Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Time for Chris Matthews to Apologize

In this day of hypercritical coverage of candidates, members of the media should also be held accountable.

Today, candidates are held responsible for every word they utter, while talking heads get a free pass.

That’s not fair. Commentators should be held accountable, too — starting with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. His comments about Hillary Clinton were way over the line.

Clinton Campaign Will Be About Race

Did Bill Clinton mean that the entire Obama campaign was a "fairy tale," or was he only referring to the specifics of the Iraq debate? Was Hillary belittling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or was she just recognizing the impact of President Johnson in passing the Civil Rights Laws of 1964 and 1965?

Normally the Clintons would be entitled to the benefit of the doubt given their record of support for minority rights. But the context of this presidential contest suggests that he racial references were deliberate and only the start of a long campaign of racial innuendo.

McCain in Michigan

The issue John McCain should raise in the closing hours of Michigan is Mitt Romney’s long-term business style of buying into companies, tearing them apart, and firing their workers to make the fortune for himself that he is spending in Michigan to persuade voters how much he cares about them.

A Choice Now for Democrats

Are you over the shock of Tuesday yet? Will we ever believe polls again?

I was fascinated by the results of Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire victory because while they differ from Iowa, they mirror the model we saw all year in the national polls. Women who are older or younger, often unmarried and without children, and those earning lower incomes back Clinton. The book-clubbers like Obama. Not, however, in Iowa, where he won women hands-down. Now that Obama is at parity with Clinton, will the Iowa model or the New Hampshire model determine the outcome of the other primary contests?

Unsolicited Advice for the Mayor

Now that the Republicans have muddled through the first two primaries with no conclusive front-runner, eyes are starting to turn back to Rudy Giuliani, who is waiting for the race to come to him in Florida.

The mayor has an unconventional strategy to say the least. On the one hand, by ignoring the small states, he avoids the attack ads and let his opponents weaken each other. But on the other hand, he has become an invisible man who has lost out on millions of dollars of free advertising. Both John McCain and Mike Huckabee have used the spotlight to give their campaigns a huge boost.

I have some unsolicited advice for the mayor as he waits for the race to come to him. He needs a new storyline that goes beyond his action in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Last Stand of John Edwards

Before suggesting how John Edwards might revive his candidacy, let me emphasize the most important predictions I am making here: that the nomination of neither party will be decided on Super Tuesday; that Edwards has a chance to break out in upcoming debates; and that the mainstream punditry, from the insider class to the contrary, is,
in my view, flat-out wrong, as usual.

First I want to thank The Hill for formally naming me as a regular columnist with a column that will run every Tuesday, plus my postings on this Pundits Blog and perhaps the occasional additional op-ed if issues demand and space permits.

After N.H. Now What?

Associate Editor A.B. Stoddard answers your questions on Barack Obama, Ron Paul and who will drop from the Republican ticket?


Political Weather Forecast

In a bid to spice things up while talking about the prospects of the winners and losers now that the 2008 presidential cycle is under way, I thought I would take a different tack and offer posts that frame the issues similar to that which we hear in weather forecasts. Let me know what you think. I’ll start today with forecasting and handicapping the Republican field.

Following the Iowa caucus last week and the New Hampshire primary last night, where do the candidates stand as they leave the Granite State and head to Michigan and points farther south?

The Republican field:

Sen. John McCain: Mostly sunny with a chance of showers developing late.

Desperation Coverage

Just about all the journalists who cover the campaign share one primal characteristic: fear.

We are scared to death — afraid we’re going to miss something, whatever story all the rest of the frightened rabbits are calling news. We end up with a coerced collective consciousness that determines what becomes the story of the day.

If this consciousness decides that Hillary’s near-tears matter, then they do. Everyone scampers away to breathlessly report her “moment.”

Then the analysts tell us what it all means. (An analyst, by definition, must find meaning, whether it exists or not. Otherwise he or she wouldn’t be an analyst.)

Is Hillary Electable?

The question on everyone's mind these days is, Is Hillary Clinton electable? Following a resounding loss in Iowa to her strongest competitor, even her husband, the venerable Bill Clinton, had second thoughts. And that’s coming from her strongest ally — and one who, as a presidential candidate himself in 1992, lost the Iowa caucus only to win the New Hampshire primary shortly thereafter.

The fact that he and others close to her would cast doubt as to the strength of her campaign, saying that the shortened period of time between the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries gives her little time to recover from her competitors’ momentum coming out of the caucus, is pretty revealing. Even more telling is the fact that she clearly lost so much confidence in herself, even to the point of openly sobbing about it on national television, reminding us of the antics of a spoiled socialite schoolgirl, unable to deal with disappointment because of her feelings of entitlement. Many don’t think this bodes well for a presidential candidate, to resort to sobbing when the campaign gets tough.