In the Arena In the Arena

Iowa Polling

…is famously inaccurate, as we know. But this latest ABC poll is interesting–in part because of Obama’s trajectory, but also because of this:

According to Democratic Party rules, a candidate must draw at least 15 percent at each caucus site for the votes to count; if that fails to happen, their supporters often throw their votes to a

In the Arena In the Arena

Iraq in Perspective

The New York Times reports real progress in Iraq over the past few months. But 575 attacks a week averages out to better than 80 attacks a day. Back in 2005, when I was first contacted by intelligence officers who were disgusted with the Bush Administration’s handling of the war, they cited the level of violence–80 attacks a day!–as …

The Meaning of Philadelphia

In the suddenly-current debate over the speech Ronald Reagan delivered to “launch” his 1980 general election campaign in Neshoba County, Mississippi, near the hallowed civil rights ground of Philadelphia, those who try to contextualize or otherwise explain away the meaning of Reagan’s decision are, simply, wrong. That Reagan himself was …

Re: Huckchuckfacts

This ad is indeed hilarious, and shows off the most appealing side of Mike Huckabee. And while Ana is right to wonder how many Iowans are going to see it on Youtube, it’s exactly the kind of thing that the cable news networks–whose viewers DO skew old–are going to play over and over again.

UPDATE: And while we’re at it, here are some …


Best campaign ad of the cycle.

I’m out with McCain and his staff in New Hampshire (more on that later). After we watched this on the bus, Mark McKinnon — one of his ad gurus — simply said, “I bow to them.”

(It’s worth noting that Huckabee HAD to make a great ad, since I don’t think he has the money to put the spot up with the …

In the Arena In the Arena

Does the GOP Need Iraq?

I missed Ezra Klein’s riff on my Iraq update in the middle of last week, but you shouldn’t: he raises some interesting points.

The question of whether the Congressional Democrats should continue to press their efforts to end the war remains one of the thorniest imaginable: Carl Levin’s withdrawal bill this week had the virtue of being …

Re: Garbage In, Journalism Out

I agree with Joe that the Novak item is outrageous, but the nuclear war that it has kicked off between the two campaigns is … well, I don’t really know what the right word is to describe it. So far, as best I can tell in my e-mailbox, they have had three exchanges today over it, including a statement from Barack Obama himself. You can …

In the Arena In the Arena

Garbage In, Journalism Out

This is outrageous. Journalists are continually bombarded with rumors, often scurrilous. They are not news. Rumors only become news when they are confirmed, cross-checked and responded to by the target of the attack. There are two possible reasons why Novak is peddling unconfirmed cra: (a) he is getting too old to do the actual legwork …

In the Arena In the Arena

Weekend Book Club–An Occasional Feature

I’ve read two very good books about the inefficacy of torture recently, one fiction and one nonfiction.

The novel is David Ignatius’ Body of Lies, which isn’t really about torture–but it does include some fascinating descriptions of how the Jordanian intelligence service elicits information from prisoners without resorting to violence. …

Romney Blames…McCain??

John McCain must be causing Mitt Romney some serious heartburn in New Hampshire. How else to explain Romney’s magnificently absurd claim that the recently-reported push polls attacking Romney’s Mormonism are somehow the fault of…that’s right, John McCain — more specifically, the campaign finance reform law known as McCain-Feingold, …

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