Commentary Magazine


Posts For: January 2008

Final Thoughts

If she’s ahead, she won. If he’s ahead, he won. I think he’s ahead.

If she’s ahead, she won. If he’s ahead, he won. I think he’s ahead.

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Monica who?

Blitzer just asked Hillary about Bill Clinton’s incredible lack of integrity on the campaign trail. That’s a good thing for her: not long ago, a question about Bill would have dealt with the various scandals that rocked his presidency. Rather than having to address whether her election would return sleaziness to the White House, all she has to do is say that she, and not her husband, is up for election–which is exactly what she did.

Blitzer just asked Hillary about Bill Clinton’s incredible lack of integrity on the campaign trail. That’s a good thing for her: not long ago, a question about Bill would have dealt with the various scandals that rocked his presidency. Rather than having to address whether her election would return sleaziness to the White House, all she has to do is say that she, and not her husband, is up for election–which is exactly what she did.

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The Democrats Are Having All The Fun

What a depressing night for Republicans! Whatever the Democratic debate lacked in substance, it made up for in sheer exuberance. With the writers strike sucking the fun out of Hollywood society, the Obama-Clinton debate felt like an opening night gala. And what a show! The rallies outside, the opening photo-op, the cheers, the friendly banter, the applause, the movie stars, the booing of Wolf Blitzer’s editorializing, the glamour of the Kodak Theater. It was an orgy of Democratic chest-pounding and self-congratulation worthy of Oscar night, John. Who couldn’t enjoy this after last night’s somber and often angry snipe-fest at the mausoleum that is the Reagan library?

What ought to haunt the GOP the most is that this Democratic contest might not be settled until April 22, the Pennsylvania primary. That means another 10 weeks of this remarkable Democratic road show while McCain continues to debate Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul on Fox News.

A McCain-Clinton or McCain-Obama debate might make all this look very different, especially if any serious discussion of taxes or foreign policy emerges. But at the moment, it looks like the Democrats are hosting a much better frat-house rush party.

What a depressing night for Republicans! Whatever the Democratic debate lacked in substance, it made up for in sheer exuberance. With the writers strike sucking the fun out of Hollywood society, the Obama-Clinton debate felt like an opening night gala. And what a show! The rallies outside, the opening photo-op, the cheers, the friendly banter, the applause, the movie stars, the booing of Wolf Blitzer’s editorializing, the glamour of the Kodak Theater. It was an orgy of Democratic chest-pounding and self-congratulation worthy of Oscar night, John. Who couldn’t enjoy this after last night’s somber and often angry snipe-fest at the mausoleum that is the Reagan library?

What ought to haunt the GOP the most is that this Democratic contest might not be settled until April 22, the Pennsylvania primary. That means another 10 weeks of this remarkable Democratic road show while McCain continues to debate Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul on Fox News.

A McCain-Clinton or McCain-Obama debate might make all this look very different, especially if any serious discussion of taxes or foreign policy emerges. But at the moment, it looks like the Democrats are hosting a much better frat-house rush party.

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Putting On My Democratic Primary Voter Hat

Hillary was winning this on temperament and substance on domestic policy and especially health care. On Iraq she is faltering with the base — still not admitting “error” (Democratic hat is on, remember) in voting to authorize military force and lamely insisting she did not vote to go to war. (Didn’t she get the New York Times that week?) Obama has a simple message (wrong, but simple) and it resonates with the crowd.

Hillary was winning this on temperament and substance on domestic policy and especially health care. On Iraq she is faltering with the base — still not admitting “error” (Democratic hat is on, remember) in voting to authorize military force and lamely insisting she did not vote to go to war. (Didn’t she get the New York Times that week?) Obama has a simple message (wrong, but simple) and it resonates with the crowd.

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How Gullible Are Democrats?

Hillary Clinton, once again, is trying to make the case that she only voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq to get the weapons inspectors back in. This is a good talking point, perhaps, to use as a means of slipping out of the question if Republicans ask it. But surely Democrats can see through the patent lie.

Hillary Clinton, once again, is trying to make the case that she only voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq to get the weapons inspectors back in. This is a good talking point, perhaps, to use as a means of slipping out of the question if Republicans ask it. But surely Democrats can see through the patent lie.

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The Isaiah Washington Shot

This debate is taking place at the same venue as the Oscars. If the writers’ strike is not settled, there will be no Oscars. This is why CNN is so obsessed with getting pictures of the celebrities in the crowd: This is the Oscars.

This debate is taking place at the same venue as the Oscars. If the writers’ strike is not settled, there will be no Oscars. This is why CNN is so obsessed with getting pictures of the celebrities in the crowd: This is the Oscars.

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In case you were worried…

Isaiah Washington is in attendance. Hopefully the camera will catch a glimpse of Mel Gibson and Michael Richards shortly…

Isaiah Washington is in attendance. Hopefully the camera will catch a glimpse of Mel Gibson and Michael Richards shortly…

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How dare they!

Hillary is still peeved the Pentagon would not give her a detailed plan for withdrawal from Iraq that was contrary to the established policy of the U.S. government. Thank goodness she was not around in 1944. (“Don’t give me D-Day plans! I want Dunkirk plans!”)

Hillary is still peeved the Pentagon would not give her a detailed plan for withdrawal from Iraq that was contrary to the established policy of the U.S. government. Thank goodness she was not around in 1944. (“Don’t give me D-Day plans! I want Dunkirk plans!”)

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Hillary’s Shadow

Her argument that everyone should be judged on their own merits would be a lot more effective if her husband had not made hash of her campaign and infuriated a good chunk of her own party in the last couple of weeks. Her crack about needing a Clinton to clean up after another Bush gets lots of whoops. I thought Bill and Bush 41 liked each other. Oh well..

Her argument that everyone should be judged on their own merits would be a lot more effective if her husband had not made hash of her campaign and infuriated a good chunk of her own party in the last couple of weeks. Her crack about needing a Clinton to clean up after another Bush gets lots of whoops. I thought Bill and Bush 41 liked each other. Oh well..

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Oh my!

Obama says that Romney has not gotten a very good return on his investment in his campaign. Ouch.

Obama says that Romney has not gotten a very good return on his investment in his campaign. Ouch.

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Hillary’s Negotiated in Macedonia…

Quite a foreign policy portfolio. Too bad she didn’t tout her Liechtenstein experience.

Quite a foreign policy portfolio. Too bad she didn’t tout her Liechtenstein experience.

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Who Is Winning?

Hillary does not want to seem mean. She does not. Barack wants to appear informed. He appears about 80% there. I would give her a slight edge. She does know a lot and when she is not planning to confiscate our wages and tell insurance companies how to price their policies she seems very competent and reasonable.

Hillary does not want to seem mean. She does not. Barack wants to appear informed. He appears about 80% there. I would give her a slight edge. She does know a lot and when she is not planning to confiscate our wages and tell insurance companies how to price their policies she seems very competent and reasonable.

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The Contrast on Immigration

Her answer was actually quite remarkable, showing a thoroughgoing understanding of the complex issues involved. Obama, by contrast, offered a Leftist bumper-sticker.

Her answer was actually quite remarkable, showing a thoroughgoing understanding of the complex issues involved. Obama, by contrast, offered a Leftist bumper-sticker.

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The Smirk Is Back

Obama starts talking about 6 weeks of Clinton equivocation on drivers licenses  for illegals and presto– the Hillary smirk is back. The mean eyes come back too. Not her favorite topic.

Obama starts talking about 6 weeks of Clinton equivocation on drivers licenses  for illegals and presto– the Hillary smirk is back. The mean eyes come back too. Not her favorite topic.

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“I worked with John McCain…”

Obama took a deft swipe at McCain, placing him among liberal Democratic senators while discussing McCain’s Achilles’ heel among conservatives–immigration.

Obama took a deft swipe at McCain, placing him among liberal Democratic senators while discussing McCain’s Achilles’ heel among conservatives–immigration.

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Sequels Are Always Worse Than The Original

The previous Democratic debate, with Obama and Clinton trading charges and countercharges, was the most exciting political moment in ages. This debate is like listening to a 20-minute special report on differing health-care plans broadcast on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” to which you listen with half an ear driving to work at 6 am but feel edified and elevated and a little self-congatulatory for not turning the dial to the soft-rock radio station.

The previous Democratic debate, with Obama and Clinton trading charges and countercharges, was the most exciting political moment in ages. This debate is like listening to a 20-minute special report on differing health-care plans broadcast on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” to which you listen with half an ear driving to work at 6 am but feel edified and elevated and a little self-congatulatory for not turning the dial to the soft-rock radio station.

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Can They Get Away With Raising Taxes?

According to Obama, “Yes we can!”

According to Obama, “Yes we can!”

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John McCain Should Thank Obama

Obama just accused him of irresponsibly favoring tax cuts during a war. McCain could have used him last night.

Obama just accused him of irresponsibly favoring tax cuts during a war. McCain could have used him last night.

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This Would Be Interesting:

Take a million people who are watching this debate, and ask them what Obama and Clinton just said about health care and how their plans differ. My guess: 2 percent would get it right.

Take a million people who are watching this debate, and ask them what Obama and Clinton just said about health care and how their plans differ. My guess: 2 percent would get it right.

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It Is An Outrage . . .

. . . Hillary tells us, for people with chronic diseases to have higher insurance premiums. Smokers are, I bet, another story. (Obama is a smoker.)

. . . Hillary tells us, for people with chronic diseases to have higher insurance premiums. Smokers are, I bet, another story. (Obama is a smoker.)

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