between delegate-rich behemoths Massachusetts and New York, with a primary that has historically been an afterthought, reliably Democratic Connecticut is still adjusting to its newfound influence on the race for the 2008 nomination. Full of Eastern liberals and moderate Republicans, and lacking large urban centers, this state has more diverse interests and geography than the homogeneous and notoriously well-off exurbs of New York City might suggest.