Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Eight More Years of This?

There’s a reason that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) poll numbers have swiftly dropped following her performance at the Drexel University debate in Philadelphia last week. Everyone has a bad night here and there, and Clinton has run a relatively incident-free campaign thus far.

No, the drop in the polls (down to a 10-point lead over Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in New Hampshire and down nearly 10 points nationally, according to the latest Rasmussen Poll) is due to the Clintons being the Clintons. I can’t help but suspect the American people are now asking themselves: Do we want four or eight more years of this?

Ask A.B.: Colbert, Hillary & Ron Paul

The Hill's Associate Editor A.B. Stoddard takes your questions on Stephen Colbert and Hillary Clinton and asks you how will Ron Paul's surge of cash change the race for the Republican nomination.


Reply to Lanny

My good friend Lanny Davis is apparently willing to defend Mrs. Clinton anywhere and under any circumstances in much the way, in an earlier incarnation, he focused his not inconsiderable rhetorical talents on defending whatever her husband chose to do in and out of the Oval Office.

Today he’s upset with the other Democratic contenders for their “personal” attacks on Hillary in the last Democratic debate. Such attacks are unfair to her and to the process because people ought to be able to disagree on issues without implying, inferring or charging that those with whom they disagree are lying. Nothing wrong with that position, unless the person on whom the charges, inferences and implications are focused is, well, lying.

On Fred

I’m new to blogging, so folks will have to bear with me until I get into it in the way that I note others already have …

Although I’m not currently supporting any of the potential Republican presidential wannabes, I was impressed by Fred Thompson’s performance yesterday on "Meet the Press."

The one thing that a conservative might admire about Thompson is his almost ideological belief in federalism … it was a belief that shaped his voting in the Senate and was on display yesterday.

Personal Attacks vs. Disagreement on Issues: Obama and Edwards Know the Difference

"The notion that somehow changing the tone means simply that we let them say whatever they want to say or that there are no disagreements and that we're all holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya' is obviously not what I had in mind and not how I function."

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), New York Times, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007

"Mr. Obama said Mrs. Clinton had been untruthful or misleading in describing her positions on problems facing the nation."

Same article

Edwards's Great New Ad (The Negative One)

If you want to see how a great negative ad should look, go to, page down past his "Heroes" ad — which is a useless positive spot — and go to "The Politics of Parsing." In the negative you just see Hillary being Hillary. As Harry Truman said, when the Republicans accused him of being negative, "I just tell the truth and they call it negative." You can't save Hillary from herself.

Ron Paul: Voice of Integrity, Stiffed by the Media

The Ron Paul phenomenon is worth serious attention because in a campaign that is vapid and empty of substance, this guy is the real deal.

Please note: Rep. Paul (R-Texas) would cut or end many of the programs that serve the children, the poor and the seniors and turn those responsibilities over to the free market. Bad idea.

However: Ron Paul is a true libertarian and devout believer in the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution at a time when virtually no major candidate in either party speaks of these matters with conviction and Congress does not stand up like a lion in defense of them.

With Friends Like These ...

Fred Thompson's friend, adviser and personal airline has a criminal record involving drug dealing, felony bookmaking, conspiracy, violation of parole and more. Yes, that would be former Republican Sen. Thompson of Tennessee, the one who is running for president. And according to The Washington Post, buddy/fundraiser/benefactor Philip Martin fell not once but twice for the undercover agent trick, attempting to sell 11 pounds of marijuana to one detective and some cocaine to a sheriff's deputy some other time.

An Opening for Sen. Dodd

Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut (D) was destined to be the latest workhorse to lose to the show horse. Despite a glittering Senate career spanning nearly 26 years in which he has legislated on most of the major issues of the day, Dodd was destined to play second fiddle to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the presidential sweepstakes, much as Lyndon Johnson did to John Kennedy in an earlier era.

Obama Strikes Gold on Iran: A Defining Moment

A standing ovation for the long and thoughtful interview Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) gave to The New York Times outlining a credible, thoughtful and important challenge to the Bush policy on Iran. Obama is absolutely right: Diplomacy requires direct presidential involvement, a presidential commitment and drive that combines carrots and sticks, rewards and punishments.

This is the kind of debate that is long overdue in this shallow and vapid primary campaign.

The initial reaction was the usual "this will appeal to the anti-war left." Yes it will, but it will also appeal to military families and middle America and thoughtful voters of all political persuasions who favor diplomatic solutions rather than the endless rush to unwise war.