Rudy Giuliani

This weekend in Little Rock, Bill Clinton and an all-star cast of political alumni will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his formal entry into the 1992 presidential race. But the candidate decision that did the most to bequeath Clinton the Democratic nomination did not occur until December 20, 1991.

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I don't put much stock in politicians, so I've only twice donated to political campaigns. In 2006, I tossed a few dollars at the Democrat running for Senate against the loathsome Rick Santorum. It could have been a three-headed goat, for all I cared, but Wikipedia says it was Bob Casey. (You're welcome, Bob.) And late in 2007, I gave $50 to Ron Paul. I was working at the time for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, but it wasn't that I had any plans on voting for him.

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David Brooks' column today appears dedicated to the proposition that other people should start criticizing Rick Perry: He does very well with the alternative-reality right — those who don’t believe in global warming, evolution or that Obama was born in the U.S. So, yes, it is time to take Perry seriously as a Republican nominee and even as a potential president. ... It’s more likely that sooner or later Romney is going to have to prove his own toughness by taking Perry on directly.

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During the last few weeks, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is said to be on the very brink of launching a presidential bid, has said and done some things that would have been big trouble, and perhaps mortally damaging, to most politicians. On two separate hot-button issues (gay marriage and abortion), he first identified with hard-line Tea Party “10th Amendment” interpretations that states should be responsible for sorting out such matters, only to then obsequiously flip-flop to hard-line Christian Right positions favoring the passage of a federal constitutional amendment.

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All Over the Map

On June 21, 2007, Mitt Romney delivered a speech at the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute in Beaver Creek, Colorado. To coincide with the address, his campaign released a statement explaining the candidate’s vision for fighting the war on terrorism.

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&c

The Rick Perry for President burblings ought to consider the fact that Texans hate Perry so much they'd vote for Obama over him. Rudy Giuliani ducks promise to gay friend. Not cool, man. Ramesh Ponnuru's anti-union argument relies on a since-repudiated study. Chris Christie has some corrupt Democratic allies. The New Yorker compiles all the hottest GOP candidate tunes. Rush Limbaugh attacks a TNR intern.

As Mitt Romney gradually expands his lead in national polls of Republicans, and his would-be “true conservative” rivals struggle to emerge from the Lilliputian pack, there’s a growing consensus that GOP voters are more concerned about picking an electable nominee than in maintaining the conservative purity of their party. This belief nicely coincides with the abiding faith of Beltway pundits that the ideological bender represented by the Tea Party movement is coming to an end as the Great Big Adults of the Daddy Party reassert control.

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With Mitch Daniels officially out of the presidential race, it seems like the entire GOP is emulating Ethelred the Unready. Well, not quite everyone. In a contrarian move at odds with the Reluctant Republican ethos of the party, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will actually make it official by declaring his candidacy today in Des Moines.  Along with the obligatory yawn-inducing “can you win Iowa?” question, Pawlenty almost certainly will be asked again about his ability to compete financially with Mitt Romney, the Daddy Warbucks of the truncated Republican field.

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Brave New Race

The obvious way to think about Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012 is to revisit his 2008 campaign—what went well, what went poorly, and so on. But circumstances haven’t just changed for Romney since 2008—they’ve more or less inverted. Back then, running against “maverick” John McCain, social-issues heretic Rudy Giuliani, and economic-issues dissenter Mike Huckabee, Romney was essentially the movement conservative candidate in the race.

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Ooops!

Last week, the tech blog Gizmodo scored a major scoop by publishing images and video of the brand new iPhone 4G, blasting the website's traffic into the stratosphere, embarassing the notoriously secretive Apple company, and prompting a police raid on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's house. How did Gizmodo find the phone? A careless Apple engineer left the prototype in a bar. The story has dominated media conversations ever since, so we thought we'd put together some other tales of infamous items lost, stolen, or simply misplaced. Item: The U.S.

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