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McCain and Obama
AP photo / Dennis Cook

The Vice Presidency: Hype and Flourishes

For two centuries, selecting vice presidential candidates was at best a mere afterthought. Hardly anyone knew of the process, if indeed one existed aside from a brief huddle by the presidential candidate with a few advisers and friends. The presidential nominees usually settled on lesser-known figures, deserved obscurities in American history.

Posted on Jun 15, 2008 READ MORE


The New Democratic Majority

At the moment, Barack Obama is winning a smaller share of Democrats than John Kerry did on Election Day four years ago. Yet Obama is beating John McCain by six points in the latest Gallup Poll. How can this be?

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Getting Even

So is the glass half full or half empty after Clinton’s departure? Or to pick a better metaphor, is the “highest, hardest” glass ceiling now half shattered by the 18 million cracks or does it look as impermeable as ever after this unsuccessful battering?

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary’s Graceful Exit

Clinton’s speech Saturday conceding the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama couldn’t have been classier—and couldn’t have been more auspicious for the party’s chances of capturing the White House in November.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


Firing Congress

In 225 days, at least one high-ranking politician will become unemployed. How many will join President Bush in retirement?

Posted on Jun 9, 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


Barack Obama
AP photo / Alex Brandon

The Iran Trap

The failure by Barack Obama to chart another course in the Middle East, to defy the Israel lobby and to denounce the Bush administration’s inexorable march toward a conflict with Iran is a failure to challenge the collective insanity that has gripped the political leadership in the United States and Israel.

Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


Obama

The Democratic Race in 8 Minutes

The Democrats have just completed an epic string of primaries that spanned more than a year of campaigning in all 50 states and various territories. In case you missed it, or you just want to relive the drama, here’s a no-nonsense summary of the Democratic campaign.

Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


From Slavery to Obama

There will be plenty of time to chart Barack Obama’s attempt to navigate a course between the exigencies of the old politics and the promise of the new, between yesterday and tomorrow, youth and experience, black and white. For now, take a moment to consider the mind-bending improbability of what just happened.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


Economist cover
The Economist

I’m The Economist and I Approve This Election

The storied British mag is making no bones about it: America’s long primary battle, judging by the candidates it produced, was a major success. According to a new cover story, ” ... On the face of it, this is the most impressive choice America has had for a very long time.”

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Nightmare Ticket

Hillary Clinton talked her way out of the vice presidency on Tuesday night. Barack Obama may never have intended to make her the offer. But Clinton’s largely self-focused non-concession speech suggested that what some call a dream ticket could turn into a nightmare.

Posted on Jun 4, 2008 READ MORE


The Running Mate Dilemma

The selection of a vice president is not only an exercise in political handicapping but also a national rite of statecraft. Candidates, advisers, pundits and assorted experts try to calculate the ethnic, geographic, gender and ideological characteristics of potential running mates, but what this choice actually reveals is the character of a presidential nominee.

Posted on Jun 4, 2008 READ MORE


Asking for Their Votes

Now that Barack Obama has secured the Democratic presidential nomination, I am thinking a lot about Bob Dole. Admittedly, this is one heck of a free association.

Posted on Jun 4, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / sskennel

Clinton to Face the Music

Hillary Clinton will end her race for the presidency on Saturday. After Barack Obama essentially clinched the nomination Tuesday, Clinton congratulated him but did not concede and asked supporters to visit her Web site to “share [their] thoughts” on the direction of her campaign. Updated.

Posted on Jun 4, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
Flickr / Joe Crimmings

Clinton Wins a Battle, Loses the War

It seems that the more Hillary Clinton wins, the further she gets from the nomination. That was especially true Tuesday when she scored a big win in South Dakota only to see her rival clinch the nomination. Clinton spoke of party unity Tuesday night, but stopped short of offering a concession.

Posted on Jun 3, 2008 READ MORE


The End Is Near

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Posted on Jun 3, 2008 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo / Mike Derer

Obama Seals the Deal

The Democratic Party held its final primaries Tuesday, but Barack Obama wasn’t leaving anything to chance. Before the polls even closed, his campaign lined up a steady stream of superdelegate endorsements that, according to the Associated Press and others, put Obama over the top.

Posted on Jun 3, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton

17 Million

A new Hillary Clinton campaign ad plays up the popular vote issue while striking a positive tone. Mixed reports have Clinton dialing down expectations that she’ll suspend her campaign after Tuesday’s final primaries, in Montana and South Dakota, as she is widely expected to do.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton
Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

Signs That Clinton Is Ready to Drop Out

Hillary Clinton’s advance team has been recalled to New York, her staffers have been told to turn in their receipts by the end of the week, and now the candidate has personally invited top supporters to attend a speech she’ll give in New York Tuesday night.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


‘God Damn the Democrats!’

Harriet Christian’s total meltdown at the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting was outrageous enough to make it to the top of YouTube’s political charts. Her tirade illustrates some of the challenges facing the Democratic Party and the Barack Obama campaign as it woos Hillary Clinton’s more colorful supporters. This one, though, is probably a lost cause.

Posted on Jun 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Corporate State and the Subversion of Democracy

Chris Hedges gave this keynote address on Wednesday, May 28, in Furman University’s Younts Conference Center. The address was part of protests by faculty and students over the South Carolina college’s decision to invite George W. Bush to give the May 31 commencement address.

Posted on May 31, 2008 READ MORE


The Lamont Lesson

Though he lost in the general election, Ned Lamont showed that representing the public’s anti-war sentiment and ignoring Washington’s self-appointed gurus wins national elections. And as the current campaign unfolds, the Lamont Lesson is resurfacing.

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE


Blame to Share in Primary Farce

When the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meets Saturday to determine the status of the votes cast in the Michigan and Florida primaries, its members should try to look past self-serving campaign arguments and bumbling party leaders’ silly attempts to save face.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Close but No Health Care

More than halfway through a political season in which public concern about America’s porous, confusing and costly health insurance system has consistently emerged as one of the chief worries of a squeezed electorate, this is what we can expect when the new president takes office next year: not so much.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


The Assassin

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Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE



HBO

‘Recount’ Gets It Right, Even if America Didn’t

Leading election integrity journalist Brad Friedman reviews HBO’s portrayal of the 2000 Florida recount and wonders whether we’re not headed for another stolen election.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Gravel

This Is Mike Gravel, Signing Off

The former senator from Alaska who read the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record in 1971 tells a small group after his failed bids for the 2008 Democratic and Libertarian nominations: “This is the end of my political career.” But don’t worry about Mike Gravel. He certainly doesn’t: “What’s the worst thing that’s happened to me? I go back to a normal life? At my age? This is terrible?”

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


The Disintegration of Hillary Clinton

If this campaign goes on much longer, what will be left of Hillary Clinton?

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Gene J. Puskar

Vermont Leads the Way for Progressives

The rise of the Vermont Progressive Party, which has six members in the 150-member Vermont House, is another indication that Vermont, which has battled back everything from Wal-Mart to urban sprawl to billboards, may be one of the few sane states left in the nation.

Posted on May 26, 2008 READ MORE


Progressive Patriotism

If the 2008 election is to be a debate about the true meaning of patriotism, then bring it on.

Posted on May 25, 2008 READ MORE


Blind, Endless Movement

Clinton wants only one thing—the presidency—and she wants it now, not later. If success means using the Florida and Michigan “issue” to tie the party in knots until the convention, so be it.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton’s Last Stand

Hillary Clinton is talking as if the battle over seating disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan at the Democratic National Convention is the greatest crisis for democracy since the 2000 Florida recount.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


Ready to Cheer

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Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE    


Al Gore
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Al Gore to the Rescue

The former vice president’s “we” campaign has made a point of building bridges across the political spectrum, but it looks as though Al Gore is prepared to return to his partisan roots in order to get a Democrat back in the White House. Gore will preside over a major fundraiser that will unite Clinton and Obama donors in an effort to bring the DNC up to speed with the GOP.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help

The Reagan era in American politics is about to end, and we have George W. Bush to thank for its demise.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


Cindy McCain Flaunts Her Privilege

Double standards are endemic in American journalism. But Cindy McCain, wife of the Republican presidential candidate, displayed poor taste in flaunting her family’s special immunity from press scrutiny.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards

Edwards Shares the Love

Although John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama, he had plenty of nice things to say about “my friend and your friend, Sen. Hillary Clinton.” In fact, he began his endorsement speech with a plea for unity: “When this nomination battle is over—and it will be over soon—brothers and sisters, we must come together as Democrats.”

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
Flickr / seiu_international

Choosy West Virginians Choose Clinton

What’s that? The Democratic primary race is over? Not if West Virginians can help it. Almost immediately after polls closed, the West Virginia primary was called for Hillary Clinton. But will she win by a big enough margin to turn heads? Update: Clinton won by a whopping 41 points.

Posted on May 13, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Has a Choice

The senator still has a lot to win this year, but not the presidency and not the vice presidency.

Posted on May 12, 2008 READ MORE


A Farewell to the ‘Hillary Nutcracker’ and Other Obscenities

What is more frustrating? The sexism Hillary Clinton had to endure, or that so many were oblivious to it?

Posted on May 12, 2008 READ MORE


Bushes
White House / Eric Draper

On the Wrong Track

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 82 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. The same survey recorded a record-low approval rating for President Bush. Sixty-two percent of Republicans, a group that still favors the president, take a negative view of the country’s direction.

Posted on May 12, 2008 READ MORE


coal
Flickr / LHOON

The Democrats’ Lump of Coal

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton agree on many issues, but it’s a bit surprising to see two candidates who’ve talked so much about the climate crisis and a new green economy tout their love of coal. Obama has an ad up in Kentucky that claims “Barack understands” the plight of the coal industry, while Clinton has promised voters in the state she would put more money into coal programs.

Posted on May 11, 2008 READ MORE


A Slap in the Face

Hillary Clinton has campaigned as if the Democratic nomination were hers by divine right. That’s why she is falling short—and that’s why she should be persuaded to quit now, before her majestic sense of entitlement splits the party along racial lines.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Weather Balloon

The first important election result for the senator in May—coming before his North Carolina victory—was the outcome of a little-noticed U.S. House contest in Louisiana.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


Acknowledging the Race Chasm

American politics is as polarized as a red and blue election map. On one side are those who try to distract from the issue; on the other side are those who work to sensationalize it. What unifies both is bigotry.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

The Super Problem

Throughout the primary campaign, Democrats have been explaining, equivocating and ultimately fretting over the role of superdelegates, but those unelected power brokers are themselves the result of previous party contortions. Perhaps the time has come for a new model.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE



time.com

Showing Hillary the Door

Everyone from Tim Russert to Time magazine seems to have decided that there’s absolutely no way Hillary Clinton can get the nomination. What happened? Sure, her chances of winning enough pledged delegates are nearly impossible, but wasn’t that true after Pennsylvania? Wasn’t it true before Pennsylvania?

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


supreme court justices
Supreme Court / Steve Petteway

Another Reason Not to Vote for McCain

The Democrats have been worried about unifying their party, so it’s odd that John McCain would pick this moment to give them another reason to band together. If elected, McCain said Tuesday, he would think of conservative Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito “as the model for my own nominees” to the Supreme Court.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / BohPhoto

The Tea Leaves Say It’s a Split

A day before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, most polls agree that Barack Obama will win North Carolina and Hillary Clinton will win Indiana. A week later, the candidates face off in West Virginia, where Clinton holds a sizable lead. It remains nearly impossible, however, for her to catch up in the pledged delegate count.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton in NC
AP photo / Elise Amendola

Dems Spar as Primaries Loom Large

Monday found Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama working furiously to draw distinctions between their stances on key issues like rising gas prices and America’s strained relations with Iran—and, of course, to take shots at their opponent’s positions in the remaining hours before Tuesday’s Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE


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