February 26, 2008

12:00 AM

Readers can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that for the first time Clinton just apologized for her Iraq war vote. She has parsed this issue before, but tonight's answer seemed somehow different. If so, it is very interesting that she waited until now. ("Interesting" is a euphemism...) Update: Here is what she said: Well, obviously, I've said many times that, although my vote on the 2002 authorization regarding Iraq was a sincere vote, I would not have voted that way again.

Mark Penn's "old School" Politics
12:00 AM

Via Ben Smith, this New York Observer interview with Leon Panetta is sort of worth your time. Most interesting portion: Mr. Panetta, who served as chief of staff in the White House from July 1994 to January 1997, and who has contributed $2000 to Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, complained that Mr. Penn “is a political pollster from the past.” ”I never considered him someone who would run a national campaign for the presidency,” he said. He asserted that Mr.

Where The Supreme Court And "office Space" Meet
12:00 AM

Remember the scene in the movie where Peter, Samir, and Michael Bolton decide to launder money but realize they don't know what the term means and resort to looking it up in the dictionary? Well, the justices are doing the same thing in an attempt to decide whether the feds are applying the term too loosely: The government ...

February 25, 2008

Heart of Darkness
12:00 AM

With the nation's press corps consumed by the election and the economy shuddering, President Bush head to Africa this week. It was his latest in a series of efforts to claim some positive legacy for his presidency. On his five-nation trip, Bush mostly avoided Iraq, terrorism, and his other normal themes. Instead, he visited supposed success stories like Rwanda and Ghana and touted his administration’s generous commitment to aiding these nations as loudly as he could.

A Rotten Poem
12:00 AM

I don't who Elinor Lipman is. But I was reading the Boston Globe this morning only to find her snotty little column, "Get me to the ranch on time," on the op-ed page. Lipman is distraught because Jenna Bush and her intended are not having their wedding at the White House but at the ranch in Crawford, Texas. I actually think it's a sign of moral restraint that she and her beau, Henry Hager, decided not to have a big splash at the executive mansion at a moment when so many people in the country are being squeezed financially.

Serbian Belligerence
12:00 AM

Serbia has so much blood on its hands that it is only natural that Russia is its biggest and best protector. Almost nobody (but me, I hasten to add self-servingly) has explained what I believe is a cardinal thread in this alliance: both countries and their peoples are anchored in the Christian Orthodox faith and in the Christian Orthodox Church. Kosovo, moreover, is a Muslim country, although its present leadership pledges not to allow it to become a Shari'a state. I believe them.

Bill Kristol, Independent Voice
12:00 AM

On Saturday, Mike flagged an AP report saying "conservatives are gearing up to go after [Obama's] patriotism. (Michelle + lapel pin + no hand over heart photo.)" Here's my favorite part of the AP piece: "First he kicked his American flag pin to the curb. Now Barack Obama has a new round of patriotism problems.

February 24, 2008

The Vindication Of Al Gore
12:00 AM

 The most trying experience for me, a Gore loyalist, after the Supreme Court gave George Bush the election in 2000 (and for years thereafter) was to sit and listen to the autopsies of the oh, so smart people who knew just how Al had screwed up. So what did the wise people say?  "He should have used Bill Clinton more."The fact is that I have never discussed, post-election, this particular matter with Gore. And neither did I discuss it with him during the campaign. But I was sure then that it was wisdom.

February 22, 2008

Battle of the Books
12:00 AM

The <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Clinton campaign's latest tactic is to smear Barack Obama by claiming he plagiarized material in some of his speeches. As many pundits have noted, this was a move right out of Karl Rove's playbook--try to take an opponent's strength (in this case, Obama's eloquence) and turn it into a weakness.

His Mother's Son
12:00 AM

He actually brought tears to my eyes. "I was born to a teen-aged mother," said Barack Obama, thereby locating his origins in poverty, which is true and also relevant. He told the nation that in the Austin debate, as he had told his listeners in many appearances during the campaign. He did not say, however, "to a white teen-aged mother," unspoken and unnecessary.  After all, everybody knows that fact, and the fact is symptomatic of our whole society.  Teen-aged motherhood is not just an attribute of black girls.