Jun 4, 2008
This proposal is similar to what John Kennedy and Barry Goldwater were considering back in 1963 when it seemed the Arizona Senator would be the GOP nominee.
May 31, 2008
The New York Times describes Ali Larijani as someone who is more conservative than Ahmadinejad, yet possibly more pragmatic in dealing with the West.
He is also a proponent of the country's nuclear development program, which would be totally even more unnecessary under Sam Nunn and Dick Lugar's proposal for Russia and the United States to lock down nuclear materials and assure nuclear-fuel services "both providing and removing the fuel needed for civilian nuclear energy."
May 28, 2008
May 20, 2008
The latter seems unlikely, and that it is mere pompousness leading him to make gaffes in the religious radicals' eyes. Remember, this comes shortly after Ayman Al-Zawahiri's public chiding of him.
May 17, 2008
They are wary of seeming to denigrate McCain’s service, marked by his legendary endurance in a Hanoi prison camp, when in fact they remain, to this day, in awe of it. And yet in private discussions with friends and colleagues, some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.For his part, Bai points out that former Sen. Bob Kerrey disagrees with this characterization.
May 15, 2008
May 14, 2008
Is there an argument that Obama's troubles are basically Appalachia, just like Clinton's troubles can be excused away by Obama's Midwestern roots? It is striking how geographic their strengths are right now. Obama dominates in the South and in the Midwest while Clinton owns the Northeast and, well, Appalachia.
May 11, 2008
So it seems McCain will come away from this unsavory tie unscathed. But Democrats should ask themselves, 'Would he have gotten off so easily had Hillary stepped down earlier this week?'
May 10, 2008
I've developed something of a reputation for being a Hillary partisan on the floor. And so some of my buddies said, 'Hey, we got someone you want to meet,' and brought him over to say hello, and he—we exchange—I told him I was like that skinny Chinese kid in Tiananmen Square standing in front of the tank, I might be the last one.
May 9, 2008
Consider this analysis recently offered by Bill Clinton in
: "The great divide in this country is not by race or even income, it's by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules." This is precisely the dynamic that allows multimillionaires like George W. Bush and Bill O'Reilly to present themselves as being on the side of the little guy. A more classic expression of conservative populism cannot be found. Clarksburg, West Virginia
May 8, 2008
May 7, 2008
May 6, 2008
Just now on MSNBC, he said the gas tax debate helped shift focus away from Jeremiah Wright and onto an issue where Barack Obama took a principled stand and she looked untrustworthy.
A lot of fascinating material in here, especially possibly one of the first callers following his announcement: Abigail McCarthy. From the notes:
MRS. MCCARTHY TELLS LBJ SHE IS OVERCOME WITH EMOTION FOLLOWING LBJ'S SPEECH; LBJ THANKS HER, SAYS HE WILL WORK FOR PEACE.
It is unlikely that many Kuwaitis would be willing to trade their political rights and freedoms for more economic opportunity. But the notion that democracy is somehow holding Kuwait back is common.
“It’s true, the friction in our politics delays things,” said Kamel Harami, an oil analyst. “The sheik of Abu Dhabi can say, ‘Go build this,’ and it’s done. He doesn’t have me, the press, the TV stations, the Parliament, getting in his way. But what people need to understand is that democracy isn’t the problem; it’s that democracy isn’t being used correctly.”
Michael Crowley looks at something John Harwood and Harold Ickes were discussing on MSNBC:
That the gas tax holiday isn't just bad policy, it's bad politics insofar as superdelegates see it as a cynical pander that turns them off to Hillary.
Does it also make it easier for them to discount some of her latest victories, as easily won through pandering?
Apr 29, 2008
Perhaps they are paraphrasing him, because Barbour is never quoted as explicitly saying so in the interview.
Apr 28, 2008
I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran [in the event they launch a nuclear strike against Israel]. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.The Globe points to chiding reactions from around the world, disappointed that Clinton would publicly make such a commitment.
While Clinton has hammered Obama for supporting military strikes in Pakistan, her comments on Iran are much more far-reaching. She seems not to realize that she undermined Iranian reformists and pragmatists. The Iranian people have been more favorable to America than any other in the Gulf region or the Middle East.But can America reasonably sit by while Israeli civilians are being annihilated? Absolutely not. While it should not be voiced, what other reaction could possibly be taken?
A presidential candidate who lightly commits to obliterating Iran - and, presumably, all the children, parents, and grandparents in Iran - should not be answering the White House phone at any time of day or night.
Apr 27, 2008
“It’s like he’s been plucked out of time and thrown into the middle of this entirely new kind of campaign,” the adviser told me. Jay Carson, a senior Clinton campaign official and Bill’s former spokesman, said, “Because of the way he is covered, the only thing anyone ever sees is fifteen seconds that is deemed by the pundits to be off message.”
One of the most amazing things about Pennsylvania is ... how much Barack Obama, in trying to chase after voters in places like Scranton and Steelton, where I once lived, I'm telling you, he wasn't going to win in Steelton and only made one big appearance in Philadelphia, where his base was. His theory, up until now, had been, "Run up my numbers in the places where I'm strong." But he only, Friday night before the election, made--had a big--one big rally in Philadelphia, while the Clintons were running rings around him in the suburbs, where he was supposed to be strong, and he didn't do as well as he was supposed to. So there's something--it, it seems like that campaign gets thrown off balance when Hillary Clinton sets the table for where they ought to be and what they ought to say.
Kadyrov died in 2004 because of a bomb planted in a concrete pillar underneath his seat at a parade celebrating the defeat of the Nazis. Karzai and his party were fired upon by small arms and RPGs, killing three, including a 10 year old boy.
“But Gordon? ’He can’t defeat Cameron,’ Tony told me. Blair believed Cameron had major strengths - political timing, a winning personality and a natural ability to communicate to Middle England that Gordon would be unable to match,” he added.A Blair spokesperson denies the comment, but public sentiment seems to confirm he would say such a thing.
Apr 24, 2008
The same article also notes that Olmert is currently vacationing with his family and friends in a cabin on the Golan.
Is that his version of John Kennedy sending Pierre Salinger out to buy all the Cuban cigars in Washington D.C. the night he ordered the trade embargo?
Apr 23, 2008
These ads were not made by McCain, but they are from an organization he's directly linked to and arguably the nominal head of.
If McKinnon is true to his word, he should leave now; yet he's rolling along -- quite literally -- on McCain's bus in Kentucky.
"In the Bush campaign we used to say that we won the campaign in 2000 and 2004 between March and June," McKinnon told Time earlier today. "And I think the way things are going we could say that McCain won this election between March and June."
Well if it's over by then, why ever leave?
Apr 22, 2008
INTERVIEWER: “Do you think [comparing Barack Obama's South Carolina victory to that of Jesse Jackson's] was a mistake, and would you do that again?"Today, to NBC/National Journal reporter Mike Memoli:
CLINTON: "No. I think that they played the race card on me. And we now know, from memos from the campaign and everything, that they planned to do it along."
NBC/NJ: “Sir, what did you mean yesterday when you said that the Obama campaign was playing the race card on you?”
CLINTON: “When did I say that, and to whom did I say that?”
NBC/NJ: “On WHYY radio yesterday”
CLINTON: “No, no, no. That’s not what I said. You always follow me around and play these little games, and I’m not going to play your games today. This is a day about election day. Go back and see what the question was, and what my answer was. You have mischaracterized it to get another cheap story to divert the American people from the real urgent issues before us, and I choose not to play your game today. Have a nice day.”
He goes on, but does it really matter?
Someone bought TuckerBounds.com for $10.19 yesterday. Hint: It wasn't Tucker Bounds.If this is a Google-bomb/AdWords-driven spokesman watchdog group, then... wow.
If 2006 was a precursor, it looks like this will be the year of full-blown search engine informational warfare.
Apr 21, 2008
In New Jersey, 84* year-old Frank Lautenberg will have to fend off a well-funded Democratic primary challenger in Rep. Rob Andrews, 51, before the likely GOP nominee, former Rep. Dick Zimmer, 64, who is no political novice.
And earlier today in Alaska, Democrat Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, 46, officially announced he will take on long-time Republican Sen. Ted Stevens who, on election day, will be two weeks away from turning 85. This will likely be the most significant challenge Stevens has ever faced, given his age and recent corruption investigations into his home and his family.
The next oldest Senators, John Warner, 81, and Pete Domenici, 76, chose not to stand for reelection.
Then again, 72 year-old Senators Pat Roberts and Elizabeth Dole look strong in their re-election prospects, as do Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, 73, and Missouri Sen. Thad Cochran, 71.
*Unless otherwise noted, these are the ages they will be on November 4, 2008.
For all the recycled Clinton-Obama bickering this past weekend -- over health care, who’s being more negative, and who’s saying nice things about Republicans or using GOP talking points -- Democrats should be encouraged by what they're seeing in terms of the general election, at least when it comes to the blocking and tackling of politics. Their rapid response teams of both these campaigns are well oiled and battle tested. And as Newsweek reported, Team Obama is expanding its rapid response squad for the general. But the same can’t be said for team McCain, which isn’t quite sure whether its opponent will be Obama or Clinton and which hasn’t engaged in all-out political fight since Florida back in January.
If true, the take away from this article is how wily Mark Penn has been at keeping the deck stacked against his colleagues in Clinton headquarters.
Fears are being stoked by an apparent rocket attack on a Japanese tanker off the coast of Yemen, rebels attacking a Nigerian pipeline last week, and an impending labor strike in Scotland that threatens to reduce world supply by 200,000 barrels per day.
Barring the Scottish news, the question must be whether the most recent news of the market's volatile relationship between attacks and price inspire more violence to affect supply?
Apr 18, 2008
Barack Obama's foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders. Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, "We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America."What McCain doesn't want his supporters to know is that today Obama received the endorsement of former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn -- an endorsement that shows it is Obama who has done more to fight the terrorist threats against our homeland.
Nunn is co-chairman and C.E.O. of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an organization with the mission to bring together people with different ideological views to close the gap between the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. It's a phenomenal group, combining science and diplomacy, working with allied and even not-so allied nations to track down and destroy dangerous materials, while bringing much needed attention to the most overlooked front in our struggle against large-scale terrorism.
Obama understands the magnitude of the threat and has taken action. Last summer, the Lugar-Obama nonproliferation initiative secured a $48 million funding increase to destroy conventional weapons stockpiles, seek to intercept weapons of mass destruction and respond to proliferation emergencies. It's a small step, but a good signal to the priorities he would set as president.
Turns out Dopp was selected as the fall guy for what was represented to him as a slap on the wrist, brief suspension. He soon found himself a target in a criminal investigation and wide ridicule -- including from within the Spitzer administration (“They’re shooting you in the back,” Attorney General Andrew Cuomo told him).
Ultimately Dopp had to decide whether he would "be a fall guy or a rat." He ended up becoming both, when he told investigators that Spitzer personally authorized the leak of Joe Bruno's travel expenses to the press, saying, "Shove it up his ass with a red-hot poker.”
A truly enlightening -- and sad -- story for anyone who followed the events as they unfolded.
So this sentence in Patrick Healy's Times article this morning should be encouraging to a lot of superdelegates.
Until the nominating fight ends, Mr. Obama said, he is “trying to show some restraint.” He added, “I won’t have as much restraint with the Republicans."
Apr 16, 2008
Sen. Jim Webb may seem a little too Democratic these days, but outgoing Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel or New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might seem like the right guys for the job. Bloomberg less so, because he could be jockeying for a 2012 run, and Hagel more so because he, like Lieberman, is a distinctive for his position on the Iraq war.
Apr 15, 2008
This bothered E.J. Dionne.
That "frankly" is the most appalling word in the whole sentence. And never mind that Al Gore ran 360,000 votes ahead of Senate candidate Clinton when both were on New York's ballot in the 2000 election.
Speaking Monday at the annual meeting of the Associated Press, McCain was asked whether he, if elected, would shift combat troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to intensify the search for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
"I would not do that unless Gen. [David] Petraeus said that he felt that the situation called for that," McCain said, referring to the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
Petraeus, however, made clear last week that he has nothing to do with the decision. Testifying last week before four congressional committees, including the Senate Armed Services Committee on which McCain is the ranking Republican, Petraeus said the decision about whether troops could be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan was not his responsibility because his portfolio is limited to the multi-national force in Iraq.
Perhaps a bit of both.
To win in November, a Democratic presidential candidate has to carry most of the industrial heartland states that stretch from Pennsylvania to Missouri. That becomes even more imperative if a Democrat can't carry Florida--and because of his relative weakness in South Florida, Obama is unlikely to do so against McCain. Ruy Teixeira and I have calculated that in the heartland states, a Democratic presidential candidate has to win from 45 to 48 percent of the white working class vote. In some states, like West Virginia and Kentucky, the percentage is well over a majority.He then describes the three models of candidates needed for a Democrat to win over these voters: The Unacceptable Republican (someone they couldn't have a beer with), The Acceptable Democrat (whose social positions don't frighten them), or The Empathetic Democrat (someone who feels their pain).
According to Judis, the first two options are out of the question in '08 for both Democrats, and the third model? He thinks Hillary's got Obama beat there.
The flaw is that Judis bases his argument for an "adequate" 43 to 44 percent share of the white working-class vote to win a national majority on numbers that he and Teixeira crunched in the summer of 2007. The huge numbers Democrats have racked up around the country in the 2008 contests -- largely due to Obama increasing the turnout among African Americans, the young, and suburban professionals -- proves the pie has expanded since their calculations. White working class voters will still be a major part of the Democratic majority come November, but their share might not be as large as he thinks.
Judis should also reconsider his proposal that Hillary is more able to connect with working class whites than Obama. After all, the country knows more about his battle with the Clintons than how he was raised by a single mom and Midwest grandparents or how he just finished paying off his student loans a few years ago. Hillary also keeps Mark Penn on her staff, who Judis and Teixeira used as a prime example of those who blamed Al Gore's 2000 loss on his pursuit of white working-class voters. If she goes on to the nomination, he will surely be back at the message helm.
In that very same book, they also note how Republicans have become clumsier in using race to divide the electorate, and how Democrats' updated positions on affirmative action (as Obama proposes to make it more needs-based than race-based) and similar issues have caused blatant racially-charged attacks to backfire. So Judis might take his own observations into consideration on whether Obama's skin color will be that much of a hindrance.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of Barack Obama's electoral death are greatly exaggerated.
But yesterday, she told the AP, “I don’t want to be, don’t intend to be, won’t be on the ticket.”
Apr 14, 2008
A Republican could easily run this ad.
To which the Clinton campaign will say: "Exactly!"
To which the Obama campaign will say: "Exactly!"
And Arianna Huffington had this nice quip: "She's burning down the village to save it -- or to prove that she would make the best fire chief."
A vote for Obama, then, might be perceived as a vote to thwart the national aspirations of the state’s most popular Democrat.
The mayor has been an opponent of a term limits repeal, vetoing a bill a few years ago, but as the article says, the prospect of a third term could keep his political clout from declining. A repeal could find some friendly support in city government, too. Surely Quinn doesn't want her sun to set on a sour note. Another term could be just what Quinn for Mayor '09 '13 needs.
Elsewhere, outgoing Russian President Vladmir Putin has been offered the helm of the majority United Russia party, which will expand his powers from the Prime Ministership, and possibly set the stage for his return to the presidency for a third term at a future date.
Apr 13, 2008
Clark has been a good surrogate for Clinton, and stayed out of the muck enough to keep himself viable for Obama. As for someone who could unite Democrats after what has been a bitter fight, his political identity within the party may be too dependent on the Clintons for him to branch out to Obama supporters; and vice versa, leave him not enough of a leader with Clinton people to bring them back Obama.
Apr 12, 2008
The Friday event was meant to get the plan out there to provide swift* action without keeping the story alive, but it was not meant to be. The lede went to news that Quinn has hired a criminal defense lawyer at taxpayer expense(!) to represent her during the investigations of these questionable spending practices.
*Swift-ish.... It's been well over a week since the scandal broke.
Apr 11, 2008
Flush with payments from well-funded campaigns, the ward leaders and Democratic Party bosses typically spread out the cash in the days before the election, handing $10, $20 and $50 bills to the foot soldiers and loyalists who make up the party's workforce.Watch where this goes.
Apr 10, 2008
This would come as a new Israeli study finds the terrorist organization gearing up for new attacks through a broad military buildup, largely orchestrated from their base in Damascus with Syrian and Iranian money and weapons.
The New Jersey native delivered the Sherman statement last year when Fox News' Mike Wallace asked him if he were interested in the Republican nomination for vice president.
'Papa John' by Jason Zengerle of The New Republic discusses infighting in McCain's core campaign structure, with the antagonists being former top aide John Weaver and current campaign manager Rick Nelson.
And Liz Bummiller and Larry Rohter's New York Times piece, '2 Camps Trying to Influence McCain on Foreign Policy,' pits realist Henry Kissinger against neoconservative Bob Kagan.
The former explains a lot and really speaks for itself, while the latter fight is much more volatile at this point. Remember back to August of 2006, it was thought that Robert Zoellick was going to be the big thinker behind McCain's candidacy. Now he's at the World Bank trying to help deflate food prices.
It's long enough to want to wait to read it in print.
Apr 9, 2008
The Maoist rebels who terrorized the monarchic government laid down their arms under U.N. supervision to take on the United Marxist Leninsts in electing delegates to a constitutional convention, but violence was not left behind. Several election season killings were noted in this morning’s New York Times, including a death-by-boulder assassination attempt.
The front-page article suggests the conflicted feelings toward bringing terrorists into the system rather than continuing to pursue them into the Nepalese wilderness. That the elections are free and fair, as well as how the parties abide by their results will be the indicators of whether a peaceful resolution can be found.
Becerra is not as familiar a face, but Putnam has been a political talk show regular in his role as chair of the House Republican Conference. It was certainly a different side of Putnam tonight. What is it about NewsHour that causes members of Congress to stop shouting and walking all over each other's thoughts to actually have a debate?
But then it's a matter of survival, and the numbers are important.
If McCain’s is hanging in, behind by 10 or so points, then it is clear he will have a shot. If the bounce pushes the Democratic nominee to as much as a 15 point lead, it may be very demoralizing to the GOP.
Friends say Matthews is wary of another up-and-comer, David Gregory, who last month was given a show at 6 o'clock, between airings of "Hardball." It is a common view around NBC that Gregory is trying out as a possible replacement for Matthews.The silver-haired Gregory carries a lot of stature for someone who is only 37 years old. Forget Matthews, he's probably going for Russert's job.
Both candidates want to damage the other's popularity, but are afraid to use the weapon that really gets results: the hard-edged, 30-second attack ad with grainy black-and-white images and an announcer reciting the worst things about an opponent.Given the Clinton camp's recent troubles, Obama hasn't needed much help lately. But Clinton?
Lanny Davis on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal:
I have tried to get over my unease surrounding Barack Obama's response to the sermons and writings of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. But the unanswered questions remain.Both via Mark Halperin.
I am a strong supporter of and a substantial fundraiser for Hillary Clinton for president (though in this column I speak only for myself). I still believe she should and will be the Democratic nominee. But if Sen. Obama wins the nomination, he needs to understand that this issue goes well beyond Clinton partisans.
Apr 8, 2008
This is certainly good for CNN’s roster of pundits (read: Anderson Cooper) interested in succeeding Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation.