Politics

February 05, 2008

Correspondence: Chavez Hasn't Neglected the Poor
12:00 AM

To the Editor: Alvaro Vargas Llosa may have visited Venezuela, but his unfounded dismissals of its efforts to combat poverty and social exclusion ("Slum Lord," January 22, 2008) are short-sighted and dismissive of the many successes the country has had. Since President Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998, he has made the fight against poverty his government's primary and most pressing priority. Starting in 2003, the government instituted a number of innovative social missions--targeted programs that brought vital social services into Venezuela's poorest neighborhoods.

Alaska
12:00 AM

Alaska is big, far, and sparsely populated. It is difficult to get to and even harder to navigate. For these reasons, no candidate has visited the state. Mitt Romney sent a son. Mike Huckabee dispatched his wife. Barack Obama is the only major candidate with a state headquarters.

Not So Super
12:00 AM

This election season, "superdelegate" endorsements have been presented by the press as a critical metric in the race for the Democratic nomination for president. The 796 superdelegates--party insiders who will make up 20 percent of the 4,049 votes at the Denver convention--have been called "an obscure but powerful group," a "unique political force," and flatly "anti-democratic." Delegate-tracking scorecards such as CNN's are already counting them as part of each candidates' tallies.

Missouri

Missouri is “a relentlessly average state”--according to University of Missouri professor David Robertson--with an economy that mimics the national economy, and demographics similar to the nation as a whole. “Missouri is a natural laboratory” of American politics, Robertson says--if it’s happening there, there’s a good bet it’s happening countrywide. The primaries also echo national trends: Obama and Clinton are tied, pitting the Democratic establishment against the party's “mavericks” and Obama’s strong local organization (which benefits from volunteers out of nearby Illinois).

Utah
12:00 AM

Because Utah is heavily Republican, Democrats don’t usually spend a lot of time campaigning here, even in the primaries. This year, however, the Democrats are waging an aggressive campaign: Barack visited the state last summer and Michelle Obama recently campaigned here, while Clinton sent Chelsea to the Beehive State last week. It’s the Republicans who have pulled back from campaigning for the primary, by and large deciding it isn’t worthwhile to take on Romney.

Hillarycare And History
12:00 AM

Today's David Brooks column, which reexamines Hillary Clinton's record during the 1993-94 health care fight, offers an important reminder of the antipathy she has generated not just among many average Americans but also among some members of Congress.  That, by itself, raises important questions about whether she could really master Washington better than Barack Obama could -- a claim she and her supporters frequently make.   But what about the underlying reality that Brooks describes: Did Clinton really botch things back then as much as Brooks -- and pretty much everybody else -- seems to th

February 04, 2008

Colorado
12:00 AM

Like a growing contingent of western and Midwestern states, Colorado is trending blue in local and federal representation, and barely chose George W. Bush over John Kerry in 2004. The purple state is Barack Obama’s purported bread and butter--so a strong showing, despite Clinton’s early advantage among Colorado Democrats, will bolster this campaign argument.

West Virginia
12:00 AM

West Virginia may not be the most eagerly anticipated Super Tuesday state, but it promises to keep things interesting with one of the earliest and least predictable votes. The new GOP convention/primary format comes with a dizzying number of rules and makes it difficult to tell who is actually in the lead. Romney seems to have the most support, but 48 percent of delegates remain undecided, so the state is “still up for grabs” among the candidates, says Lynn Staton, associate chairman of the state Republican Party.

Pages