October 17, 2008
Out Of The Gutter
WASHINGTON--The moment of truth in Wednesday evening's debate came when Bob Schieffer asked the candidates if they would be willing to repeat, face to face, some of the personal charges they have made against each other in their ads and on the trail.At first, John McCain flinched. Instead of answering directly, he suggested, remarkably, that it was Barack Obama who was running the more negative campaign. Polls show that this is certainly not the impression of voters.
Cinderella Story, Out of Nowhere
GREENSBORO, N.C.--It’s 9 a.m., and Kay Hagan, her morning jog already a distant memory, breezes into a breakfast at the Democratic Women of North Carolina’s annual convention. Dressed in a sharp brown suit and pumps, the Democratic Senate candidate glad-hands quickly, finds her way to the stage, and, after a few introductory remarks from her fans, launches into her stump speech: increasing access to health care, improving education, adding new green energy jobs.
October 16, 2008
On The Content of His Character
In the increasingly unlikely event that Barack Obama does not become president, Martin Luther King’s dream would reveal itself as tragically unrealized 40 years after his death. Not, however, because whites were standing in that dream’s way, but because of the black people standing alongside them. Yes, black people.
It’s Really, Really, Really Over
Jacob S. Hacker is Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Center for Health, Economic, and Family Security at U.C. Berkeley. He is also a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C. His most recent books are Health At Risk: America's Ailing Health System--And How to Heal It, and The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream. To my eyes and ears, Obama destroyed McCain on substance as well as style last night.
October 15, 2008
Land of Rediscovery
WASHINGTON--I spent a good chunk of the last year and a half working on a documentary series covering contemporary Latin American history for the National Geographic Channel. It has started to air in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, and will soon air in other languages. I have been asked a few times what I learned from this experience.I think the most important lesson was that Latin Americans don't consider themselves Latin Americans.
The frighteningly perceptive Politico guys catch a few weird little McCainisms tonight. Martin: First, he calls Obama "Sen. Government." Then he asserted his rival voted against confirming Justice Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court. Breyer, of course, was appointed by President Clinton long before Obama was elected to the Senate. Smith: One McCain slip: He said the only healthcare plans would be lost would be "Cadillac" plans that include cosmetic surgery and transplants.
Full Speed Ahead On Health Care
Jacob S. Hacker is Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Center for Health, Economic, and Family Security at U.C. Berkeley.
With all of George Bush's huffing and puffing about North Korea's nuclear bingo game, the administration has shown that, well, it is best at huffing and puffing. Iran has clearly learned from Pyongyang that the best way to win in this world is to talk. The Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea (beware of countries with overly long names) has been involved in so many rogue operations that have fed its military (and only its military) that it shows no sign of let-up. No sign. This is the game that Dr. Strangelove/Dr.
On the heels of a NYT/CBS poll showing Palin with pathetic favorability numbers, Brendan Nyhan wonders whether or not she will really be a GOP frontrunner in 2012. Matt Yglesias responds: It’s striking to me, though, that explicit “electability” arguments don’t seem to feature heavily in GOP presidential primaries. This is a huge contrast from the Democratic side, where both the 2004 and 2008 primaries ended up showing a heavy focus on those questions. All signs are that a lot of conservatives like Palin just fine.
October 14, 2008
Fanning the Flames
WASHINGTON--Are we witnessing the re-emergence of the far right as a power in American politics? Has John McCain, inadvertently perhaps, become the midwife of a new movement built around fear, xenophobia, racism and anger?McCain has clearly become uneasy with some of the forces that have gathered around him. He has begun to insist, against the sometimes loud protests from his crowds, that Barack Obama is, among things, a "decent person."Yet McCain's own campaign is playing with powerful extremist themes to denigrate Obama.