January 22, 2008

One War Mccain Wouldn't Fight...
12:00 AM

The University of Michigan's Rebecca Blank recently wrote a thoughtful piece (pdf) grading the various presidential candidates on their plans to tackle poverty. Here's her bottom line on the Dem front-runners: Obama, Edwards, and Clinton all have multifaceted and serious anti-poverty plans. Anyone concerned with poverty issues could happily vote for any of them.

Bill's "calculated" Anger?
12:00 AM

  There's been much talk lately about whether Bill Clinton is staging public outbursts for maximum media effect. (See Ben Smith's excellent piece on Bill's role.) One thing we know is that while in the past Clinton has generally suppressed his temper in the public eye, this side of the man hardly surprises who know him well.

January 21, 2008

It's the Economy, Stupid
12:00 AM

After winning the New Hampshire primary two weeks ago, John McCain stumbled over a lengthy speech that sounded like it had been cobbled together from several drafts by different writers. Nonetheless, he communicated a message that cuts to the core of his character: the importance of serving “a cause greater than self-interest.” In his victory speech after the South Carolina primary Saturday night, McCain confidently delivered a coherent and tightly written text designed to appeal to his party’s conservative base.

About Face
12:00 AM

Hillary Clinton's strategy in South Carolina has always been clear: stockpile as many endorsements from prominent African Americans as possible. She's done impressively. By November 27th, when she stood on stage with over 60 of the state's most powerful ministers--people like Reverend J.W. Sanders of Bethel Baptist Church in Gaffney, and Reverend Charles Jackson, Jr., of the mammoth Cornerstone Baptist Church in Spartanburg--it was clear that she had become the candidate of South Carolina's black establishment.

Freedom's Watch Gets Busy
12:00 AM

The Washington Post reports that Freedom's Watch—the new conservative non-profit funded by billionaire Sheldon Adelson—could spend as much as $250 million in the 2008 elections. (To put that in context, MoveOn spent just $21 million in 2004.) And the group's already making a splash: Adelson personally wrote an $80,000 check to Freedom's Watch on Dec. 7, according to Federal Election Commission documents, just four days before the election that gave Republican Robert Latta the House seat representing the district around Bowling Green.

January 19, 2008

Bad Bet
12:00 AM

When the Democratic National Committee decided, in July 2006, to allow the state of Nevada to hold its 2008 presidential caucuses in January, it promised to shake up the nominating process. In some ways, the move is a success already. With Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire rendering a split decision for the first time since 1992, Nevada's caucuses tomorrow are being treated as significant by candidates and media alike. Contrary to early fears, all three major Democratic candidates are seriously contesting the state--each held more than 25 campaign events there over the past year.

Baby on Board
12:00 AM

John McCain's cruel treatment at the hands of Bush surrogates during the 2000 South Carolina primary has gone down in the annals of dirty tricks campaigning. In an echo chamber of almost unimaginable crassness and bigotry, anonymous robocalls smeared McCain as "the fag candidate" and his wife, Cindy, who had been treated for pain killer abuse, as a "drug addict." And perhaps most shockingly, one call accused McCain of having fathered an illegitimate "black baby" with a prostitute.The baby in question was Bridget McCain, who the couple adopted from Bangladesh in 1993.

Will Huck's Shtick Doom Him?
12:00 AM

Spartanburg to Columbia, SCIf Huckabee loses tonight, you might be able to trace his fall here to the moment he decided to invite two young men named Matt Robins and Jared Shelton to travel with his campaign. Matt and Jared contribute acoustic Huck-themed cover songs like "Huck! I Need Somebody" and "Breakfast at Huckabee's"; they started at a Thursday rally at Clemson University.

January 18, 2008

Town Criers
12:00 AM

In 1788, the English jurist and philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote that most people erroneously believed that “the emotions of the body” were “probable indications of the temperature of the mind.” But he didn’t buy it.

Zuma's Revenge
12:00 AM

Jacob Zuma, the presumptive next leader of South Africa--the most powerful nation on the African continent--has such a blemished track record that he makes Congressman William Jefferson look like a paragon of virtue. South Africa’s top prosecutor announced recently that he has amassed enough evidence to launch corruption charges against Zuma, just elected as head of the ruling African National Congress, which puts Zuma in prime position to win the country’s next general election in 2009.