June 19, 2008
Battleground: New Hampshire
HANOVER, N.H.--The race for electoral votes could be so close in November that small states may well pick the next president. Among the diminutive states, New Hampshire is by far the most interesting.Consider that in 2000, George W. Bush beat Al Gore here by 7,211 votes (Ralph Nader got just over 22,000). If New Hampshire's four electoral votes had gone the other way, Gore would have won and Florida would not have mattered.New Hampshire is also one of only three states that changed sides between 2000 and 2004, and the only one that switched to the Democrats.
I didn't catch Michelle Obama's turn as guest-host on ABC's "The View" yesterday, but I gather from the reviews she was a big hit. She deftly answered questions about her husband's policy positions, like most-favored breakfast food. (Bacon.) She revealed her own feelings on other raging debates, like whether to wear pantyhose. (A polite but firm no: "I'm 5'11'' so I'm tall, nothing fits...Put 'em on, rip 'em..it's inconvenient.") And, most important, she met and exceeded expectations from the fashion pundits.
June 18, 2008
Now that "the first black President" and his wife have been proven to be evil racists, it's gonna be much harder for white politicians to win the trust of black voters in election seasons to come. Playing the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show (or, now, on Tyra's program) isn’t going to cut it anymore. So, as a service, I've created a quick how-to guide on how to become the second white man to replace the first black president. 1) Date a black woman.
Kathleen Sebelius: The iPod Veep
The last few weeks have seen plenty of obsessing over who Barack Obama and John McCain ought to pick to be their running mates. But for all the endless discussion about which candidate might best bolster Obama's message or help McCain carry Ohio, the electoral implications of any given veep pick are, as my colleague Josh Patashnik has argued, greatly overrated.
Crime And Punishment
Two stories from Washington paint a distressing picture of today's body politic. Firstly, a Newsweek article by Evan Thomas makes a fool out of any reform-minded American planning to vote this fall. Filing a "report" of the "consensus" at a gathering of Washington tastemakers this weekend, he makes the reasonable points that Presidents Carter and Clinton were unable to accomplish their foreign occupation of Washington power culture. Will a president Obama meet the same brick wall?
The Senate intelligence committee released its two-part report this month exploring pre-war intelligence on Iraq and its use by the Bush administration. We asked James Martin, a Paul Mellon fellow at Cambridge University who writes on international security issues, to wade through the 172-page report for us.
He's a member of Obama's newly-announced "senior working group" on national security: Secretary of State Madeleine AlbrightSenator David Boren, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on IntelligenceSecretary of State Warren ChristopherGreg Craig, former director of the State Department Office of Policy PlanningSecretary of the Navy Richard DanzigRepresentative Lee Hamilton, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs CommitteeDeputy Attorney General Eric HolderDr. Tony Lake, former National Security AdvisorSenator Sam Nunn, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
June 17, 2008
We the European People
WASHINGTON--European governments are aghast at the decision by Irish voters to reject the Treaty of Lisbon, the new attempt--three years after the collapse of the European Union's Constitution--to move decisively toward political integration. The only country out of 27 in which ratification was put to a vote has left Eurocrats desperate to find a way to bypass their own rules and move ahead.There is nothing surprising in this.
The Performance Artist
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />LAS VEGAS--I ask Taylor Marsh whether she really keeps a gun to protect herself from her detractors, as she claims on her website, and she escorts me into her bedroom to show the proof: an HK 9 mm handgun. "I know how to use it," she says, pointing the weapon briefly in my direction (it's unloaded) before walking over to the other side of the bed. There, she holds up her husband’s firearm, a Ruger Mini 14 rifle.
The Senate intelligence committee released its two-part report this month exploring pre-war intelligence on Iraq and its use by the Bush administration. We asked James Martin, a Paul Mellon fellow at Cambridge University who writes on international security issues, to wade through the report for us. He'll be guest-posting his findings here over the next few days. In glancing through the 170 pages of the report "Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S.