Monthly Archives: January 2008

What I think I know

Ms. Hillary seems to me to have had the upper hand with Barack Obama in the debate on CNN this evening. Obama was more than a sideshow, but Ms. Hillary dominated the proceedings. Obama’s repeated invocation of his work as a community organizer is thin gruel for the messianic campaign he is waging. Clinton and Obama are nevertheless joined at the hip in the demagoguery and snake oil peddled by »

Who Are You Calling “Nixon”?

Mitt Romney unleashed the N-word on John McCain today, accusing him of using campaign tactics “reminiscent of the Nixon era.” “I don’t think I want to see our party go back to that kind of campaigning,” Romney said. He was referring to McCain’s misleading charge that Romney, like Congressional Democrats, had advocated a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. I agree with Romney’s complaint about McCain’s attack, but I’m not sure »

Top al Qaeda Commander Killed

Top al Qaeda terrorist Abu Laith al-Libi was killed Monday night or early Tuesday in a missile strike by a Predator drone that demolished a “safe house” in North Waziristan, Pakistan. A number of other terrorists were also killed in the attack. al-Libi may have ranked as high as third in the al Qaeda hierarchy, behind bin Laden and Zawahiri. A top operations chief, he planned the bombing at the »

Ted Olson to endorse John McCain

Jennifer Rubin reports that Ted Olson says he will endorse John McCain for president. With McCain now in the driver’s seat for the nomination, it’s not surprising that he’s picking up major endorsements. Earlier today, I read that William Barr, the Attorney General during part of the Bush 41 administration, has endorsed McCain. However, in Olson’s case at least, the endorsement could have been expected quite apart from McCain’s recent »

John McCain may not remember it

but he almost certainly did differentiate between John Roberts and Samuel Alito, suggesting that the latter might be too conservative. He did so at a meeting with conservative lawyers in April 2007. Robert Novak writes: I talked to two lawyers who were present whom I have known for years and who have never misled me. One is neutral in the presidential race, and the other recently endorsed Mitt Romney. Both »

The core difference between McCain and Romney

Why is it a problem that Mitt Romney didn’t take a position on the surge in December 2006, when he was governor of Massachusetts? At that time, he hadn’t been to Iraq and he had not been briefed on the subject. He also lacked access to classified information. Nor can Romney be blamed for not having become an expert on Iraq. Being governor of Massachusetts is, after all, a full »

What kind of politician?

John’s reflections on politicians and businessmen would lead one to believe, not unreasonably, that Bill Clinton is the supreme politician of our time. No one excels at, or luxuriates in, the groin kick more than Clinton. Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal recalled: One of our favorite Bill Clinton anecdotes involves a confrontation he had with Bob Dole in the Oval Office after the 1996 election. Mr. Dole protested »

Politicians vs. Businessmen

I didn’t see tonight’s debate, and haven’t read any account of it other than Paul’s. (I deleted the 50 or 60 emails that came in to my Blackberry from the campaigns.) So I have nothing to say about tonight’s event, but do have some broader comments on the general subject of politics and business. I know many successful businessmen, and a number of successful politicians. In my experience, businessmen generally »

A surge of dishonesty

With any luck, few Americans tuned in to tonight’s Republican debate. Those who did saw our likely nominee at his worst. McCain not only persisted in his dishonest claim that Mitt Romney supported a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, he used one evasion after another to try to make it stick. McCain »

It’s Official

Rudy Giuliani appeared with John McCain today at the Reagan Library, where tonight’s debate will take place, announced that he is dropping out of the race, and endorsed McCain. McCain’s momentum appears unstoppable. I was never as down on McCain, or his prospects, as many other conservatives, but as of last summer I certainly didn’t expect I’d ever be writing that last sentence. »

Live-Blog Tonight’s Presidential Debate

It’s the last Republican debate before Super Tuesday, and Mitt Romney’s last chance to slow John McCain’s momentum. If you’re watching the debate, there’s no more fun way to do it than to participate in our group live blog. You can comment in real time and see what your fellow conservatives are making of the action. Or, if like me you won’t be able to watch the debate–I’ll be on »

Doing the math

Hugh Hewitt “does the math” for Super Tuesday and concludes that the Republican race is “far, far from over.” Hugh shows that even if Romney doesn’t do very well on Super Tuesday, McCain’s likely delegate count at the end of that night will still fall well short of what he needs to capture the nomination. The problem I see, though, is that unless Romney makes major strides in delegate collection »

Edwards finally faces up to reality

John Edwards will drop out of the presidential race today. Chris Cillizza speculates that this will help Barack Obama because the anti-Clinton bloc will no longer have a second option. I don’t profess to have any deep understanding of Democratic politics (or, after this past month, Republican politics either), but one can make the oppositie case. Nearly all Edwards voters are white and I suspect his class-warfare theme may be »

Double secret probation for Khalilzad?

When the twit moderating the World Economic Forum panel in Davos on Iran insulted America’s fomer ambassador to the United Nations, America’s current ambassador to the United Nations (Zalmay Khalilzad) should have said “so long.” Instead he stuck around and participated in the proceedings, apparently in violation of administration policy. Will Secretary Rice see fit to put Khalilzad on double secret probation in any manner consistent with her badmouthing and »

The Washington Post rubs it in

McCain may not be gloating about his Florida victory (and least not personally and in public), but the Washington Post is. This front-page story by Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane called “After Romney’s Barrage, McCain Still Standing,” is styled “Analysis,” but would better be described as “Shilling.” The authors accuse Romney of launching “a negative onslaught” and, as early as the 12th line of the story, they turn the floor »

A multilateral conversation with Iran

This past Saturday United States Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad spoke on a panel with two Iranian officials at Davos (video below). Khalilzad’s participation was apparently unauthorized. Today’s New York Sun and the Los Angeles Times have interesting articles on the event. The moderator begins the panel with an insult to former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Rice is apparently angry that Khalilzad participated »

It depends on the meaning of “want”

I’ve frequently noted the evolution of Bush administration foreign policy regarding North Korea, Iran and the Palestinian Authority into that of the Clinton administration. Previewing the president’s State of the Union Address on Monday, ABC News made the comparison regarding the vaunted peace process: Bush is optimistic about achieving some kind of agreement with the Israelis and Palestinians on a Palestinian state to live side-by-side with Israel, but the senior »