Politics

June 04, 2008

Obama's Gifted Oratory--and What It Can't Accomplish
12:00 AM

Time often blunts my initial impressions of political speeches: The extraordinary becomes more ordinary, while the pedestrian and pedantic start to seem profound. But, after a few hours of sleep, my impressions of last night are, if anything, more pronounced than before. Clinton was classless, not to mention destructive. (I guess I, too, am becoming apoplectic.) McCain was languid and whiny. Obama was energetic and, at times, inspiring. For Obama, of course, this is nothing new. More than any politician in recent memory, he has relied upon speeches to propel his candidacy.

June 03, 2008

Text of Obama's Speech
12:00 AM

Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end.Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard.

Denied the Rite
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Word spread like wildfire in Catholic circles: Douglas Kmiec, a staunch Republican, firm foe of abortion and veteran of the Reagan Justice Department, had been denied communion.His sin? Kmiec, a Catholic who can cite papal pronouncements with the facility of a theological scholar, shocked old friends and adversaries alike earlier this year by endorsing Barack Obama for president.

The Thin Green Line
12:00 AM

Andrew Rice is an unlikely candidate to represent Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate. A 35-year-old Democrat elected to the state senate in 2006, he favors abortion rights and civil unions in one of the most socially conservative states in the country. He is up against two-and-a-third-term Republican incumbent James Inhofe, in a state with a 44-year history of voting for Republican presidents, and where no Democratic opponent has climbed above 41 percent since 1990. Inhofe’s campaign has already out-raised Rice by more than double.

A Second Try At Integration In Louisville
12:00 AM

Over at the American Prospect, Richard Kahlenberg has a fascinating look at what the Louisville school district has done in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, which struck down a scheme that explicitly used race as a factor in assigning students to schools.

Reagan Is Not The Antidote To Bush

While Cass Sunstein is right to caution against groupthink in the President's inner circle, I'd warn against holding up the Reagan administration as an ideal alternative.

Obama-clinton '08?
12:00 AM

Hillary says she's open to it. I feel like that's what she has to say, or risk looking bitter and unwilling to "join the team" in a broader sense. Surely she realizes how completely unrealistic it is. Right? Does Obama want Bill within 1,000 yards of his campaign or his White House? No way. --Michael Crowley

Reagan Vs. Bush: Lessons For Obama Vs. Mccain
12:00 AM

(Cross-posted from Open University)  By all accounts, one of the distinctive features of the Bush Administration has been its relative intolerance for internal dissent. High-level officials have tended to settle on a particular course of action, quite early on, and to squelch rather than to promote discussion and debate within the White House or the administration more generally. The point applies to the Iraq war, of course, but to many other issues as well, including climate change, tax cuts, energy policy, the mortgage crisis, Hurricane Katrina, and much more.

Reagan Vs. Bush: Lessons For Obama Vs. Mccain
12:00 AM

By all accounts, one of the distinctive features of the Bush Administration has been its relative intolerance for internal dissent. High-level officials have tended to settle on a particular course of action, quite early on, and to squelch rather than to promote discussion and debate within the White House or the administration more generally. The point applies to the Iraq war, of course, but to many other issues as well, including climate change, tax cuts, energy policy, the mortgage crisis, Hurricane Katrina, and much more.

June 02, 2008

Bill Unleashed!
12:00 AM

He may have saved his most dramatic outburst for the very end: Tightly gripping this reporter's hand and refusing to let go, Clinton heatedly denounced [Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum], who is currently married to his former White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers. "[He's] sleazy," he said referring to Purdum. "He's a really dishonest reporter.... There's just five or six blatant lies in there.

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