Jefferson Jackson Dinner: Richardson

Richardson thanks Iowa for “making democracy look good.” Then he informed the audience, “You’re going to hear a lot of speeches tonight, the last one a very good one.” Guess he got the excerpts. He said America “shouldn’t be just the world’s policeman, it should be the world’s conscience,” which had the unfortunate effect of making me …

Jefferson Jackson Dinner: Obama Preview

Reporters here are already kindly disposed to Obama because for the first hour we were here, he supplied the only food available to us: fortune cookies.

Here was my fortune:


The actual sign war was last night. Squads of young volunteers running around screaming, plastering signs on anything that was nailed down outside of Veterans Auditorium. I understand that the Obama team wore camouflage paint and tracksuits. (Hunt for meaning at your own risk.) There’s a kind of sign war inside the hall tonight, with …

Jefferson Jackson Dinner: Caucus Training

Of the few dozen reporters gathered this morning in the Smithson room of the Veteran’s Auditorium, the foreign press was probably the least confused by the presentation of the caucus process. They were curious, however, if the rather convoluted system system that had just been explained to them (which includes provisions for “games of …

Kerik and Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani’s relationship with the disgraced Bernard Kerik is now officially an issue in the Republican presidential primary. Campaigning with John McCain, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge had this to say of the man that Giuliani recommended to replace him:

“We’re not talking about some urban city patronage job,” Ridge

The Torture of the Trivial

I’m running very low on juice here at O’Hare, but I just wanted to poke my head in and say that, yes, in that whole Hillary-tip story, the person who came out looking the best was Anita herself. Her quote:

“You people are really nuts,” she told a reporter during a phone interview. “There’s kids dying in the war, the price of oil

Re: She Did Not Have Non-Tip-tial…

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Just to show there are no new stories in politics (or maybe that should be “stories,” with that whole air quote thing), consider this AP report from Hillary Clinton’s first Senate campaign in 2000:

First Lady’s Tip Is in the Mail

SECTION: National political

LENGTH: 111 words


SwampCast: The Jefferson Jackson Dinner

An early SwampCast today, as I’m heading out to Iowa this afternoon to cover the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner and all the hubbub it generates (sign wars!). The ‘Cast will attempt to explain why everyone who is anyone who covers politics will be in Des Moines tomorrow night.

She Did Not Have Non-Tip-tial Relations with that Woman!

The most interesting thing about the Clinton did-she-leave-a-tip-or-not bruhaha yesterday was the ferocity and speed with which the Clinton campaign pushed back — with reporters at least. One can assume that’s because they know this is the kind of story, true or not, that sticks to a candidate like, uhm, an expensive hair cut. There …

Re: TIME’s next Person of the Year

Okay, lunch is over, and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the sight of Whoopi Goldberg and George Allen holding hands (this after Allen told her how “Ghost” had changed his life). But to recap, here were the picks from our panel for this year’s POY:

Author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Nicolas Sarkozy
NBC anchor Brian Williams: …

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