Politics

November 16, 2007

What's Your Problem?
12:00 AM

Do liberals romanticize the sixties?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />  PETER BEINART is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). JONAH GOLDBERG is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg

At What Price?
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--It's time that we subject the Iraq War to the same cost-benefit analysis that we are called upon to impose on other government endeavors. We are supposed to repeal or revise domestic programs that don't work. Shouldn't a troubled war policy be treated the same way?Driving the current debate is the assumption that we can't afford to withdraw our troops from Iraq because of the chaos that will ensue.

Debate Questions
12:00 AM

There has been a lot of press criticism lately (see Paul Waldman's Tim Russert takedown, Noam's thoughts on Russert, and Matt Yglesias' more general criticisms), and while much of it is sensible, I think the media is getting a little too much blame. Here's Matt: Great example. An audience member makes the sensible observation that the candidates haven't talked about the Supreme Court and asks them to say something about their approach to picking nominees. I'd be interested to hear the answers to these questions.

The Vegas Debate
12:00 AM

Earlier this week I had a conversation about Barack Obama with a rival campaign strategist. This summer, the strategist told me, Obama looked downright plaintive--like a man second-guessing his decision to run for president. No longer, said the strategist. In recent weeks, both the candidate and campaign have been acting like a team that expects to win. I think we saw this second Obama on display tonight. He was focused, energized, tough, charismatic--pretty much everything the press had accused him of not being in previous debates.

November 15, 2007

The Connectivity Campaign
12:00 AM

Yesterday afternoon, Barack Obama made a speech in Silicon Valley on innovation, outlining a plan to create a national technology czar, or "chief technology officer"--likely some 28-year old techie whiz kid, or kids--charged with making president Obama's wildest web fantasies a reality. The venue was no mistake--he spoke at Google headquarters in Mountain View, a petri dish of hyper-wealthy young innovators, who were soon crowing over his plan to make cutting-edge technology the bedrock of his administration.

Obama Rising
12:00 AM

After the first Democratic debate, at the end of April, when Hillary Clinton made her main rivals seems small and insignificant, I expected that Barack Obama would fade from contention even before the Iowa Caucus. And in the months that followed, Obama seemed to be doing just that. But <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Clinton’s recent missteps, amplified by John Edwards’ strident attacks upon her, provided Obama with an opening--and in a stirring speech before the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Des Moines November 10, Obama took it.

White Fright
12:00 AM

Campaigning for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, George W. Bush said that non-southerners, like his primary opponent John McCain, should “butt out” of the South’s racial politics. In South Carolina, telephone callers asked thousands of voters if they would support McCain if they knew he’d fathered a black child. These things did not happen because Bush is a racist. They happened because Bush, like decades of Republican candidates before him, wanted to benefit from the racism of some southern voters.

Forward March
12:00 AM

Only a handful of senators--perhaps most notably Strom Thurmond--have served in the U.S. Senate while in their nineties. Within seven years, their ranks could expand by three. The trio of aspiring nonagenarian senators nipping at Thurmond's heels includes Robert Byrd (who turns 90 on Tuesday) and Ted Stevens (who has announced plans to run for re-election next year, when he will be 84)--two men who have taken turns serving as Senate president pro tempore, chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, and unofficial symbol of the geriatric Senate establishment.

What's Your Problem?
12:00 AM

What's the problem with inequality? PETER BEINART is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). JONAH GOLDBERG is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg

Quickie Debate Wrap-up
12:00 AM

This was a solid night for Obama. He was focused, energized, tough, charismatic. Sometimes he can sound like his mind is elsewhere while answering a question--there are lots of "um"s and "uh"s and not much direct eye contact. Tonight he suppressed most of those tics. He showed some pluck in exchanges with Hillary on health care and Social Security. He was specific and knowledgeable on trade policy and immigration, even showing spontaneous flashes of humor on the latter.

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