Washington, D.C.

The Message Keeper
November 05, 2008

In 1992, a Chicago woman named Bettylu Saltzman met Barack Obama, who had graduated from Harvard Law School one year earlier and was now in her city leading a voter-registration drive called Project Vote. Saltzman, an heiress to a shopping-mall fortune who's long been active in Democratic politics, was volunteering for Bill Clinton's presidential bid when, one day, Obama dropped by the campaign's Chicago office to discuss Project Vote. Saltzman came away from the encounter very, very impressed.

How Conservatives Are Killing The North Korea Deal, Again
September 30, 2008

  In the debate, Barack Obama called North Korea's nuclear re-boot a symptom of the country's internal politics. But this nuclear breakdown may have less to do with Pyongyang than it does with internal divisions in Washington, D.C. This summer, Kim delivered on his part of the nuclear bargain: providing an account of his nuclear activities, submitting the North's plutonium program to safeguards, and destroying Yongbyon's cooling tower.

In Defense of Looseness
August 27, 2008

Richard Posner on why District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated the District's ban on the private ownership of pistols, is an appalling mistak

Trading Places
August 13, 2008

Thirty years ago, the mayor of Chicago was unseated by a snowstorm. A blizzard in January of 1979 dumped some 20 inches on the ground, causing, among other problems, a curtailment of transit service. The few available trains coming downtown from the northwest side filled up with middle-class white riders near the far end of the line, leaving no room for poorer people trying to board on inner-city platforms. African Americans and Hispanics blamed this on Mayor Michael Bilandic, and he lost the Democratic primary to Jane Byrne a few weeks later. Today, this could never happen.

Should "The Star Spangled Banner" Be The National Anthem?
July 08, 2008

Between fireworks and celebration this July 4 weekend, I took some time to read Sean Wilentz's excellent treatment of the War of 1812--a controversial war that produced, among other things, our national anthem. During college, I had a bloc of friends who were opposed to "The Star Spangled Banner." They thought it elevated tacky militarism above America's other endowments and wanted it replaced by the (excellent, but far less succinct) "America The Beautiful." I was agnostic on the issue, but Wilentz's account of 1812 helps put the anthem in context: The War of 1812 is oft derided as a blunder;

House Broker
June 11, 2008

Nancy Pelosi believes in being direct. With the Democratic presidential contest running hot, in March a reporter with Boston TV station NECN asked the House speaker about the possibility of a dream ticket uniting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Doe eyes wide, the nation's highest-ranking Democrat flashed her trademark smile ominously. "I think that the Clinton administration [sic] has fairly ruled that out by proclaiming that Senator McCain would be a better [long pause, dismayed half- laugh] commander-in-chief than Obama.

Are Conservatives Capable Of Defending The United States?
April 16, 2008

While most of official Washington is atwitter about the grave risks of Obama's cultural elitism, witnesses before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs testified yesterday that that the likelihood of nuclear attack on a U.S. city continues to increase: "I definitely conclude the threat is greater and is increasing every year with the march of technology," said Cham E. Dallas, director of the Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia. This is indeed the case.

Browse The TNR Bookshelf
April 14, 2008

  Ah, spring! The time when a TNR reader's thoughts turn to romance--or, failing that, to amassing excellent books. For those drawing up a reading list, or just interested in browsing, I urge you to check out the TNR Bookshelf--an evolving online list of books by TNR-affiliated authors that mirrors an actual physical bookshelf in The New Republic's Washington, D.C. offices. Enjoy! --Barron YoungSmith

Mutual Contempt
March 26, 2008

Though they differ in many ways, John McCain and Barack Obama have one thing in common: Each sees the other as a posturing phony. When McCain talks about Obama on the stump, he trades his typical graciousness for sarcasm and contempt. When McCain lectured Obama about the future of Iraq last week, he did so with what The New York Times called "a tone of belittlement in his voice." McCain has also called Obamamania a swindle. "America is not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history," he said in Wisconsin last month.

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.