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By Orville Schell and David Shambaugh

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Tag: Debate

Keeping Palin Under Wraps

John McCain’s campaign acknowledged this weekend that Sarah Palin is unprepared to be vice president or president of the United States.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Matt Rourke

Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention

St. Paul is a window into our future. It is a future where constitutional rights mean nothing and where lawful dissent is branded a form of terrorism.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE

Sarah Palin

Palin the Debater

Sarah Palin and Joe Biden will go head to head on Oct. 2, but if you can’t wait to see how McCain’s No. 2 handles herself in rhetorical combat, take a look at this 2006 Alaska gubernatorial debate. There’s a lot for Democrats to be worried about here.

Posted on Sep 7, 2008 READ MORE

Biden Suits Up

Posted on Sep 7, 2008 READ MORE    

The Missing Debate

I long for a candidate who would ‘‘focus like a laser beam’’ on the economy. That’s what voters are doing as they see their paychecks shrink from inflation, their jobs threatened and their middle-class dreams diminished.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE

A Common-Sense Approach to Social Security

In this summer of our economic discontent, it isn’t necessary to manufacture a financial crisis or to make political hash out of discussing a nonexistent one.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE

Refighting the Vietnam War

For a long time, John McCain has believed that Vietnam should have, could have had a different ending. So, too, his attention on Iraq has been less on the war’s origin than on some undefined victorious conclusion.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE

The Death of Reaganomics

The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE

Terror Goes a Lot Further With Good Advertising

A basic argument in Washington’s war on terror, an argument that one might think settled by now, concerns whether al-Qaida is the powerful global organization the Bush administration says it is or whether it has been, since its retreat into the Pakistan tribal areas, mostly an Internet phenomenon.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


Williams to Step In for Russert on ‘Meet the Press’

NBC News will keep its Sunday lineup intact by giving Brian Williams a temporary stint as host of “Meet the Press,” replacing the late Tim Russert for the time being. Because Russert and Williams teamed up for the Jan. 15 Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, many viewers might be primed to make the transition along with Williams.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE

An Anti-Clinton for VP

Some say Hillary Clinton’s defeat was the victory of sexism—but Obama faced at least as much racism. No, this resounding defeat goes beyond pernicious isms and beyond one candidate—it is a fist-pounding rejection of a corrupt ideology.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE

The Case for Biden

The Delaware senator should be at the top of any list of vice presidential picks for Obama. Why Biden? Few Democrats know more about foreign policy, and few would so relish the fight against McCain on international affairs.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE

Pacifying Dr. King

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts has rejected a statue intended to stand at the memorial of Martin Luther King. The members expected a more passive depiction. Clearly the commission has some brushing up to do on American history.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Maya Alleruzzo

Mission Impossible

On the fifth anniversary of George W. Bush’s infamous stroll across the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, The New York Times asked a group of “experts” how they would accomplish the mission in Iraq. Unfortunately, the newspaper turned to some of the same geniuses who thought the war was a good idea in the first place.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE

Belittling the Campaign

This is supposed to be a big election, but it has given every sign in recent weeks of becoming a small one. As a result, the public and the media are showing signs of exhaustion with what had once been an exhilarating contest.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and Clinton
Flickr / Jurvetson / World Economic Forum

Obama and the Other Clinton

Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker quotes a Bill Clinton aide explaining why there has been so much tension between the former president and Barack Obama: “I think this campaign has enraged him. ... He doesn’t like Obama.” Why? Here’s one theory: While Hillary Clinton has adopted her husband’s legacy, Barack Obama has been assailing it.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE

Matthews vs. McNulty

If television is the nation’s mirror, then no two TV characters reflect the intensifying “two Americas” gap better than Chris Matthews and “The Wire’s” Jimmy McNulty.

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE

The Two Obamas

The result of the 2008 election may come down to how voters decide to define Barack Obama. Is he Adlai Stevenson or John F. Kennedy? Updated.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE

The Candidates Agree

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE    

Philadelphia debate
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

ABC’s Philadelphia Story: Punditry Over Politics

Journalists are famous for their dogged drive to “get the story.” But when it comes to situations like Wednesday’s campaign debate in Philadelphia, they have the ability to make stories, too—and the story ABC’s pundits created that night buried the most important issues of the day, at Americans’ expense.

Posted on Apr 19, 2008 READ MORE

True Test of Leadership

Posted on Apr 18, 2008 READ MORE

Philadelphia debate
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Philly Debate Maligned by Pro-Obama Media?

Why were so many journalists so aggravated by the latest presidential debate? According to Politico scribes John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei, it wasn’t about George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson’s less substantive questions—instead, the problem was that “this time there were more hard questions for Obama than for Clinton.”

Posted on Apr 18, 2008 READ MORE

Substance for Those Who Were Patient

Once the meaningless inquisition about loose semantics and questionable acquaintances was done, Wednesday night’s debate between Obama and Clinton got interesting.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Matt Rourke

ABC’s ‘Despicable’ Debate

The Democrats met in Philadelphia Wednesday night for their 21st and probably finally debate. The Washington Post’s Tom Shales was horrified by what he saw, but not because of the candidates: “For the first 52 minutes ... Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news.”

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE

Rice in Greenwald ad

?Condi Must Go?

Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films is behind this ad targeting Condoleezza Rice for her role in the Bush administration’s torture policy. The 30-second spot is set to air following Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia.

Posted on Apr 16, 2008 READ MORE

Just a Regular Gal

Hillary “Shot-and-a-Beer” Clinton has given us the perfect illustration of what’s so insane about American politics: the philosophical dictum that could be summed up (with apologies to Descartes) as “I seem, therefore I am.”

Posted on Apr 14, 2008 READ MORE

Bush?s Parallel Universe

No, it’s not your imagination: The “debate” about Iraq, and I use the word loosely, becomes ever more surreal as the occupation drags on.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE

Road to Nowhere

The problem with the debate over our future course in Iraq is that the two sides are not even talking about the same things.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE

A Torture Debate Among Healers

The American Psychological Association is in the midst of its own heated presidential campaign. The central issue is whether APA members should be banned from participating in “harsh interrogations.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE

John Yoo
Washington Post / Karen Ballard

Torture’s Poet Laureate

A recently declassified memo shines the spotlight once again on John “Take Them to the Point of Death” Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor and once deputy legal counsel in the Justice Department.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE

Katie Couric

Up for Debate

With 20 debates between the Democratic candidates already in the books, and another scheduled before the Pennsylvania primary, it’s a little hard to believe that CBS News hasn’t yet had the opportunity to ask a few gotcha questions of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Katie Couric may just get the chance.

Posted on Mar 25, 2008 READ MORE

Conservatives Beware

What’s the matter with conservatism? Its problems start with the failure of George W. Bush’s presidency but they don’t end there.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE

Death by a Thousand Memos

With the next contest still weeks away, the Democratic candidates, their staffs and surrogates can hardly take a breath without a heated exchange between the campaigns in the form of an angry memo or conference call to the media. Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Barack Obama has been but the latest opportunity for such organized squabbling.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE

Gore Vidal
Truthdig / Zuade Kaufman

Gore Vidal Speaks Seriously Ill of the Dead

The iconic author objects to Newsweek’s obituary of his onetime rival, William F. Buckley, a “knightly man” who stood up to “bullies” like Gore Vidal ... by verbally gay-bashing him on national television.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE

Capitol Closed Doors

Congress Holds Sensory-Deprived Session

At the request of House Republicans, Congress on Thursday held a closed-door session to debate the FISA warrantless eavesdropping bill. The last time a closed-door session occurred was in 1983, when lawmakers convened in secret to discuss clandestine U.S. support of Contra paramilitaries in Nicaragua.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008 READ MORE

Up for a Debate

Posted on Mar 13, 2008 READ MORE

Top Commander for Mideast Resigns

Adm. William Fallon, head of the U.S. Central Command, resigned on Tuesday, explaining that his reputation as an obstacle to President Bush’s military designs had become too much of a distraction. Fallon was often reported to be a thorn in the side of the president and his other military advisers, a role both the admiral and administration officials strongly deny.

Posted on Mar 12, 2008 READ MORE

Hope in the Time of NAFTA

Reading articles about Hillary Clinton attacking NAFTA can lead you to believe The Onion has taken over America’s news bureaus.

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE

Hillary's feet

Clinton Backtracks on Tax Returns

Under pressure during Tuesday’s debate, Hillary Clinton hinted that she might release her tax returns earlier than “once I become the nominee,” a schedule that had drawn criticism from Barack Obama and the press. But aides speaking with the media the next day retreated from that opening.

Posted on Feb 27, 2008 READ MORE

hillary and barack

Twenty Debates Later

There have been 20 debates between the Democratic candidates, three featuring only Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and if this final confrontation had any game-changing potential, the opportunity has come and passed. There were a few tense moments, to be sure, but no gaffes, no inappropriate sighs to puzzle over, just two people who claim to like each other and largely agree on everything.

Posted on Feb 27, 2008 READ MORE

Clinton and Obama width=

Clinton Takes On Obama Photo Question

It wasn’t the easiest moment in Tuesday’s Democratic debate for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, but both candidates handled it well when moderator Brian Williams broached the uncomfortable subject of the photo, leaked to the Drudge Report early Monday for apparently political purposes, of Obama wearing traditional African garb in Kenya.

Posted on Feb 27, 2008 READ MORE


Huckabee Yells Out for a Debate, but the Press Goes Deaf

How quickly the tides turn for would-be presidential nominees. Just a few weeks ago, a former Arkansas governor was grabbing headlines, and it wasn’t Bill Clinton. Now, Mike Huckabee is calling for a debate with GOP front-runner John McCain and almost no one in the media is taking note except the six reporters still assigned to trail him.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and Clinton

Clinton Caught Xeroxing

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been stirring up the Internet and more than a few journalists with accusations of word borrowing, a charge she pressed (to the dismay of the audience) at Thursday’s Democratic debate with Barack Obama. But in that same venue, it appears she may have borrowed a few words of her own.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE

A ‘Challenge’ Worth Challenging

The boilerplate in a candidate’s speeches gets little attention because words used over and over never constitute “news.” But one of John McCain’s favorite lines—his declaration that “the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists,” or, as he sometimes says it, “extremism”—could define the 2008 election.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Elise Amendola

Clinton Prepares for Fox News Debate

Perhaps regardless of Tuesday’s election results, Sen. Hillary Clinton is looking toward the next debate opportunity—this time sponsored by Fox News—on Feb. 11. Barack Obama, however, hasn’t agreed yet to appear on the conservative channel.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE

California debate

Down to the Fundamentals

With mere days left before Super Tuesday and down to just two candidates, Thursday’s Democratic debate in Los Angeles gave voters a crucial eleventh-hour look at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who kept things friendly enough while staking out their differences on several key issues—health care, the economy and, most importantly, the Iraq war. 

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE

The McCain Divide

If the Arizona senator secures the Republican presidential nomination, his victory would signal a revolution in American politics—a divorce, after a 28-year marriage, between the Republican and conservative establishments.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE

Step Back, Mr. Clinton

The most likely motive for Bill Clinton’s reckless political performance in recent weeks, ironically and sadly, is to redress the terrible humiliations he inflicted on his wife in years past.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE

Huckabee, Paul and McCain

Republicans Spar Over the War

There were some heated exchanges in Wednesday’s debate between the Republican candidates. John McCain and Mitt Romney argued about who wanted to stay in Iraq longer and Ron Paul won a round of applause when he said the front-runners were bickering over “technicalities” while their war bankrupts the country.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


GOP Presidential Hopefuls Debate in Florida

What’s to be done about the sagging U.S. economy? What’s with John McCain’s dogged insistence that we’re “succeeding” in Iraq?  Thursday night found the handful of Republican candidates still in the ‘08 race for the White House facing off in Florida.  Here’s what they had to say.

Posted on Jan 25, 2008 READ MORE

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