South Carolina

Race Man
February 27, 2008

After several weeks of swooning, news reports are finally being filed about the gap between Senator Barack Obama’s promises of a pure, soul-cleansing “new” politics and the calculated, deeply dishonest conduct of his actually-existing campaign.

The Morning After
February 27, 2008

On January 30, readers of The New York Times' website might have noticed something intriguing in its "City Room" section. Nestled between outtakes from a night with young Republicans in Staten Island and part four of a five-part series on tenant–landlord issues was the headline: "On Michelle Obama's Guest List: Alma Rangel.

Did Obama Play The Race Card?
February 27, 2008

Over on the home page, you can find Sean Wilentz's long brief trying to make the case that Obama has played the race card in his campaign--by accusing the Clintons of playing the race card. Or, as Wilentz puts it, by "deliberately, falsely, and successfully portray[ing] Clinton and her campaign as unscrupulous race-baiters." I'm unconvinced. To see why, let's take one of Wilentz's examples: On January 26, Obama won a major victory in South Carolina by gaining the overwhelming majority of the black vote and a much smaller percentage of the white vote, for a grand total of 55 percent.

The Long Run-Up
February 21, 2008

Last night, around dinnertime, The New York Times postedon its website a 3,000-word investigation detailing Senator John McCain’s connections to a telecommunications lobbyist named Vicki Iseman.

Over-Billed
February 13, 2008

Two days after the New Hampshire primary, John Kerry climbed onto a dais in Charleston, South Carolina, and endorsed Barack Obama. “We need...leaders who look out at America and see not an electorate to be sliced and diced and pitted against each other, but citizens who want to do great things together,” Kerry said. At first, it sounded like a shot at George Bush and Karl Rove. But, the longer he went on, the more Kerry seemed to have another polarizing duo in mind--Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Skin Deep
February 13, 2008

When Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign first began, there was reason to think she would be hard to beat in a primary. Despite her Iraq vulnerability and assorted baggage, she seemed to have an impenetrable bulwark in the black vote. “Bill Clinton’s popularity with blacks has been presumed to carry over to her and help her win the important South Carolina primary...and other similar Southern primaries,” explained Newsweek in November 2006. Newsweek wisely noted that the candidacy of Barack Obama could change that presumption.

Operation Push
February 13, 2008

In 2002, Barack Obama was an unknown Illinois state senator with long-shot ambitions of moving from the political backwater of Springfield to the big-time of Washington, D.C. But, before he acted on those ambitions, he wanted to get the blessing of another young, black––and far more famous––Illinois politician, one whom he essentially hoped to leapfrog on his way to the U.S. Senate. And so, one morning that year, Obama had breakfast with U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.

Phantom Menace
February 13, 2008

John B. Judis: The psychology behind America's immigration hysteria.

Vote With Confidence. Vote With Knowledge.
February 05, 2008

Hey, we hear there's a primary today. Seems like as good a time as any to catch up on TNR's recent campaign coverage--there's Jon Chait's piece (now free to all!) on how Obama liberates Democrats from the Clinton's siege mentality; there's John Judis's CW-moving article, from mid-December, on how Latino voters could save Hillary's campaign; and there's David Kusnet, Bill Clinton's former speechwriter, on the perils John McCain will face in the general. There's also much more. To paraphrase P.

Primary Talk
January 30, 2008

While it's hard to track public opinion shifts sans polls, Michael Sean Winters at America: The National Catholic Weekly has a glimpse of the talk among elite Democratic Washington: I went to dinner with three friends last night in Bethesda, just outside Washington. We began talking about the Democratic primaries and about how disgusted we were with the Clintons' campaign tactics, especially Bill Clinton's dismissive equation of Obama's South Carolina victory with Jesse Jackson's wins there in 1984 and 1988. ... Then something funny happened.

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