Wednesday, January 30, 2008
# Posted 11:54 PM by Taylor Owen
A tongue-in-cheek Web site called Bush-Clinton Forever is already proposing Jeb Bush in 2017, Chelsea Clinton in 2025, Jeb Bush’s son George P. Bush in 2033, Chelsea Clinton’s husband in 2041 and George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush from 2049-2057.(2) opinions -- Add your opinion
Sunday, January 27, 2008
# Posted 5:20 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
"Race doesn't matter!" the crowd at Obama's victory celebration in Columbia chanted last night, and when he spoke, the senator elaborated on the theme. He said his victory disproved those who argue that people "think, act and even vote within the categories that supposedly define us" -- that blacks will not vote for a white candidate and vice versa.From Sunday's WaPo. Compare with the South Carolina exit polls. (4) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 5:13 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
There is an extensive debate, of course, about what Kennedy would have done in Vietnam had he lived to win a second term. But his principles were very clear. (3) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 5:01 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
# Posted 4:45 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
How could [Giuliani] pass up the chance to mock his old nemesis Hillary, the feminist icon who is totally dependent on her husband to do the heavy lifting?The rest of the column is a snide attack on Giuliani, but give Dowd credit for this bit of bipartisanship. I hope Dowd stays at the Times for another 30 years, because every time someone accuses "bloggers" of being petty and mean-spirited, the correct response is obvious. (2) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 4:39 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
# Posted 4:34 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
Saturday, January 26, 2008
# Posted 12:08 PM by Taylor Owen
# Posted 7:55 AM by Ariel David Adesnik
The charisma of Barack Obama draws heavily on precisely that high-minded approach to politics of which liberals have become so wary. Nonetheless, this high-minded approach exerts an almost magnetic pull on many Democrats because it represents their ideal vision of politics. When the Clintons began to attack Obama with accusations that were increasingly at odds with the facts, Democrats had to confront a contradiction. Should the Democratic primary be a proving ground, in which candidates go at each other no-holds-barred, in order to demonstrate who is tough enough to take on the Republicans? Or does attacking a fellow Democrat in such a manner demonstrate that a candidate has failed to recognized the imperative of closing ranks in the name of taking back the White House?
Complicating this problem is the fact that the most vocal advocates of bare-knuckle politics are the self-identified "progressives" who have long resented Hillary and prefer Obama. In contrast, the moderates who remain skeptical of the progressives' more aggresive partisanship are inclined to support Hillary.
I certainly don't have any thoughts about how to resolve these contradictions, but it is fascinating to watch so many liberal bloggers, pundits and pols navigate this sort of identity crisis. (6) opinions -- Add your opinion
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
# Posted 1:26 PM by Taylor Owen
This sentiment has changed over the past week though. For all of the reasons that others have suggested, my gut feeling was that his recent actions were somewhat unbecoming of a president. But why did he feel the need to risk his image? Wasn't being the stately former President a better way of supporting Hillary?
What became crystal clear today, via Eugene Robinson's excellent column (key pieces below), is that he now sees Obama not only as a threat to Hillary's potential presidency, but as a threat to his legacy. This is why the Reagan as transformative leader (good or bad) line was such a trigger for angry response.
It is also, however, a misreading of Obama's message. Obama is not saying that the Clintons weren't good then. He is questioning the attractiveness of a Clinton presidency now. He is arguing that while their politics may have worked well in the climate of the 1990's, it is fundamentally ill disposed for the politics of now.
So, Robinson is right that Bill Clinton sees Obama as a challenge to his presidency. But he shouldn't. It is simply a challenge to Hillary's position that what was good for America in the 1990's is what is good for America in 2008.
Here is Robinson:
Obama's candidacy not only threatens to obliterate the dream of a Clinton Restoration. It also fundamentally calls into question Bill Clinton's legacy by making it seem . . . not really such a big deal.(5) opinions -- Add your opinion
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
# Posted 4:19 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
This past Sunday, the NY Times published a 6,000 word front-page story describing more than 120 murders committed or allegedly committed by veterans of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, the Times reported the story in crudely sensational manner that reinforced misleading stereotypes about veterans, as it did in this passage:
The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.So, how many veterans are there of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? And how often do civilians who fit the same demographic profile commit murder (or are charged with one)? The Times' failure to ask these questions, let alone answer them, is a devastating admission of intellectual poverty and prejudice.
Both Phil and Marc Danziger (aka Armed Liberal) did some rough calculations that suggest the homicide rate for veterans is actually considerably lower than that for similar civilians. Perhaps before long, someone calculate the numbers more precisely. Regardless, the one-sided nature of the Times' coverage is an embarrassment. I hope that the next column by the Public Editor focuses on how such a spectacular failure found its way into the paper of record.
It goes without saying, of course, that conservatives were quick to blast the Times for indulging the same arch-liberal anti-military prejudices they have railed against for so long. This time, those prejudices were transparent to liberals as well. (4) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 3:56 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
I spent a lot of time with Mr. Romney that year, and I occasionally served as his volunteer driver, taking him to local campaign events. The Mitt Romney I got to know was warm and likable. He had an electric intelligence. He was unfailingly decent. He was totally committed to his family. He treated everyone with respect and kindness.I guess the question is, who's responsible for Romney's campaign? Barnett doesn't avoid that question. His answer is Mitt Romney:
Early in the presidential race, Mr. Romney perceived a tactical advantage in becoming the campaign’s social conservative...Although Barnett seems to be describing all of this as an unfortunate tactical error, I would argue that a failure to appreciate the importance of character and principle may compromise one's ability to serve as commander-in-chief. Now let me add on to that some pure speculation: Romney's ability to rapidly change his persona and values reflects his extraordinary success as a business executive. On that point, I'd be very interested in the observations of those of you who have had extensive experience in the private sector.
My sense is that the private sector places such a high premium on achieving results in the next month or next year that it has little interest in whether a chief executive has consistent principles. But great presidents must always take a longer view. Much as I support McCain, I suspect that Romney would be a very competent administrator of the federal government. I also believe he would be fairly moderate and favor a good degree of bipartisanship. I'd certainly vote for him over any of the Democrats.
Labels: Mitt Romney(4) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 3:49 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
In general, I agree with the conventional wisdom that the national polls are a lagging indicator, almost to the point of being meaningless. Rudy Giuliani led in the national polls for all of 2007, and John McCain was a sort of front-runner before that.
But as we get closer to February 5, which is sort of a primary on a national scale, have the national polls begun to matter? Unsurprisingly, I hope they do. Since winning in New Hampshire, McCain seems to have absorbed all of Giuliani's support in the nationals, breaking out to a ten point lead, on average. One clear test of whether this shift is significant is the degree to which Romney's first victory (not counting his gold medal in Wyoming) puts him over the top on a national level, or at least narrows the gap considerably. (3) opinions -- Add your opinion
Friday, January 11, 2008
# Posted 11:19 AM by Taylor Owen
Labels: Obama(5) opinions -- Add your opinion
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
# Posted 3:01 PM by Taylor Owen
Now they have to either kill or coopt the hope that Obama has unleashed. Just as Bush coopted McCain's New Hampshire message in 2000, so Clinton is coopting Obama's message in 2007. She didn't find her own voice; she took Obama's, removed the eloquence and added a spice of identity politics.(3) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 9:03 AM by Ariel David Adesnik
You gotta love a system that constantly proves the know-it-alls to be wrong.
Labels: Obama(4) opinions -- Add your opinion
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
# Posted 5:27 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
In April, I participated in a conference call with the Senator:
As ye sow, so ye shall reap.
Labels: John McCain(8) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 5:06 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
But I did make the call for Obama and I stuck with it even when the conventional wisdom throughout the fall was that Hillary was inevitable. In January 2007, I already gave Obama a 50-50 shot at the nomination if he ran. As I said at the time, I wouldn't vote for an Obama in a general election because I'm not a liberal or a Democrat, but I respect Obama considerably.
In early April, I said straight out that my money is on Obama. I hedged a bit by saying that my confidence in that prediction didn't cross the 50% threshold, but it's hard to bet on a sure thing in politics. I certainly thought Obama had a much better chance than any other candidate.
Of course, he could still lose. Yes, candidates who win Iowa and New Hampshire tend to be unstoppable. But Hillary is one of kind.
Finally, forgive me for boasting. But some of the responses to my prediction cut a little too close. For example:
Thanks for ignoring the reality of class in America.This is same line of criticism that became conventional wisdom during Hillary's long summer. If you drink wine, you'll vote for Obama. If you drink beer, you'll vote for Hillary. I guess pinot noir is getting more popular.
Labels: Obama(2) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 4:59 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
But more than just the success story of a friend and colleague, I think RCP has made a significant contribution to how the media understands opinion polls. Almost every major media outlet provides prominent coverage exclusively to the polls that it commissions. Private polling firms only talk about the polls they conduct. That serves the electorate poorly, because it is only by looking at the full array of polls that one gets the best information. Thanks to RCP, that kind of broad perspective is now available at the click of a button.
And the RCP approach is making head way in the media. On FoxNews, almost every poll chart they put up displays the RCP average for the primary in question. Good for them. I hope the rest of the crowd makes the same decision or develops their own poll indexes so that voters get what they deserve.
Labels: Opinion polls(2) opinions -- Add your opinion
Monday, January 07, 2008
# Posted 7:39 PM by Taylor Owen
# Posted 7:30 PM by Taylor Owen
Sunday, January 06, 2008
# Posted 10:19 PM by Taylor Owen
(3) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 10:30 AM by Taylor Owen
Huckabee: Fun, well spoken, but amateur. Doesn't hold up well when pressed.
McCain: Experienced but old. His strength has the potential to be his weakness - its ok to be a straight talker, unless people don't like what you are saying - ie, 100 years in Iraq.
Romney: Too smarmy by half. Uses a polled keyword in every sentence and often they don't connect. Full of it.
Edwards: Fighting the wrong fight. I don't think that the lobbying battle can carry anyone to the white house. He is the old left. An Obama-Edwards debate would be a fascinating battle for the future of the left. (3) opinions -- Add your opinion
Thursday, January 03, 2008
# Posted 11:36 PM by Taylor Owen
h/t: AS (1) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 11:08 PM by Taylor Owen
While a similar dynamic can also in part explain the Huckabee Romney dichotomy, the nature of the GOP field simply precludes the simplistic change versus status quo story line emerging on the democratic side.
Go Obama! (with Biden as vp...)
(7) opinions -- Add your opinion
# Posted 9:44 PM by Taylor Owen
IOWA IS GREAT. CAUCUSES ARE THE PROBLEM: David Broder explains. FYI, I haven't seen any results yet from Iowa. (2) opinions -- Add your opinion