August 26, 2008

Who's Driving The Hillary's-been-dissed Narrative?
12:00 AM

Obviously some of it comes from the odd comment by the likes of James Carville. But what about the blind quotes in stories, like today's WaPo front-pager, about all the indignities Hillary has suffered? My theory: A lot of them come from bitter Clinton moneymen. These are people who joined up early so a future Clinton White House would be sufficiently grateful (and reciprocate with ambassadorships and seats on federal boards and commissions). They made significant investments of time and money. And once their investments fizzled, they were basically left with nothing.

As The Clintons Turn
12:00 AM

More leakage from Clintonland about her relationship with Obama and the veep process. Will it never end? This is starting to feel like some long-running soap opera where every character has married, betrayed and divorced the other. It really is time to get over it; the primary was what it was but the Obamanauts have been more than respectful since then. If Obama loses for the reasons they envisioned, then the Clintonites will have their chance to crow in November.  What can Hillary do in her speech tonight? Probably nothing to satisfy the true dead-enders.

Will Obama's Climate Promises Come To Naught?
12:00 AM

Suppose Barack Obama actually wins this interminable election and decides to start wrestling carbon-dioxide emissions to the ground. He gives a pretty State of the Union address and implores Congress to pass a cap-and-trade bill, but the darn thing dies in the Senate quicksand. Does that mean game over? Not necessarily, according to The Wall Street Journal: The Obama camp also believes it has a regulatory stick to force congressional action. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.

The Urgency Of Ted Kennedy's Message
12:00 AM

All through the summer, members of Ted Kennedy’s committee staff in Washington have been feverishly preparing for an all-out effort to enact universal health care next year. They’ve been meeting with counterparts on other committees and bringing in the key stakeholders--unions, insurers, employers, doctors--to get a sense where everybody stands. They’ve also been looking closely at how Massachusetts lawmakers passed health care reform for their state, on the theory that a similar strategy might work in the U.S. Congress. And, of course, they’ve been keeping their boss in the loop.

August 25, 2008

Let Michelle Be Michelle
12:00 AM

In June, US Weekly magazine delivered a bombshell--excuse me, an “EXCLUSIVE” bombshell, as the magazine trumpeted it--about Michelle Obama: “Michelle Is an ‘An Extraordinary Mother.’” The source of this shocking claim was none other than Senator Barack Obama. Also revealed was Michelle’s “struggle to get pregnant,” and how she took her best friend to see the Sex and the City movie.

Smothering the Hatchet
12:00 AM

The New Republic has asked me what advice I would give to Senator Obama to improve relations with the Clintons during this convention week.To be clear, I believe both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have done much to heal the rifts endemic to a long primary. Hillary has done more than any runner-up in the history of the Democratic Party to support and campaign for the nominee since her concession. She has traveled the country making campaign appearances for Senator Obama, imploring her supporters to vote for him, and successfully urging her donors to support him financially.

Barack's Big Night
12:00 AM

More than any politician in recent history, Barack Obama’s national career began with a speech--his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. On the eve of the convention that caps the journey begun that night, it’s remarkable how little is understood about how he obtained his historic break--and who really deserves credit for it. In his 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote, “The process by which I was selected as the keynote speaker remains something of a mystery to me.” Today, the process remains shrouded in competing versions of events.

Tramps Like Us
12:00 AM

DENVER -- The 40-something politician pledged to wage a campaign rooted in his generation's "moment of obligation and opportunity." He sought the presidency at a time when "discontent over the failure of our political system is rampant throughout our citizenry" and said that "it is in this gathering of discontent that my candidacy intends to find its voice." He promised to "rekindle the fire of idealism in our society." But the 44-year-old Joe Biden who announced his candidacy for president with those words on June 9, 1987, would not reach the political mountaintop.

Best of the Press

Almost everything we know about Barack and John and Hillary and Mitt we know because some caffeinated scribbler with a notepad and a deadline told us about it. He or she checked into chain motels in cities like Des Moines, Hanover, and Corpus Christi to dispatch to the voting masses the narratives that would shape our understandings of the candidates--injecting images directly into our political consciousnesses, images that will resonate in infamy: He strapped the family dog to the roof of his car! He thinks the swing voting bloc clings to their guns and religion!

Take A Drink ...

Want to watch the Democratic National Convention, but afraid it’ll distract from your alcoholism? The DNC Drinking Game can help.