Politics

August 26, 2008

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.

Taste the Rockies
12:00 AM

By Monday, more than 50,000 Democrats, journalists, protesters, and hangers-on will have descended on Denver for the Democratic National Convention. It promises to be an epic event, peaking with Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in front of 76,000 people on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The people of Denver are excited. We hope all the Democrats have a great convention--we really do. If you give us some of those funny hats, we’ll even join in on the fun. We just get a little worried when we’re in the spotlight.

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.

Talking Like Bill Clinton
12:00 AM

Barack Obama prefers to get economic advice from "academic economists" rather lawyers or former White House aides, according to David Leonhardt's fascinating New York Times article on Obamanomics.  But Obama doesn't just talk to academics – he talks like them.  For example, Obama told Leonhardt, "The market is the best mechanism ever invented for efficiently allocating resources to maximize production."Academic terminology is a good way to talk to the Times, but not to Democrats in Denver.  Nor, contrary to editorials in today's Times and Washington Post, is it a question of "putting some fles

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