January 21, 2008
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
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
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
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?
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
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.
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.
One of the most important cases, at least at a symbolic level, to be argued before the Supreme Court this term will be District of Columbia v. Heller, involving the constitutionality of DC's de facto prohibition of handguns. The Circuit Court for the District of Columbia invalidated the prohibition, and the District, against the pleas of many in the "gun control community" who correctly recognize that this is a very high-risk case from their perspective, chose to appeal to the Court.
More On Hillary's "experience"
If, like Jason, you're skeptical of Hillary's much-ballyhooed 35 years of experience, Slate's Timothy Noah has written just the piece for you: Let's be clear. If you're a Democrat, experience isn't on this year's menu. The most experienced among the major candidates seeking the Democratic nomination were Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut. They have now dropped out. The remaining major candidates—Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.—all lack lengthy records in government. Edwards served a single term in the Senate.
For all of you folks worried that Henry Waxman's dogged campaign to make Major League Baseball shape up might distract him from his real mission in life--unearthing egregious instances of misconduct by the Bush administration--today's Washington Post story should set your minds at ease.