December 20, 2007
What's Your Problem?
What’s the problem with saying Hillary’s campaign is going off the rails? 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
Imagine the following scenario: After eight long years, a Republican vacates his office. The Democrats, sensing the seat is theirs to win, put forth a number of strong, well-known candidates. Despondent Republicans lament a far-from-outstanding pool of candidates, including a would-be populist campaigning from his red pickup truck. One Democratic candidate emerges well-poised from a narrow primary win to become the first woman ever in the seat. The Republican Party, on the other hand, struggles to unify after a divisive primary.
The Great Divide
The key lesson to be drawn from the recently concluded U.N. climate conference in Bali is that the central issue for climate change is no longer the science. It is how rich and poor countries will divide the burden of solving the problem.The Kyoto Protocol, concluded ten years ago, required significant emissions reductions from the developed world, but imposed no requirements on developing countries. The United States refused to ratify the agreement partly on the grounds that any agreement that exempted poor nations would do little to reduce the overall risks.
The Weekly Standard's Mike Murphy Richelieu spins out a fairly unconvincing (to me at least) scenario by which McCain captures the Republican nomination. But he does go on to raise one very intriguing possibility: Rudy could be more than a mere spectator in all of this. Here is a farfetched but not impossible scenario you can use to wow your friends at cocktail parties: Rudy continues to drop in the polls. His campaign is indeed broke. The media continue to hammer him on ethics. He finishes a dismal fifth or even sixth in Iowa. Polls show him third or worse in New Hampshire.
December 19, 2007
For The Love of the Game
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Ankeny, Iowa<?xml:namespace prefix = o />Thirty-five years in the Senate, and here Joe Biden is: in a room called “The Cheap Seats,” in the back of a sports bar called Benchwarmers. It’s a cold Sunday night, and around 200 people have packed into a space that’s typically reserved for chicken wing gorge-athons and Minnesota Vikings game viewing parties. They have come to see a man languishing in the polls, ignored by the media, and campaigning with all the energy of a front-runner. What’s more, they love him.
Max Brantley, the editor of the alternative weekly Arkansas Times, has feuded with Mike Huckabee since the presidential candidate first appeared on the political stage during his failed 1992 Senate run. A liberal columnist married to a circuit judge appointed by Bill Clinton, Brantley penned weekly columns antagonizing Huckabee for his staunchly conservative social views, opaque campaign finance disclosures, and acceptance of gifts during his time in office.
Every now and then in American politics, normally balanced people get swept up by delusions of greatness about a presidential candidate, based on an emotional attachment to the candidate’s oratory or image. The youthful William Jennings Bryan brought down the house and swept up the nomination with his famous "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1896--only to be crushed by the dreary William McKinley in November. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />Political journalists have never been immune to the delusional style.
The Critical Browser
When somebody tells you the same thing three or four times, it may be something that you're supposed to understand is very important. When somebody tells you the same thing more than 30 times in a row, though, it means you probably already think the opposite is true--and it's a good idea to figure out what exactly the message is, and why it's being hammered into your brain. Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign's new site, The Hillary I Know, features dozens of short video testimonials to Senator Clinton as a person.
Heavy Is the Head
BOGOTA, Colombia--The U.S.
Dana Perino's Strange Nyt Response
Shorter Washington Post, on the White House's reaction to this morning's big New York Times story: "We might have told the CIA to destroy the interrogation tapes, but we definitely didn't lie about it afterward!" I'm not sure exactly how this is supposed to make the administration look better, although now that Perino mentions it, I guess it's true that most instances of Bush administration misconduct have been accompanied by efforts to mislead journalists. It seems like Perino's really being overly defensive here--the Times didn't accuse the administration of misleading the press.