Archive of Articles for January, 2008

The Four Possible Matchups For November

[ Posted Thursday, January 31st, 2008 – 14:58 UTC ]

As the field of candidates from both parties narrows, it is now possible to talk of the possible matchups in November in a single column.

But before I get into this candidate versus that, I would like to point out one more interesting thing about this year's election. It's a footnote, really, but an interesting one nonetheless: there's a large chance that this year will be only the third time Americans have elected a sitting senator. There's been a sort of "curse of the Senate" hanging over presidential candidates ever since JFK became the second to make the leap. While this isn't as exciting as electing the first black or woman to the White House, it will be one more reason this year's election isn't exactly like the others. By my figuring, there's a 75% chance we'll have a senator moving to the Oval Office next year.

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The Epic 2008 Election (So Far)

[ Posted Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 – 16:14 UTC ]

Out of the frozen tundra of Iowa, out of the snowy mountains of Vermont, out of the brightly-lit casinos in the Nevada desert, out of the churches of South Carolina... campaign '08 comes barreling down towards Super Duper Tsunami Tuesday like a cheetah on steroids. But I'd like to pause here for a moment, take a deep breath, and look at the 2008 election's "big picture" -- where we've been, where we are, and how we got here.

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Ridiculously Early Running Mate And Cabinet Speculation

[ Posted Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 – 16:04 UTC ]

I do wonder at the stunning political tactics it must have taken to get Sebelius selected to give the speech, though. She must have been sold as a successful Democratic politician from a red state, and her speech must have been sold to the party leadership as a "let's work together and get something done" speech. But the speech she actually gave could easily have been given by Obama himself. It was entirely in tune with Obama's campaign slogans and strategy, and then the day after giving the speech she endorses Obama publicly. That's quite a coup for Barack, and shows that maybe he knows more about manipulating the levers of political power in Washington than most give him credit for. In the midst of a tight primary race, a week before Super Duper Tsunami Tuesday, Barack gets his own supporter to give a speech that an enormous number of Americans are watching. That's impressive, and I bet the Clinton camp is seething today over being outmaneuvered in such a crafty way.

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My Primary Picks For Florida

[ Posted Monday, January 28th, 2008 – 15:14 UTC ]

Ever onwards, into the fray, we return to the latest in a series of primary "picks" columns, this time heading down to Florida to examine the Republican race. I refuse to write any Democratic picks, since they're supposed to be in the penalty box for moving their primary up sooner than February 5th. So this week, it's GOP-only.

Which is probably a good thing, since my track record on the Republican side is a lot better than my total for Democrats. I seem to be able to be more objective on the Republicans, and more biased on the Democratic side, so make of that what you will.

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Friday Talking Points [16] -- The State Of The Blog

[ Posted Friday, January 25th, 2008 – 16:16 UTC ]

Netizens, fellow bloggers, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, and all Americans... I am proud to stand before you and say... the state of the weblog is strong!

Blogging, for instance, means you can put your own comments out there before President Bush gives his final State of the Union speech next Monday. This is a good thing for our blogosphere!

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Edwards Leads, Clinton And Obama Are Absent

[ Posted Thursday, January 24th, 2008 – 16:46 UTC ]

John Edwards today came out strongly in support of Chris Dodd's fight against Harry Reid in the Senate over giving telecommunications companies immunity for breaking the wiretapping laws. To be fair, Dodd is the one leading on the issue, but he has dropped out of the race for president, so he deserves the leadership honors on the issue. But among the three leading candidates for the Democratic nomination, only Edwards is even speaking about the issue. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as of this writing, don't have any press releases up on their web pages on the issue, one way or the other. Both of them are out on the campaign trail rather than in the Senate to cast votes on the issue.

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Is Karl Rove Working For The Clinton Campaign?

[ Posted Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008 – 15:20 UTC ]

Either Karl Rove has joined the Clinton campaign as their advisor, or somebody over there has learned a lot from his standard campaign playbook. Because they're successfully using Rove's signature (and quite bizarrely effective) political tactic: attack your opponent not on his weak points, but on your weak points. This throws your opponent on defense, when he should be strongly playing offense.

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The Man Who Sold The Moon

[ Posted Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 – 18:15 UTC ]

Salon's article is amusing, but never gives credit where credit is due for the idea itself, which is a shame. If you haven't read the story, get a copy from the library (it's conveniently in a collection of short stories also titled The Man Who Sold The Moon), it's worth it. Or buy one, read it, and when you're done, send a copy to Salon. Maybe they'll get it right next time.

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Bill Clinton, Chief Of Staff?

[ Posted Monday, January 21st, 2008 – 18:00 UTC ]

To me, this seems an obvious answer to an unprecedented problem -- what is a former president going to do as First Husband? You can bet he'll be eager to help out in any fashion Hillary allows him to, and his wealth of experience and knowledge would be an asset to pretty much anything he does to help his wife. He's still popular within the party, and he's going to have an influence on his wife's administration whether he's in an official position or not. So what to do with him?

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Friday Talking Points [15] -- De-Bushification

[ Posted Friday, January 18th, 2008 – 17:00 UTC ]

I apologize in advance for the disjointed nature of this week's column. There are a lot of odds and ends to cover, including tomorrow's primary picks, a cartoon, and the usual awards and talking points.

But the first of these ends is definitely odd: is it just my imagination, or did Charles Krauthammer (of all people) read my earlier column before writing his own? You be the judge.

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