October 16, 2007
The decision by Evo Morales to bar the American ambassador in La Paz from entering the presidential palace because of comments he recently made has brought the Bolivian president some renewed international attention. However, the relationship between the United States and Bolivia is not the issue that most Bolivians are focused on. Despite the efforts of Morales, an ally of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, to repeatedly spar with Washington, the U.S. is ignoring him.
Another month, another GOP attorney scandal. Let's look at the latest, shall we? Back in 2005, federal prosecutors threw corruption charges at Don Siegelman, the popular Democratic ex-governor of Alabama, just as he was running to reclaim the governor's seat. Not surprisingly, he lost his primary race, and was later sentenced to seven years in prison.
Bill of Goods
It may be hokey, and it's certainly naïve, but there's still something wonderful about the truism that anyone born in the United States can grow up to be president. Which is why you'll seldom see this magazine fault the men and women who run for president without a prayer in the world of winning. Whether it's Morry "The Grizz" Taylor, the tire magnate who ran in 1996; or Jeff Costa, who donned a crustacean suit and campaigned as Lobsterman in 2000; or any of the other hopeless long-shot presidential candidates who come along every four years--The New Republic salutes you!
The Orthodox Campaign
One of the few things the Republican and Democratic presidential contests have in common is the relentlessness with which candidates on both sides are wrapping themselves in orthodoxy. Heretics need not apply. It's true that primary contests are largely decided by the party faithful. And I'll concede that orthodoxy may be underrated since we tend to trust people whose views are grounded in a set of principles."I did try to found a heresy of my own," said G.K.
A Noble Nobel
Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize, an honor that has been bestowed on many without merit: For example, Yasir Arafat, charlatan and killer, and Rigoberta Menchú, simple populist fraud. But this award, voted by five members of the Norwegian parliament, does not bear any such onus. In one sense, it is an election by the democratic elite of a mature free society, acting soberly and seriously in behalf of the concrete interests of mankind.
October 15, 2007
More On That Obama Op-ed
A rival campaign points me to a speech Obama made in November 2006, where he used language that's substantively similar to the amendment he criticized in today's op-ed (which I wrote about earlier). Here's the key graf from the Obama speech: In such a scenario, it is conceivable that a significantly reduced U.S. force might remain in Iraq for a more extended period of time. But only if U.S.
Half-baked Gore Speculation
Al Gore's Nobel Prize has us all wondering who he'll endorse, something Marc Ambinder says is likely to happen in December. My two cents: If at that point it looks like Obama has some chance of winning the nomination, it'll be Obama. I say that for the following reasons: 1.) Obama has the most credible claim to being a transformative figure, something Gore (rightly) fancies himself, too. 2.) Obama, like Gore, got the war right from the get-go. 3.) Hillary, in addition to coming up short on points one and two, has long been a rival of Gore's, and vice versa. And 4.) Crass politics.
Rudy V. Hillary, Cont'd
In an event of questionable import, Tommy Thompson endorsed Rudy Giuliani today in Charleston, SC. Thompson began by acknowledging that, although he's a former presidential candidate himself, "I'm sure most of you didn't even know it," which rather undermined the oomph of his announcement. Thompson hailed Rudy as a "reformer" who, like Thompson, battled to trim welfare rolls in the 1990s.
Introducing The Stump
Dear Reader: This is probably the point in the campaign when you realize that following every twist and turn would require quitting your job. Every day brings more polls, more ads, more endorsements, more speculation about what it is Fred Thompson actually does with his time. Who can keep up with all of it? Certainly not us. Or at least we couldn't, until our bosses took pity and stripped away all our "responsibilities" (frantically refreshing Drudge, managing our fantasy sports teams, etc.) save one: bringing you the 2008 presidential race in highly readable form.
For all the fire-breathing rhetoric we can expect to hear about modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in the coming months, last week's introduction by House Democrats of their bill on the subject makes one thing abundantly clear: The Democrats and the Bush administration aren't very far apart. But don't tell anyone.