January 01, 2008
We, the Oftentimes Wrong
Madrid, Spain -- There’s one danger inherent in the democratic system, a danger that, in recent times, keeps surfacing. It is its tendency to spread into all other areas, even those that are not strictly political. Few people would deny that, however imperfect, democracy is still the fairest, most acceptable and most reasonable system of government.
Iowan Of The Day
Meet Jo Zunkel, a resident of rural Ogden who showed up to see Hillary Clinton at Iowa State University in Ames this morning. Jo is an archetypal Hillary supporter--a woman in her sixties who backs Clinton without reservations and loves the idea of a strong and brave woman in the White House. "She's very intelligent. We need somebody with brains," Zunkel told me, adding that she is totally commited to caucusing Thursday night.
December 31, 2007
The Populist Surge
Perry, Iowa -- In the state that will kick off the presidential election this week, it's not a good time to be part of the moneyed elite--even in the Republican Party.The crowd at a community center here last weekend was neatly but not flashily dressed, friendly and unaccustomed to hearing a Republican with a message like Mike Huckabee's.
Spend enough time on the road with Mike Huckabee these days and you're likely to hear the story of the Razorbacks stadium blanket. The now-notorious blanket came into being during Huckabee's 2002 reelection campaign, when it was quilted by an enthusiastic supporter and passed to a Huckabee aide, who later presented it to the governor. Huckabee's staff reported the gift in an ethics filing the following January. But its estimated $50 value struck a local journalist as suspiciously low. The journalist called the quilter, the quilter priced her handiwork at $200, and suddenly a scandal was born.
The Bogarting Candidate
You have to hand it to Bill Shaheen. Hillary Clinton’s former New Hampshire campaign co-chair may have demonstrated a blunderously poor understanding of the national Democratic electorate, but the remarks that led to his resignation earlier this month showed off a decent awareness of the everyday logistics of drug use. Shaheen, of course, stepped down after suggesting that Obama’s candor about his youthful drug use would open him up to other questions in the general election: “It’ll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone?
Pimp My Ride
On the road with Ron Paul's merry band of misfits and his hooker fan club.
Mormons and Money
Alan Wolfe on Mitt Romney, his church, and the culture of prosperity.
Orin Kerr over at The Volokh Conspiracy has a nice primer on Baze v. Rees, the Kentucky case the Supreme Court will hear next week challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection as a method of execution. It's particularly interesting that one of the key questions in the case--is there any readily available method of execution that would involve less risk of pain than the current three-drug cocktail?--remains hazy, in part because doctors are prohibited from participating in executions.
December 30, 2007
From time to time, we ask New York drama critic Jeremy McCarter to assess the theater of politics. Here's his take on some candidate appearances on this weekend's Sunday morning talk shows: Let the screenwriters keep striking. Without their help, the Sunday talk shows go on yielding tense plots and subplots, improbable characters in twisty relationships, and bold strokes of comedy. Some of them are even intentional. "Great to be here," said Hillary Clinton as she walked onto the set of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Is "great" the word she wants there?
Farewell To Fred?
It's been a rough weekend for Fred Thompson. An AP story has Fred complaining about the inane process of running for president--a position which, as I've written before, is utterly sensible but dumb to dwell upon mid-campaign. (Even worse, the story is being played--perhaps unfairly--as evidence that Fred doesn't even want to be president.