Politics

August 20, 2008

Who Moderates The Moderators?
12:00 AM

The great faith-based debate is over, and the reviews are in: It was a blowout of Bentsen-Quayle proportions. The back-to-back performances of Barack Obama and John McCain may have been judged roughly even, but in the battle of Pastor Rick Warren versus George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Gibson, Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, Gwen Ifill, Bob Schieffer, Brit Hume, Judy Woodruff, Tim Russert’s Ghost, Jim Lehrer, and just about every other full-time network or cable news employee to ever moderate a presidential forum, there was no contest.

The Kosovo Card
12:00 AM

Last week’s debacle in Georgia has shown the hazards of an American foreign policy on vacation. Faced with the invasion of a democratic ally by Russian tanks and bombers, the Bush Administration left crucial negotiations in the hands of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, serving as the rotating president of the European Union, who chose to swallow the “take-it-or-leave-it” package offered by Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, and managed to persuade the Georgians that they had to go along. This was, at best, a short-sighted performance. There is no evidence that the U.S.

Crippling Medical Bills--coming To A Person Near You
12:00 AM

One reason this country has never mustered the will to enact universal health care is that most Americans have felt their own insurance arrangements were adequate. They sympathized with the plight of people who couldn't pay their medical bills, but couldn't imagine themselves in that situation. A new report released Wednesday suggests that may be changing. The report, called "Losing Ground," comes from the Commonwealth Fund (which has underwritten some of my own research) and is based upon survey data the Fund has collected over the last few years.

Today's Polls: All Tied Up
12:00 AM

By any and all polling-based metrics, the race for the White House is extremely tight. However, we present three slightly different projections of the November outcome, and they each tell a slightly different story:Our popular vote projection shows a literal tie, with each of Barack Obama and John McCain projected to earn 48.5 percent of the vote, and third-party candidates receiving a collective 3 percent.Things get confusing, however, when looking at the electoral college.

August 19, 2008

Biden: In His Own Words

Senator Joe Biden has a way with words. Lots of words. His verbal proclivities have alternately garnered him praise for frankness or landed him in hot water. Here are some highlights. The first of Biden's characteristic speaking styles is forceful and frank. This is the Joe Biden that pundits praise for cutting through the spin and "telling it how it is." Biden questions the abilities of some of his rivals at an AARP-sponsored health care debate in Davenport, Iowa. Sept.

God's Parties
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Anyone who still doubts that the evangelical Christian world is going through a political revolution was not watching Pastor Rick Warren's presidential forum over the weekend. The era of reducing Christianity to a narrow set of ideological commitments is over. Just a few years back, who would have imagined that Barack Obama and John McCain would hold a discussion of this sort in a church? Who would have thought that the session would be moderated by an evangelical pastor who was emphatic in counting both the Democrat and the Republican as his "friends"?

Putin the Terrible
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--In "Rebuilding Russia," published as the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote that the "awakening Russian national self-awareness has to a large extent been unable to free itself of great-power thinking and of imperial delusions ... it has taken over from the communists the fraudulent and contrived notion of Soviet patriotism." As all prescient statements, it was a shrewd reading of the present, not the future.

Obama's Batting Average Just Went Up
12:00 AM

It's a typical summer night in the Cohn household, which means the Red Sox are on television. McCain has been advertising pretty heavily on the New England Sports Network (NESN) for the last few weeks, usually with some version of his "celebrity" ad, presumably to reach the heavy New Hampshire audience. Obama, meanwhile, has run far fewer spots--and what I've seen has been relatively tepid. (It's an unscientific sample, yes, but I catch most of the games, so I have at least some basis for making this judgment.) Tonight, though, the NESN broadcast included an Obama contrast ad.

Bidenmania
12:00 AM

Newsweek's Fineman: I've recently spoken with two of the finalists for the role of Barack Obama's running-mate, and to two other sources who are close to the process.My bottom line is this: Barring a big surprise or last-minute change of heart, the choice is likely to be Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Green Grudges From Bill
12:00 AM

On Monday, former President Bill Clinton spoke at the National Clean Energy Summit at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a forum convened by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Center for American Progress President John Podesta, Clinton's former chief of staff. The conversation focused not just on cap-and-trade legislation, but on improving efficiency and prodding the American economy into developing clean technology and bringing it to commercial scale. Clinton has obviously studied up on the climate issue since his years of casual interest in the White House.

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