January 27, 2008
Russia Embraces Possible Murderer!
The Los Angeles Times has a great piece today on Andrei Lugovoy, the main suspect in the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. Britain wants to extradite Lugovoy, but now he has become a hero and member of parliament(!) in Russia.
January 26, 2008
The Take-away From South Carolina
What you need to know about tonight's results: 1.) Obama took nearly 80 percent of the black vote, yes, but also about a quarter of the white vote. That stacks up pretty well alongside Hillary's 36 percent and Edwards's 40***--well enough that Nora O'Donnell of MSNBC could call it "almost a three-way split," and The New York Times could proclaim that a "coalition of white and black support" powered Obama's victory. This is a huge development going forward.
I'll leave the sophisticated electoral analysis to my more sophisticated colleagues, Noam and Mike. But I have to say something about Obama's speech, which is the best I've seen him give in a while, if not the entire campaign. That's a high standard, I know, but I think it's true. Tonight's address was every bit as lyrical as the speech Obama gave in Iowa. And it touched on many of the same themes, about healing division and building a movement of voters seeking change. But those themes weren't as front-and-center as they were earlier in the month.
Best election night speech of his I've heard yet. Some key passages: We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as President comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House.
Obama's Primary Mistakes
A while back I chastised the Democratic National Committee for disenfranchising the voters of Florida and Michigan because the state parties had decided to hold their primaries earlier than the Washington leadership had ordained. I know my neighbor (just down the street) and friend James Roosevelt is co-chairman of the Rules and By-laws Committee of the D.N.C. So he must at least be partially responsible. But who knows? This is goofy enough to be the doing of Dr.
January 25, 2008
Shortly after taking office, the Bush administration dropped a love bomb on gun rights enthusiasts nationwide. In May 2001, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft wrote a letter to the National Rifle Association stating "unequivocally my view that the text and the original intent of the Second Amendment clearly protect the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms." The letter was part of a long honeymoon between the Bush administration and the Second Amendment crowd that has lasted almost to the end of Bush’s second term.But the party may now be ending.
On July 18, 1698, 1,200 Scots set sail to colonize a section of Panama known as Darien. Scotland was the first Western European nation to realize Panama's strategic potential as a bottleneck of interoceanic trade, but it was among the last to learn the cruelty of the tropical clime: less than a year after their arrival, the settlers abandoned the colony. The majority perished, their fevered corpses buried alongside failed crops of potatoes and yams.
Putsch in Hillaryland
The morning after is never pretty. In the wake of defeat in the Iowa caucus, it was a sad and sorry Team Hillary that assembled for a conference call with the candidate. Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, in transit back to Washington, was absent. Top strategist Mark Penn was dazed and subdued, waiting for the candidate to come on the line. When she did, Hillary gave a brief greeting making clear that there would be no navel-gazing and that she was ready to look ahead, according to a participant in the call who was already on the ground in New Hampshire (desperately seeking guidance).
I meant to weigh in on that Clinton conference call I mentioned yesterday but, between closing my print piece and the GOP debate, I never got a around to it... Anyway, nothing especially ground-breaking happened--it was mostly an implicit (and, during the Q&A portion, explicit) defense of their somewhat dubious radio ad pivoting off Obama's "party of ideas" comment about the GOP.
I know Bill has said that "Hillary doesn't think she's entitled to the presidency," but you have to wonder after stuff like this. From Karen Tumulty's report on Hillary's visit to an HBCU in Columbia this morning: Clinton was also accompanied by former New York Mayor David Dinkins and New York Congressman Charlie Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel's is the most powerful chairmanship in Congress, Clinton told the audience of several hundred. "He didn't get there by leapfrogging.