February 10, 2008
Maverick Vs. Iceman
A couple of years ago, as part of his campaign to reassure conservatives of his ideological reliability, John McCain sat for an interview with Stephen Moore, a Wall Street Journal editorial writer and fervent advocate of supply-side economics. In the course of the interview, McCain acknowledged that not all his positions were acceptable to the right, but he hinted that further rightward evolution might be possible. “His philosophy is best described as a work in progress,” wrote Moore somewhat hopefully.
Blame Hillary, Not Solis Doyle
I don't know much about the inner politics of the Clinton campaign. There is one top manager there whom I like and respect very much. But I wouldn't--for his sake--mention his name. And I can't estimate the political fall-out that's going to result from Hillary displacing Patti Solis Doyle, a Hispanic woman, with Maggie Williams, also a woman but a black woman. I do know that all of this was predicted in Michelle Cottle's fast-paced but scrupulous account of the hair-pulling in the Hillary camp.There is one thing I do grasp, however, and that is when a candidate begins replacing staff it i
Goodbye, Patti Solis Doyle!
Looks like Hillary booted her top campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, today. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who read Michelle's prescient article from last week's issue about the imminent shake-up in Hillaryland: The adviser most damaged by Iowa may be the one closest to the candidate: Hillary's longtime scheduler and alter ego, Solis Doyle. Among the most devout members of Hillaryland, Solis Doyle is cheered by supporters as an "unconventional" choice for campaign manager.
February 08, 2008
The Wrong Kind of Religious
Mitt Romney suspended his presidential campaign yesterday, after his poor showing on Super Tuesday made a victory over John McCain all but mathematically impossible. As much as McCain and Mike Huckabee loathe Mitt, it's been easy to imagine them conspiring to deliver the killing stroke. Conventional wisdom says Huckabee won five southern states outright and helped turn others, such as Missouri, to McCain by taking conservative votes away from Romney. But Romney probably wasn't going to earn those ballots anyway.
The Unfunny Election
If Barack Obama and John McCain end up facing each other in the general election this year, one particular special interest group will find itself unexpectedly discomfited: the comedy writers of America. Politically, these men and women may well support one or the other of the two candidates enthusiastically. But professionally, they will find an Obama-McCain contest a burden, for the simple reason that it is surprisingly difficult to make fun of either candidate. The result might well be the least entertaining presidential election in recent history.
It is increasingly looking like end times in American politics. Ann Coulter--Ann Coulter!--has vowed to vote for Hillary Clinton over John McCain. And now many yellow-dog Democrats, who once worshiped at the Clinton temple, sound as if they have just consumed the complete collection of Wall Street Journal editorial page writings on Billary. These days, you will commonly hear Obama supporters, and even many undecided Democrats, describe the Clintons as mendacious, brutal, willing to bend (or break) any rule in pursuit of power. Not all of these criticisms are fair.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the young woman of Somali origin, the former member of the Dutch Parliament, whom Islamist groups condemned to death three years ago. On that day in November 2004 when Dutch filmmaker and provocateur Theo van Gogh was murdered, she was designated, in a letter pinned with a knife to the corpse, as the killers' next target.
For all the sound and fury that has accompanied this election season, it's worth remembering that Democrats and Republicans have remarkably similar positions on globalization. In an October poll, nearly twice as many Republicans, usually the party of business, opposed free trade as supported it. At the same time, with a majority of Democratic voters opposing trade, even the most centrist Democrats are backpedaling--Hillary Clinton says she would reexamine the North American Free Trade Agreement, a landmark deal passed by her own husband. America is hardly unique.
A Proud Day For Cornhuskers
Nebraska was the last state to use the electric chair as a method of execution--until the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional today (ruling here--pdf). From Justice William Connolly's opinion: “We recognize the temptation to make the prisoner suffer, just as the prisoner made an innocent victim suffer.
February 07, 2008
What's Your Problem?
What's the problem with comparing Obama to JFK? Peter Beinart is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg