Politics

November 05, 2008

The Campaign Is Over, Long Live The Campaign
12:00 AM

Just when I thought I could ignore polls for a while. From my inbox: Gallup Daily will track the new administration's progress with new daily measures on the state of the nation, favorability of president-elect Obama and vice president-elect Biden, Americans' optimism about the new administration, and job approval of the new president. --Michael Crowley

Rahm's Reason?
12:00 AM

 If I've already missed this analysis, please excuse. But can someone (Eve? Crowley?) explain to me the logic behind Rahm's accepting the post as Obama's Chief of Staff? I get why Obama would offer the job. Despite the personality issue, Rahm has his obvious charms. But what's in this arrangement for Rahm? Sure, the guy likes power. But he already did his stint as a top-tier White House player more than a decade ago. And, not to psychoanalyze, but Rahm has always struck me as the kind of guy with a big-swinging...ego...

Two Speeches And Two Attempts To Reach Our Better Angels
12:00 AM

David Kusnet was chief speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton from 1992-1994. He is the author of Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America’s Best Workers Are Unhappier than Ever.

Barack Obama, An American Story
12:00 AM

Barack Obama's campaign began with lofty appeals to idealism, as he called upon supporters to build a movement that could change the way we relate to each other. It ended with a series of concrete, pedestrian promises, as Obama vowed to deliver jobs, health care, and lower prices at the pump. But tonight in Chicago, standing before a crowd of cheering throngs in Grant Park, Obama rediscovered his former self. Conjuring up the old language of idealism, and reaching out to his vanquished opponent, Obama renewed his plea for unity and common purpose.

Hume Swoons
12:00 AM

In a reflection of the emotional power of his victory speech, Obama seems to have won over perhaps the biggest curmudgeonon in political punditry, the retiring Fox News anchor Brit Hume, a man who sometimes seems capable of telling a little girl the tooth fairy is a big fraud. Not tonight: "Tonight is a night of victory and of hope, and all seems possible. It really seems possible that this remarkable man will be someone truly and remarkably different, who can lift us out of the partisan differences that divide us...

November 04, 2008

Cabinet Making
12:00 AM

If Barack Obama wins the presidency, I don’t know who he is going to put in his cabinet, but I have some recommendations for how he should go about choosing people. My assumption is that he will face unprecedented challenges (a downturn, a financial crisis, two wars) and opportunities (a large Democratic majority, discredited opposition in Congress and on K Street). At the same time, he can expect this opposition to do whatever it thinks is necessary to block his initiatives.

Let's Celebrate
12:00 AM

The Bradley Effect. “God damn America!” “Kill him!” “Why can’t he close the deal?” “Isn’t he a Muslim?” The “terrorist fist jab.” The New Yorker cover. Michelle’s chimerical “whitey” speech. After all of the aggrieved musings and smug insistences, the deal is done. And now, let’s celebrate. Don’t talk about how Obama didn’t win by enough points. Okay: There are whites out there who didn’t vote for him because of, or partly because of, his color. We heard all about them in a thousand earnest newspaper and magazine articles all summer and fall. We were told to worry. We did.

Dreams From My Father
12:00 AM

I entered my Brooklyn voting booth this morning uncertain who would get my vote.Let me explain. My father was a Navy pilot who attended the Naval Academy not long after John McCain. I grew up in Navy towns where you did not see your dad for six months at a time, you went to sleep wondering if he was safe, and you comforted your buddies when their fathers did not come back at all. When I was 13, my father did not come back; he was killed in a plane crash off the USS Kitty Hawk.There are few things I know with certainty that my father would have done if he had lived.

In Defense of Caution
12:00 AM

If history is any guide, the decisions that a President-Elect Obama makes over the next few months will shape his administration. By the end of February, he will have to define his top domestic priorities, submit a budget, and begin the difficult process of unwinding America’s combat presence in Iraq. The good news is that the terms of his victory likely will have left him some room to maneuver.

In Defense Of Caution
12:00 AM

If history is any guide, the decisions that a President-Elect Obama makes over the next few months will shape his administration. By the end of February, he will have to define his top domestic priorities, submit a budget, and begin the difficult process of unwinding America's combat presence in Iraq. The good news is that the terms of his victory likely will have left him some room to maneuver.

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