October 04, 2008

Putting On Ayers
12:00 AM

Richard Stern is a novelist and emeritus professor of English at the University of Chicago. The political word today is that the Republicans will return to personal attacks on Obama and Biden to draw attention away from McCain's erratic performance during the days before the passage of the Great Rescue/Bailout/U.S.-as-Sweden bill. We are supposedly to hear again about the Reverend Wright, the unreverend Tony Lezko, and William Ayers, the unrepentent Weatherman. Of these three Chicagoans, I know only the last.

Palinism Of The Day
12:00 AM

I didn't really focus on this answer when I heard it Thursday night, partly because Palin's language was so eye-glazingly incoherent. But it really is a piece of work: IFILL: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past.

October 03, 2008

That's Outrageous!
12:00 AM

John McCain recently took a shot at a reliable political target: The Georgetown cocktail party. In an interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board, McCain dismissed the idea that some conservatives might be worried about his running mate’s qualifications. “If there’s a Georgetown cocktail party person who, quote, calls himself a conservative who doesn’t like her, good luck,” he snapped. McCain is surely not the first popular DC social figure to knock the hostesses and party-goers of 30th and N.

The Not-So-Great Debate
12:00 AM

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } WASHINGTON--Early in last night's vice-presidential debate, Sarah Palin said that she might not answer the questions as moderator Gwen Ifill posed them. This was the Alaska governor's way of saying she was going to stick to the talking points she had stuffed into her head, no matter what the subject.When Palin described John McCain's health-care plan, she talked about his offer of a $5,000 tax credit so families could buy insurance. She failed to mention that McCain would pay for the credit by taxing existing insurance benefits.

Historical Manglings
12:00 AM

Last night, Gwen Ifill asked Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden what their understanding of the role of the vice presidency was. The answers were not encouraging.Specifically, Ifill asked whether they agreed with Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion that the vice presidency is a part of the legislative branch, as well as the executive branch.

Mccain As "the Fonz"
12:00 AM

Does anyone else find Palin's allusions to McCain weirdly totemic? She says "the maverick" the way characters on "Happy Days" refer to "the Fonz." As in: I think that's why we need to send the maverick from the Senate and put him in the White House, and I'm happy to join him there. And: That's what John McCain has been known for in all these years. He has been the maverick. He has ruffled feathers. It's a little bizarre. --Noam Scheiber

Palin Saves Herself; Now Mccain Faces Reality
12:00 AM

The good news for Republicans in last night's vice presidential debate is that Sarah Palin saved herself. Sure, her paper-thin grasp of policy issues and reliance on canned talking points was an embarrassment. She was barely able to cope with a question about the gravest responsibility of the presidency--the potential use of nukes. And many of her sharpest talking points--about funding US troops and the fiendish mainstream media--seemed tailored more for a conservative base already supporting her ticket anyway.

Chris Matthews Does Something Really Daring
12:00 AM

Flipping through the post-debate analysis on television, I heard a lot of familar-sounding analysis about speaking styles, memorable attack lines, energy levels, and the like. But on MSNBC, I kept hearing Chris Matthews dwelling about Sarah Palin's suggestion that the vice president have more authority.

October 02, 2008

Water, Toads, And The Election
12:00 AM

It's not going to get much play in the last month of a presidential race—heck, it may not get much play in Senate confirmation hearings—but the next Supreme Court appointment will likely have a huge impact on the future of environmental law. That's because the Clean Water Act, which has regulated water pollution in the United States since 1972, currently hangs by a slim judicial thread.

Another Reason Palin Will Win Tonight
12:00 AM

I think Michelle is spot on in her pre-analysis of tonight's Biden-Palin debate, but I'd add one additional dynamic that's likely to operate in Palin's favor: She is much closer to her floor of support right now than her ceiling. At this point, I suspect, most of the likely voters who are open to being persuaded that Sarah Palin is unqualified to be vice president of the United States have already been persuaded.