October 31, 2008
By late last spring, concerns about Jews deserting the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, had reached a fever pitch. Writing in his popular blog for Politico, Ben Smith declared that Obama had a “Jewish problem.” In late May, Jodi Kantor of The New York Times traveled to Florida to interview the elderly Jews who were thought to be most skeptical of the Illinois Senator.
Jeremiah Wright is back in the headlines thanks to a new ad by the recently formed National Republican Trust PAC. I spoke over the phone today with the ad’s creator, Rick Wilson, a GOP media consultant who is most infamous for a 2002 campaign ad tying then-Senator Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden:TNR: What made you decide to produce this Wright ad?Rick Wilson: For a variety of reasons, it was unaddressed and seemingly unaddressable by the McCain campaign. Actual Republicans and Independents out in the world, and frankly a lot of Democrats, take issue with this.
TNR associate editor Eve Fairbanks takes issue with today's report that Obama will select House bruiser Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff: why Obama doesn't want a "yes man," where GOP charges of Emanuel partisanship fall short, and how the "Tony Soprano" of congress would run things in the White House. --Ben Eisler
Tying The Next President's Hands
What, you thought this administration was finished with us yet? The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January. The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo.
The First Shots Of 2012?
I missed this nugget a few days ago (and have no idea how reliable it is), but The American Spectator's "Washington Prowler" reported that at least some of the McCain aides who've been badmouthing Sarah Palin--including the one who offered the famous "diva" quote--are former Romney staffers: Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.
Does This Remind You Of Anyone?
From the November 4, 1996, edition of The New York Times: Addressing cheering, flag-waving Republicans at events in Colorado, Nevada and California, Mr. Dole described his battle for the Presidency as an effort to return dignity and integrity to the White House and the nation. [snip] 'All across America the polls are moving our way,'' he said gleefully, if vaguely, during a rally in front of Republican headquarters in San Diego. ''The undecided voters, the undecided voters and many Democrats have decided that character does count, character does count.
A colleague (I won't reveal his name) was up late last night watching "Thelma and Louise" on Lifetime. During a commerical break, an ad for Trojan's Vibrating Touch fingertip massager for women came on. Naturally, my colleague's journalistic curiosity was piqued and he rushed to the website mentioned for more info.
Now that The Great Mentioner is talking about Rahm Emanuel as Obama's White House chief of staff, it's worth rereading Ryan Lizza's January 2007 GQ profile of the "new kingmaker of the Democratic party": Twenty-two months ago, amid the ruins of the 2004 Kerry campaign, Democrats installed Rahm--nobody calls him Congressman Emanuel--as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. As we all now know, he did his job better than it has ever been done before.
October 30, 2008
In Defense of Two-Party Rule
There is a longstanding, inchoate sense among American voters that having president and Congress controlled by different parties makes for better governance--a view that the GOP is using to scare voters into voting against the "dangerous threesome" of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. After the Clinton years, that general sense became a kind of contrarian conventional wisdom of the commentariat as well.
Rich Man, Poor Man
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. -- Emily Daywalt decided to go to the first political rally of her life because she wanted to cheer Sarah Palin, who was here a few days ago to inspire the faithful. Daywalt said she likes it that Palin "hunts and that she believes in God and that she is a strong, independent woman." But ask the 19-year-old from South Mountain, Pa., why she is voting against Barack Obama, and she hones right in on John McCain's closing argument.