Veterans on the Supreme Court

RedState‘s Erick Erickson notes that, not only would Elena Kagan replace the Supreme Court’s last Protestant but also “the last of the military veterans on the United States Supreme Court.” Indeed, according to his Wikipedia entry, John Paul Stevens “began work on his master’s degree in English at the university in 1941, but soon decided […]

What Democrats Should Learn from Massachussetts

Neil Newhouse, who served served as the pollster for the Brown for Senate campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (and was indirectly my source* last night) has written a public memo to National Democratic Leaders with the subject line WHAT MASSACHUSETTS MEANS FOR YOU.  While it’s mostly tongue-in-cheek, he makes some salient points.   Among […]

Presidents, the Military, and Stagecraft

Dana Milbank starts an otherwise thoughtful piece with a rather sophomoric attempt at humor: First, the good news: President Obama will not be wearing a flight suit when he addresses the cadets at West Point on Tuesday night. Nor will he wear a bomber jacket with the presidential seal on the chest, nor even, the […]

Banning the Birthers

Jon Henke thinks it’s time for the Right to throw out the lunatics: In the 1960’s, William F. Buckley denounced the John Birch Society leadership for being “so far removed from common sense” and later said “We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner.” The Birthers are the Birchers of […]

Republican Party Needs More Votes if it is to Win

Bruce Bartlett explains why he’s not a Republican anymore using a time-honored refrain:  He didn’t leave his party; his party left him.  While he now considers himself an “independent,” he’s more than non-partisan; he’s “anti-Republican.”  Why? I still consider myself to be a Reaganite. But I don’t see any others anywhere in the GOP these […]

A Tale of Two Murders

DrewM. passes on Michelle Malkin‘s post and column noting that the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller by a white “Christian” got scads more media commentary and more intense presidential attention than did the murder of Private William Long and maiming and attempted murder of Private Quinton Ezeagwula by a black “Muslim.” It’s a fair […]

The Mommy Slur

Hilary Bok is rather bent out of shape at a Washington Whispers poll which asks “If you had a choice of four daycare centers run separately by Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi, which would you choose for your kids?” She suggests some alternative poll questions: If you needed some yard work […]

Military Service Demographics

Danielle Allen takes to the editorial pages of WaPo to decry the regional disparity of military service in a piece titled “Red-State Army?” Whereas in 1969 13 percent of Americans were veterans, in 2007 only 8 percent of us were. Even more important than these general demographic shifts is the change wrought by the end […]

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State?!

The big political news this morning is the buzz surrounding speculation that Hillary Clinton could be tabbed as Secretary of State. Politico’s Mike Allen: Several Obama transition advisers are strongly advocating Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for secretary of state, a move that would create the ultimate “Team of Rivals” Cabinet, according to officials involved […]

Whites Voted For Obama, Proving They’re Racist!

Larry Bartels examines the voting behavior of white Americans on Election Day and finds that, as he expected, we were very, very racist: According to the exit polls, Obama outpolled the previous Democratic nominee, John Kerry, among people from small towns and rural areas and among gun owners. He also did better than Kerry among […]

Obama’s Landslide in Perspective

In the discussion on Obama’s apparent 365-173 Electoral College victory, Rodney Dill asks, “How close is this, historically? The popular vote difference seems like it was pretty big by modern standards, but usually that would result in an even more lopsided electoral vote.” It’s an interesting question. Dave Leip’s Atlas has the results for every […]

2008 Election County-By-County

After George W. Bush won the 2000 election, despite having received substantially fewer votes nationwide than Al Gore, many of us took great comfort in this famous map, showing the election results county-by-county: In 2004, Bush won re-election by a majority — but John Kerry nearly took it anyway because of a close call in […]

McCain’s Final Stand

Tonight’s third and final debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is the last scheduled opportunity for the candidates to make an impression on the voters.  Election Day is less than three weeks away and, by the looks of things, McCain needs a miracle. According to the poll averages at RealClearPolitics, McCain is getting crushed.  […]

Obama’s Acceptance Speech: The More Things CHANGE, The More They Remain the Same

I wrote a quick post before bed last night giving my off-the-cuff reaction to Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech, arguing that, despite all the talk of “change,” it was basically a speech that Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, or John Kerry could have given. The NYT has a six-page transcript […]

Best. Speeches. Ever.

I just haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm to watch much of the Democratic Convention coverage. It’s a shame, too, as I understand John Kerry, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden all gave the best speeches of their lives last night. Really, though, what were the odds? I’ll watch Obama’s performance at Mile High Stadium […]

Obama as Jackie Robinson

Adam Serwer laments the fact that Barack and, particularly, Michelle Obama have to humanize themselves to the electorate and fight back against an elitist caricature. [T]he Obamas are still fighting Jackie Robinson Syndrome, the reflexive double standards and often small, sometimes large, but always public humiliations that come from being the first black person to […]

Who’s Smearing Whom?

James Kirchich, recent nominee for an Yglesias Award for fairness, says that, while the Obama campaign is setting itself up to believe that “The only obstacle between Barack Obama and the presidency is the mountain of smears that will no doubt come his way,” the truth of the matter is that most of the smears […]

Swift Boater on McCain’s Truth Squad

John McCain’s Truth Squad, formed a few months ago in order to respond to charges by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth clone Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, is prominently featuring an actual member of the Swifties as a spokesman, CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand reports. One of the members of John McCain’s new Truth Squad — which […]

John Bolton Slams Korea Nuke Deal

John Bolton, President Bush’s former UN ambassador, is not at all pleased with last week’s deal with North Korea on the nuclear stalemate. With much fanfare and choreography, but little substance, the administration has accepted a North Korean “declaration” about its nuclear program that is narrowly limited, incomplete and almost certainly dishonest in material respects. […]

Wes Clark on McCain’s Military Experience

General Wesley Clark is trying to argue that John McCain’s military experience is irrelevant to future service as commander-in-chief: Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be president, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” And in saying so, he took a few swipes at McCain’s military service. After […]

Obama 317, McCain 194

If the election were held today, Barack Obama would cruise to victory with 317 Electoral Votes to John McCain’s 194, according to projections tabulated by Florida, with its 27 electors, is too close to call. Again. Compared to 2004, Obama would pick up Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia while McCain would […]

Public Financing R.I.P.

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, Congress tried to reform our system of financing political campaigns. They attempted to “get the money out of politics.” They failed, miserably. So, too, did a long line of successive attempts. John McCain, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, earned the enmity of a large swath of […]

McCain Making Kerry Mistake on Vietnam?

Pat Lang, a retired Green Beret colonel, is somewhat bemused at how much is being made of John McCain’s military experience. John McCain is an admirable man. There are many such who wore the uniform of the United States in adverse circumstance. Jim Webb, Chuck Hagel, Daniel Inouye, Bob Dole… Shall I go on? How […]

Swift-Boating Here to Stay

Michael Kinsley hopes that Swift-Boating, a combination of smear and truth that “exploits its own complexity and the reluctance of the media to adjudicate factual disputes” and thus sticks, will not reappear this election season. The raw material for swift-boating this year is already apparent. There is Obama’s loony pastor, his friendship with a former […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Cash and Kerry Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Obama Gets His Bounce

Barack Obama has gotten his predictable (in the sense that I predicted it) bounce in the polls after having emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee and Hillary Clinton formally conceded and backed him, helping begin the healing process within the party. According to the latest Gallup poll, he’s up 48-42 nationwide among registered voters. Indeed, […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Hey… Mock Arena Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Obama to Test 50-State Strategy

DNC Chairman Howard Dean’s “50-state strategy” has been controversial but Barack Obama is going to attempt to test it this fall, Sam Stein reports. Obama will likely start the general election with 180 or so “reliably Democratic” electoral votes. With the goal of getting to 270, the DNC believes it could play a role in […]

David Gregory: Blame Congress, Not Media

Responding to Scott McClellan’s charge that “the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq,” NBC White House correspondent David Gregory defended his […]

This Day in History: Kerry Wins Presidency

Had the 2004 election been held on May 29th, John Kerry would have won handily: Five years later, it’s Obama 266, McCain 248, Tie 24. Via Andrew Sullivan, who presumably is trying to illustrate that Obama doesn’t have it wrapped up quite yet and needs to keep pushing on, who in turn got it via […]

Reggie Love: Barack Obama’s Body Man

Reggie Love was a standout wide receiver and basketball player at Duke that the Dallas Cowboys, for some odd reason, unsuccessfully tried to turn into a pro linebacker. Love was occasionally flat on his back in his college days. He’s landed on his feet, working as the body man for the presumptive Democratic nominee for […]

McCain’s Hamas ‘Hypocrisy’

Jamie Rubin, formerly Bill Clinton’s State Department spokesman, takes to the pages of the Washington Post to call out John McCain for hypocrisy in claiming that Barack Obama wants to “appease” Hamas. Riffing on John Kerry’s famous gaffe, the piece is subtitled, “McCain Was for Talking Before He Was Against It.” McCain is the last […]

West Virginia Primary Postmortem

Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama by a 2-to-1 margin (67-26) in West Virginia. Does this change anything? Probably not. One suspects Dick Cheney could have beaten Obama in this one. As impressive as Clinton’s string of victories in states dominated by white people with blue collars, there’s no evidence that her argument of “and therefore […]

Indiana and North Carolina Postmortem

Barack Obama moved to within 200 delegates of securing the Democratic presidential nomination yesterday, scoring a 56-42 blowout in North Carolina while narrowly losing, 49-51, in Indiana. Barring revelations that would make the Wright affair look insignificant in comparison, the race is all over but the shouting. Obama Wins the Night AP’s Calvin Woodward: On […]

New American Arsenal

I attended a briefing today at the National Press Club featuring some board members of the American Security Project promoting what they have dubbed “A New American Arsenal.” The bipartisan group, headed by Gary Hart and featuring the likes of John Kerry, Ken Duberstein, Richard Armitage, and several retired flag officers urges a return of […]

Racism (or Sexism) At the Margins

I don’t know if 15% of the electorate will vote against Sen. Obama because of the color his skin, as some have asserted. Or, for that matter, if a similar proportion of the total electorate would vote against Sen. Clinton because of her gender. It wouldn’t need to be that high to make this a […]

McCain-Rice Beats Obama-Clinton in New York

A John McCain-Condolezza Rice ticket would beat the Democratic “Dream Ticket” of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Clinton’s “home” state of New York, a Marist College poll shows. A McCain/Rice ticket would edge out both a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket for New York’s 31, usually true blue, electoral votes: 49% of registered voters in […]

Racism Under Every Barack

Matt Yglesias argues, persuasively, that John McCain’s “biography tour” is a strange campaign strategy, especially given that the candidate with the more impressive military background has lost almost* every presidential election since 1960. He then goes off on a tangent: What I’ll say on behalf of this strategy is that it’s the best way I […]

Do McCain’s Medals Matter?

Jake Tapper, notes the contrast between DNC chair Howard Dean’s statements about John Kerry’s military service in 2004 and McCain’s in 2008. Commenting on John McCain’s new “The American President that Americans Have Been Waiting For” ad yesterday, Dean said, “While we honor McCain’s military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who […]

Does John McCain Want to Kill the UN?

During a major foreign policy address yesterday, John McCain talked about his plan to create a League of Democracies. Charles Krauthammer sees a plot to do away with the United Nations: Well, I like the idea of the league of democracies, and only in part because I and others had proposed it about six years […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Nuanced Position Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Red Meat and Barack Hussein Obama

Ohio talk radio host Bill Cunningham, who got his 15 minutes of national fame for being repudiated by John McCain for a reference to “Barack Hussein Obama” in a speech introducing McCain, defended himself last night on “Hannity and Colmes.” He was, he swears, only following orders. His people told me to give the faithful […]

McCain’s Advantages Over Clinton in Fighting Obama

Mark Halperin argues that Hillary Clinton is hamstrung in her campaign against Barack Obama by the need to have party unity for the general election and lists sixteen “Things McCain can do when running against Obama that Clinton has been unable to do well or at all.” Among them: 1. Play the national security card […]

NYT Hit Piece on McCain Alleges Adultery, Favoritism

The New York Times today fronts a long exposé on John McCain, which the campaign describes as a “hit-and-run smear campaign,” under the headline “For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk.” The piece alleges that McCain did favors for a female lobbyist nine or more years ago and insinuates that they were romantically […]

Unbearable Whiteness of Blogging

The Unfogged gang has three posts in as many days about a wildly popular new blog about which I was previously unaware called Stuff White People Like. It’s the kind of blog only white people could like: a blog about white people written by white people for other white people that makes fun of white […]

Where Did Hillary Get $5 Million?

Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff ask and answer an interesting question: “Where did Hillary Clinton get the money for her $5 million loan to her campaign?” Clinton, unlike rival Barack Obama, has not released her tax returns. But disclosure forms that Clinton filed with the Senate provide some clues to her family finances. They show […]

Lieberman Stripped of Super Delegate Status

The Democratic Party has stripped Joe Lieberman of the Super Delegate vote to which his Senate seat would otherwise entitle him because of his endorsement of Republican John McCain for president, Mark Pazniokas reports. Lieberman’s endorsement of Republican John McCain disqualifies him as a super-delegate to the Democratic National Convention under what is informally known […]

Political Scientists Say Obama Might Be More Liberal Than Hillary

As James and Alex discuss below, the National Journal just released its 2007 rankings of Senators and found that Barack Obama had the most liberal voting record based on 107 “key votes” in the Senate in 2007. As legislative politics scholar Sarah Binder notes, this does not comport with Poole and Rosenthal’s NOMINATE scores, nor […]

Writing Off McCain

Max Follmer amuses himself with “A Media Retrospective On McCain,” which highlights the many people who wrote McCain’s campaign obituary last summer. While I went out on a limb on December 12 and predicted McCain would win not only the nomination but the presidency, which looks much more plausible now than it did then, when […]

NATO’s Not Winning in Afghanistan

Unless we immediately begin a coordinated effort to refocus NATO’s military and civil strategy in Afghanistan, there will be grave consequences for both the region and the Alliance. That’s the consensus among three reports released yesterday afternoon on Capital Hill receiving wide media coverage today, including this piece fronting WaPo. NATO forces in Afghanistan are […]

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