February 13, 2008
Everyone Hates Hillary
Well, not everyone. But Ron Fournier (via TPM) provides a thorough accounting of all the super-delegates who have various bones to pick with the Clintons: Some are labor leaders still angry that Bill Clinton championed the North American Free Trade Agreement as part of his centrist agenda. Some are social activists who lobbied unsuccessfully to get him to veto welfare reform legislation, a talking point for his 1996 re-election campaign. Some served in Congress when the Clintons dismissed their advice on health care reform in 1993.
February 12, 2008
The Expat Factor
Everything you need to know about this year’s Global Primary.
What you think of a presidential candidate is in large measure determined by what you think of the world. Different circumstances call for different talents, different sensibilities, different approaches to power. “Leadership” comes in many forms. A sterling individual may be historically inappropriate; and a person whom it is impossible to admire may accomplish significant things. The question of whether Barack Obama will make a fine commander-in chief finally depends on your view of the direction of history in the coming years.
In the wake of Hamas blowing up the border fence between Egypt and Gaza the images of Palestinians from Gaza streaming across the border into Egypt were unsettling to the Israelis, Egyptians, Palestinian Authority, and Bush Administration. Only Hamas benefited from the images.
MANASSAS, Va.--It's come down to this: Who can beat John McCain? Winning that argument could allow Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to reach beyond their respective demographic comfort zones. Only if one of them can build a clear majority will the party be saved from a descent into the mire of rules fights and backroom dealing.
Obama's Best Speech Yet
It's been a week or so since I've heard Obama's stump speech, so maybe this is old news. But -- wow -- he is really going after John McCain. And he's doing a damn fine job of it. He started by honoring McCain's service, with all apparent sincerity, and then pivoted quickly to this line: "John McCain has the wrong priorities -- because they are bound to the policies of the past." He then promised "a clear choice," tying McCain to the Bush tax cuts and, in particular, the war in Iraq: "John McCain won't be able to say I ever supported this war in Iraq, because I opposed it from the start. Sena
A key component of Hillary Clinton's campaign message is that she would be tougher on foreign policy than Barack Obama. She has spent a lifetime constructing this hawkish image (see Mike's excellent piece from last year on the formation of Hillary's views on the exercise of American power), in full knowledge that she would have to neutralize fears of her being a radical peacenik if she ever wished to make a serious run for president.
I just wanted to excerpt some key passages from Josh Green's Atlantic piece on Patti Solis Doyle, which illustrate the themes Mike mentioned earlier: After the race, Solis Doyle was put in charge of fund-raising and later became campaign manager for Clinton’s Senate reelection bid in 2006. She earned a reputation as a contentious, domineering boss.
Ed Rendell, Straight-talker
Via TPM Election Central, I see that Governor Ed Rendell is back to embarrassing a presidential candidate he ostensibly supports. Here's an account of how Rendell, a Hillary supporter, recently sized up Obama's chances in Pennsylviania: Gov. Ed "Don't Call Me 'Fast Eddie' " Rendell met with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week to talk about his latest budget.
February 11, 2008
R.i.p. Tom Lantos
Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, died today. His politics were complex--a big supporter of authorizing Bush to go to war in Iraq in '02, he also was one of the first legislators to go to Libya as things were starting to thaw in '04, and argued for normalizing relations--but the authority of his voice when he spoke about human rights was something incredibly special.