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Home Page --> January 2008

Hablo Espanol?

How do the candidates of both parties stand in reaching out to Latino voters? Daniel Watson of InAnyLanguage breaks it down. Check it out, pretty interesting.

Whisper Campaign

Is that an angel in Romney's ear?

You be the judge.

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Mac and the "I" Word

It loks as if John McCain is now in a NY state of mind, and his bank account is better off for it. Has Mac become the "I" word? Jay says not so fast:


Now that he is the frontrunner, this is the problem that confronts John McCain. In every previous cycle in the modern era - the Republican who wins South Carolina wins the nomination. A big reason is that the victory in the South, the heart of the Republican's general election strength, signals who the favored candidate is. The rest of the candidates eventually recognize this, and they bow out. McCain won South Carolina, and he is better positioned now than he was a week ago - but the race is not over.

McCain is staunchly opposed by a vocal group of conservatives who view him as an unreliable maverick. You can hear their most prominent advocate on the radio every weekday from noon to three eastern. You can see them in the exit polls, which show that McCain has not yet won a (statistically significant) plurality of Republican voters, nor those who consider themselves "very conservative." In years past, opposition to the Republican frontrunner tends to fade away after South Carolina, with the supporters of the loser accepting that their guy can't prevail and reconciling themselves with the victor. But that does not seem to be happening this year. There is a faction of the party that seems unwilling to accept McCain. It might be able to stop him.

It should be clear from the nomination rules that somebody could find enough delegates to oppose McCain on the convention floor - even if he did not offer a serious challenge early in the process. From the unpledged delegates, to the delegates allocated by conventions, proportional allocation, and the congressional district delegates - there are a lot of ways to win convention support even as somebody else "wins" states. Eventually, an opposition candidate would have to break through with outright victories. He cannot win the Republican nomination underground - but the way delegates are allocated could keep the race close until he breaks through. Importantly, about 65% of South Carolina voters preferred somebody other than John McCain. This tracks with his standing in the national polls. So, the anti-McCain faction might have an audience - if it can find a candidate to rally behind. Also of importance: 95% of all delegates have yet to be allocated. And even after Super Tuesday, 45% will remain to be allocated. The faction has time to make its case.

I am not saying it will be successful. McCain has a very strong chance to win the nomination. One feather in his cap is that opposition to him does not cut cleanly along any ideological line. Rick Santorum is vehemently opposed to him, but Tom Coburn just endorsed him. Another asset is that the Republican delegate allocation system is much less charitable to losers than the Democratic scheme - this gives the opposition less time to get its act together.

Bill Gone Wild

Is there a method to the madness? Will we see more angry outburts from President Clinton? Ben Smith thinks so:


The logic is clear. Bill Clinton's approval rating stood at 79 percent among Democrats in one CBS poll this summer, and interviews with voters in the early states often find Democrats saying that her access to her husband's advice is a key reason for supporting Hillary Clinton.

"While some observes have warned the campaign not to allow the former president to 'steal the limelight,' [Bill] Clinton has the ability to validate the candidate and launch aggressive push backs on [Hillary's] opponents, including those of us in the media," said Donna Brazile, a former Clinton aide and CNN commentator who was recently one of his critics.

He's "a beloved figure in the Democratic party," she added.

What's still unclear is whether Bill Clinton's performances on his wife's behalf could wear thin over time, either with Democrats or in a general election contest, and possibly amplify complaints that her presidency would reprise the 1990s rather than look forward.

For now, there is one sure sign that his words are having their effect: Now Sen. Barack Obama, after absorbing the former president's assaults with a sort of bemused silence, has chosen to engage him.

"One of the things we're going to have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's not making statements that are factually accurate," Obama said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Mea Matthews


So Chris Matthews has apologized for his comments about Hillary Clinton. Was it enough? Steve Benen is unconvinced:


I found his contrition underwhelming. For one thing, Matthews didn't apologize willingly -- he insisted for nearly two weeks that his comments were perfectly appropriate, and only backpedaled when the network started feeling the heat.

For another, Matthews' apology made it sound as if his misogyny problem was limited to one anti-Clinton diatribe. It's not; his problem extends to other women, and has for quite a while.

What I'd hoped to hear is a sense that Matthews realizes that he's been disrespectful to women, and that he's finally ready to change his attitude. Instead, we heard one statement of contrition about one incident.

Matthews has a pattern of behavior. I got the sense that last night's mea culpa was, as far as he's concerned, the end of the controversy. In reality, it should be just the initial step.

Liberal Fascism: The Interview!

Here's NRO blogger/contributing editor Jonah Goldberg on The Daily Show (h/t to Think Progress for the footage):


Heir Disparate

Is Obama like Reagan? Yes, no and maybe, says Matthew Yglesias:


Obama is pretty unambiguously claiming that much as Reagan was a friendly, popular face of a much more conservative governing agenda than the country had seen before, he thinks he can be the friendly, popular face of a much more liberal governing agenda than the country has seen before.

Obama thinks -- as do a lot of people -- that the country may be primed for big change in 2008 the way it was in 1980 and that he's the kind of person who can sell the country on that sort of big change. He may be wrong, either in his assessment of the times or in his assessment of himself, but those are exactly the sort of claims you want to see a leader make on behalf of itself. Those who read the comments section here will know that strong John Edwards partisans like "Petey" frequently compare their man to Reagan, not because they're closet right-wingers but because they think Edwards can dramatically expand the popularity of progressive ideas.

Michigan

Much has been made this morning over Hillary Clinton's apparent failure to mobilize the African-American vote in Michigan. Is this a serious problem? Ben Smith doesn't think so:


In the background of the argument over race has been political strategy, and a glance at the demographics of the February 5 primaries is a reminder that while racial polarization could win South Carolina for Obama, he can't win as "the black candidate" on February 5.

Indeed, though African-Americans are an important minority in the coming Democratic primaries, they're outnumbered by Hispanic voters in the key state of California and others.


Also, check out Jay's Michigan analysis over at HorseRaceBlog.

Resuscitating Rudy?

Is Giuliani still in it to win it? Chris Cillizza says yes:


The reality is that the first nine months of this race overstated just how strong a frontrunner he was, while the last few weeks of surveys probably understate his chances at the nomination. National polls are helpful in determining broad trends within the electorate, but they tend to be less helpful in predicting the horse race as the numbers often sway in reaction to results in early states.

Another contributing factor to the perceived decline of Giuliani's campaign is that the 24-hour news cycle almost compels a granular approach to political coverage that accentuates the events of each day. Thus, the media often has trouble stepping back and seeing the broader picture in the fight for the nomination. Blogs like The Fix (sigh) further the idea that tomorrow is the most important day of any campaign, and, if not tomorrow, then certainly the day after tomorrow.

The truth of the matter is that the fundamentals that Giuliani needed to be in place to have a chance at the nomination remain. The GOP field is muddled, the wealthy candidate could be out of the race as early as Tuesday, and it is clear that Florida's primary will matter. The stories of an alleged fundraising shortfall have the potential to gum up the works for Giuliani, but it now seems likely that he will have the chance his campaign has long hoped for: To have a win in Florida mean something.

Roosting?

Are the chickens back in town to roost? Don Surber thinks so:


40 years of victimhood politics comes home to roost in the Hill vs. Obama race, er, battle.

The point of "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" was to point out that even white liberals have trouble with race.

40 years later, some people don't get it.

---

But the Carpetbagger's Report showed the anguish that I am guessing many libs feel: "I argued yesterday that both Clinton and Obama might have to avoid dealing directly with race or gender in order to win if not the primary, than the general election. It's looking more and more like that won't be possible."

Here's an idea. Instead of judging people by their chromosomes or pigmentation, why not judge them by the content of their character?

Dem On Dem Crime

From Liberty Pundit:


Is anyone surprised that the Democrats are the ones that have devolved into this ludicrousness? Rarely do primaries result in such party-on-party crime, but this election has no clear leader on either side, so everyone is pulling out all the stops. And, what do you get? Democrats being Democrats against each other. What normally is reserved for a general election (and what normally is reserved fro Republicans) is front-and-center among the Dems themselves. The whole thing is just absurd. The only interesting question left is: are Hillary and Obama really racist and sexist? Or, if not, have their baiting-tactics finally been exposed for what they are - bogus? In any event, it can't help either one of them come the general election.


Rarely do primaries result in such party-on-party crime? What about calling Catholics in Michigan, or whisper campaigns in South Carolina?

Reinforce, Don't Balance

From Chris Bowers of Open Left:


The tendency to seek "balance" on a Democratic ticket is a relic of the Dixiecrat era of the Democratic Party, when there was massive disconnect between the northern and southern wings of the party. While there are obviously still divisions in the party, current gaps simply do not compare to the chasms that once existed, where Huckabee's voters were about one-third of the party. We should resist the tendency to have our cake and eat it too, or to paper over differences in the party by throwing defeated primary opponents a Vice-President consolation prize. Rather than making our divisions the basis for forging our ticket, the Vice-Presidential nominee should instead serve to reinforce the rationale the Presidential nominee is offering for his or her candidacy.

Dennis The Menace

Ed Morrissey on the Kucinich re-count:


At least we have more confirmation about the thought processes of Dennis "UFO" Kucinich. He's going to spend at least $2,000 out of his campaign funds to conduct a recount based on Internet rumors. The total could run much higher than that, depending on the cost of the recount, and Kucinich -- who finished dead last -- would not benefit from any adjustment in the vote totals.

The one campaign that might, and who actually has the cash to pay for a recount, hasn't asked for one. Why not? Because the Barack Obama team doesn't make decisions by listening to the fever swamps. They understand that the difference between the machine-counted precincts and the hand-counted precincts is that the former tend to be in the bigger cities such as Nashua and Manchester where Hillary had significant polling leads before the primary. The hand-counted precincts were in areas known to be Obama territory.

Kucinich represents the lunatic fringe of the Democrats, but one might have thought that he'd have a little more sense than to indulge their fantasy life and validate their rumor mill. How did this man get elected to Congress at all?

Mitt's Money

Dean Barnett on the money bomb:


The Romney campaign had a national call day yesterday that was reminiscent of the call day last winter whose blockbuster success heralded Romney's arrival as a candidate to be reckoned with. Yesterday's haul was also pretty impressive - an estimated $5 million. But the numbers aren't quite as impressive when you dig into them a bit. Of the $5 million, $3.5 million are general election funds. They'll be of no use unless Romney wins the nomination.

The $1.5 million remainder that can be used for more pressing concerns like surviving beyond next Tuesday is still a pretty good take. Spencer Zwick, the Romney campaign's young fundraising guru, should find his services in great demand throughout the political world after the Romney campaign shutters its doors, be it sometime soon or after the general election.

As a Romney guy, what I find dispiriting about this story is that even facing the most crucial stretch of the campaign, a five day spell that the campaign may well not survive, the Romney campaign is still publicly talking process. Every other campaign with even an outside shot has long since settled on a simple message that it hammers repeatedly and exclusively. You know them all by heart: McCain's got the war experience. Obama is a new and exciting agent of change. Hillary's an old and boring agent of change. And yet lacking a unifying narrative, the Romney campaign still talks about fundraising activities.

Kerry Endorsing Obama?

TPM has it.

Culinary Arts

From Political Radar:


At 11 p.m. E.T. on Tuesday, a 12-member panel which controls the 60,000-member Culinary Workers union held a conference call to decide which '08 candidate to endorse.

The panel making the decision is the executive committee of UNITE-HERE, Culinary's parent union.

"We believe that Obama is the candidate who can bring the country together and we are proud to support his candidacy," Shauna Hamel, Executive Vice President of the union says.

The backing of the 60,000-member union is seen as important because the state's Democratic Party is only expecting 40,000 Democrats to participate in the caucuses.

Culinary's members work in casinos up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

Obama will travel to Las Vegas on Friday to formally accept the endorsement.


Wha' Happened!?

Were we all wrong? Was it The Bradley Effect? Or was it the Sbornak Effect? Marc Ambinder explains:


The Bradley/Wilder effect -- voters were afraid to tell pollsters they didn't want to vote for a black person, so a certain percentage of them lied about their preferences. But wait -- the pre-election polls did NOT overstate Barack Obama's support. He averaged 36.7%, according to Mark Blumenthal's compilations.

If anything, they understated Hillary Clinton's support by nine points. Let's name this phenomenon the "Dorothy Sbornak" effect -- for some reason, older women voters refused to disclose their preferences to pollsters, or refused to admit that they favored Hillary Clinton.


We've heard a lot on the last day about the Clinton GOTV effort. Does the Field staff need a raise?

Granite Blogging (Updated)

Stay with RealClearBlogs all day long, while we bring you reactions, predictions and all of the latest from the New Hampshire primary. Bloggers will be typing long into the night, so check in regularly to catch all of the latest!

To start us off, get the final tracking numbers from RCP to see where the candidates stand this morning.


UPDATE:

Some early predictions:


Patterico's Pontifications

Obama's betting odds have gone from 3-1 against to 2-1 for in the last 10 days or so. If it goes the way I think it will, Hillary may be out after Feb. 5.

McCain is now the listed favorite for the Republicans with Rudy the two-seed and Huck as third-most-likely winner, though I think the betting public is not as optimistic as it ought to be on Romney.

For Rudy to win, he's going a different direction than all other candidates in history. People have blown off Iowa before, but ditching Iowa and New Hampshire is pretty shocking. I think that severely impacts his ability to win in California, and helps McCain - another moderate Republican.

Outside The Beltway

Obama becomes the clear frontrunner; after tonight, it's his race to lose. He'll likely go on to win South Carolina, with Edwards finishing second. My guess is that Clinton continues to give him a fight and rebounds to win several states. Unless she implodes and it becomes a two man race, though, I don't see a plausible scenario whereby Edwards gets the nomination.

Race 4 2008

This is going to be a very close race. In four recent polls, Romney has led in one of them by 3 points. He has trailed in the other three polls by 1, 4, and 5. However, most of these polls were taken prior to the debate Sunday night where Romney had a strong performance. Most people expected McCain to steadily gain after Romney's defeat in Iowa just as they expected Obama to gain against Clinton. Obama has gained against Clinton, but McCain, though still leading in most polls, has actually lost ground to Romney. I doubt more than 3 points will separate either candidate tomorrow night. Neither candidate will be out of the race because of these results.


Also, has the media found their darling?


UPDATE II:

Captain Ed is live-blogging it all.


Policy vs. Form

Matthew Yglesias on George Will on Edwards, Huckabee and Obama:


John Edwards and Barack Obama both have health care plans that involve lots of new spending and federal edicts. John Edwards would reduce carbon emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050 through an auction of tradable emissions permits. Barack Obama would do the same. Mike Huckabee's energy plan doesn't mention global warming. John Edwards supports reproductive freedom and gay rights. So does Barack Obama. But Mike Huckabee doesn't. Barack Obama wants to repeal Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. So does John Edwards. Mike Huckabee wants to implement a regressive and unworkable national retail sales tax.

I won't further belabor the point, because it's obvious. But this stuff matters! The difference between a world of uncontrollable global warming, a rag-tag health care system, a regressive tax code, forced pregnancy, and a Federal Marriage Amendment is very different from a world with a clean energy economy, a strong safety net for the sick, a progressive tax code, and a government that respects privacy. The stylistic differences between Edwards and Obama aren't unimportant, but the substantive similarities between the two (and, indeed, between both of them and Hillary Clinton) are much more important than the superficial similarities between Edwards and Huckabee.

Exit Stage Left?

Is Hillary bowing out? Drudge thinks so.

Gaius has doubts. So do I. It would seem somewhat uncharacteristic of the Clintons to bow out before tomorrow's primary. The White House has no doubt been the endgame for Senator Clinton since she uprooted to NY for her senate bid. It seems unlikely that she/they would scrap those plans because some upstart won Iowa.

Working with Obama

Is it something Republicans could deal with? Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House wonders:


In this respect, I am not as much concerned with specifics regarding Obama - largely because he hasn't fleshed any of his proposals - but rather his instincts. And while his foreign policy instincts are frightening, not so his approach to domestic issues. He appears to me to be open to compromise - far more so than Hillary Clinton - and would reach out to Republicans and conservatives in order to gain broad based support for many of his proposals. Of course, there will be areas where conservatives will not be able to follow him or compromise on. But on a wealth of issues including education, energy, trade, perhaps even entitlements, there may be opportunities to work together.

I can't stress this enough to my fellow conservatives. If we were to play the role of total obstructionists after Obama would have been elected largely as a result of his perceived ability to work with us, the blame for Congressional gridlock would fall heavily on the GOP. We can oppose a President Obama on taxes, immigration, judges, and other conservative issues where our principles are at stake. But there are many other issues that we can find common ground and enact for the betterment of the country.

I will not vote for Barack Obama for President. But if he wins, I think we have two choices; we can either continue business as usual in Washington while the rest of the country leaves us behind, moving through that door to the future, reinventing this country as we have done in the past. Or we too can move through that door helping to shape that future to better reflect our values, our principles. One path will doom conservatism to a permanent minority status. The other holds the promise of having conservatives participate in shaping the future. One road leads to oblivion, the other to a shared future with the American people.

I like to think conservatives would take the high road.

Reax (Updated)

Did anybody sleep!? There is a lot of commentary and complaining to absorb from all around the 'sphere today, so stick with us while we bring it to you.


Steve Benen

A young, African-American, first-term senator from a big city went to Iowa -- an overwhelmingly white, rural state, with a large elderly population -- trailed most of the year, and delivered a bigger win than anyone expected.

His campaign relied on tried-and-true methods -- including a sophisticated GOTV operation -- but more importantly, it took a gamble, counting on independents, students, and other young people to do what they usually don't: participate in the caucuses. Confounding the experts, Obama's strategy worked like a charm.

Kyle Moore

There's still a long way to go, but I think the next few weeks are clear. Obama's story is going to spread, and more people are going to believe. Iowa proved America does not fear a black president, and that the youth of this country are finally at a place where they will stand up and vote for a better tomorrow. The negativity that sought to shoot down the politics of hope, the cynicism that tried to cut it off at the knees, saying it wouldn't work, much of that has been cleared away tonight.

There are more than two winners tonight; Huckabee and Obama. But the Democratic party which pulled in more caucus goers than I think most people were willing to believe, the Democratic party becomes the winner. And when so many people, young and old, male or female, came together and rejected the politics of the past, and embraced change that we could believe in, I think America came out the winner.

Michael van der Galien

Where does that leave the party? It means that the GOP has no real compromise candidate. Romney can unite the party like none of the other candidates can. The only one who comes close is Senator McCain, but he's unpopular among the conservative base. They'll support him in the general elections, but not very passionately.

In other words, Huckabee's victory means that it becomes increasingly like that the GOP has to choose between a moderate Republican, a social conservative populist and a fiscally conservative yet socially liberal.


UPDATE:

Vodka is not happy:


Dear Iowa Republicans,

I'll put this in language even your tiny little Iowa brains can understand: What the f*** is wrong with you people?

The news coming out of Des Moines (literally, French for "tell me about the rabbits, George") tonight is distressing in the extreme. 32 years ago, your Democratic brethren took one look at Jimmy Carter -- the worst 20th Century President bar Nixon, and the worst ex-President ever -- and declared, "That's our man!"

Three decades later, and along comes Mike Huckabee. Same moral pretentiousness, same gullibility on foreign affairs, only-slightly-less toothy idiot's grin. Then you so-called Republicans took a look at Carter's clone and said, "That's our man, too!"

Live Deskin'

I'll be on FNC's The Live Desk w/ Martha MacCallum at 9:15 PM EST talking blogs and caucuses, as well as The Rick Moran Show at 9 PM CST. So read, watch and listen! We're multi-medium today, baby!

Bipartisanship

It's all the rage.

Eye-Oh-Uh (Updated)

Happy Iowa Caucus Day!

We have a long, and no doubt wild day ahead of us. We'll be live-blogging on the latest news and reactions all day long, so remember to check in throughout the day for all of the latest. To get you started, check out Tom's interview from yesterday with Joe Trippi. It's a good (and quick) read, and it provides you with a little window into how the Edwards camp is approaching the day.

Some early predictions:

Ed Morrissey goes with Obama and Huckabee. Kyle Moore agrees on Obama, but thinks Romney might grab it for the Republicans.

Is there an Obama consensus emerging? Setting the Best In Show predictions aside, Marc Ambinder sorts out some possible surprises for second and third place finishers.

Oh, and if you need a primer on how all this crazy caucus stuff goes down, check out Todd Beeton at MyDD. He has what you need. CNN provides a decent breakdown as well.


UPDATE:

Zogby reports more Obama, Huckabee momentum, and Chuck Todd spins the potential post-spin for tomorrow.

And more caucus mechanics.


UPDATE II:

TPM speculates on a possible(?) Biden-Obama deal.

More predictions/endorsements:

Liberty Pundit

I will be supporting Fred Thompson in today's caucuses (although I will not actually be attending the caucuses). Quickly, I love Fred's tax plan, and despite everything going on in the world, domestic economic policy, especially taxes, always tops my agenda. When it comes to immigration and the War on Terror, I also have no doubt that Thompson would do whatever it takes to secure the border and continue the fight against extremists. I won't go through an analysis on why I don't like the other candidates, because that's not why I'm choosing Thompson. I simply choose Thompson.

On the Democrat side I'm "endorsing" Joe Biden, if you can use the word "endorse." If I had to choose a Democrat - that is, if a Democratic victory was inevitable - I'd choose Biden, simply because he doesn't appear to be as Bush-Deranged and clueless to international problems as the other big Dems. On this side, I am "choosing" a candidate based on a process of elimination, so I will quickly state why I don't like the other candidates.

Chris Bowers

The Romney dream appears to be over. Dang. This causes real problems, as it opens the door for McCain.

I didn't think there was a path for both Obama and McCain to win New Hampshire, but I can see it now: total Romney collapse. McCain's rise might still hand New Hampshire to Clinton, and I have no idea whatsoever whether McCain or Huckabee will go on to win the Republican nomination. On the one hand, I can see Huckabee winning South Carolina and Florida, and then sweeping to the nomination. On the other hand, I can see former Giuliani supporters lining up behind McCain, along with the rest of the media, allowing him to win not only states like California and New York, but possibly even South Carolina and Florida. It is really a tough call. A Huckabee vs. McCain matchup might very well extend past Super Tuesday, and expose a major regional split among Republicans.

QandO

Now that this thing is actually going to happen and people actually have to stand by their choice, I think Huckabee will fade into 2nd place, Romney will take it and Fred Thompson will place a surprising third.

Of course if you saw the record of my bowl predictions, you wouldn't take these too seriously. And I'd also remind you that other than George Bush in 2000 and Jimmy Carter in 1976, those who've won Iowa have rarely shown up in the Oval office.

UPDATE III:

It's Obama and Huckabee.

Debating Debates

Dean Barker of Blue Hampshire doesn't like the answer John Edwards gave on the exclusion of candidates from this weekend's New Hampshire debate:


So much for a united front - had there been a trifecta I imagine we'd see some movement, but Edwards has left ABC the wiggle room it needs to keep out two sitting Senators and a Congressman with in-state campaign offices, delegates, steering committees, etc...

I can give Richardson a pass on this for being mum, since the chance to be up there alone with the "top tier" (how I loathe that term) is a once in a lifetime opportunity for his campaign, especially if he exceeds expectations in Iowa.

But for a guy who openly rails against the corporate media and whose supporters have top rated diaries on dKos such as "MSM Continues Blackout of John Edwards," it's pretty ironic. Scratch that; I shouldn't hide behind niceties - it's hypocritical. And it dishonors the eloquent support for him witnessed daily by me on this site from so many fine minds.


Maybe so, but strategically it makes sense for Edwards. His success is tied to how he does in Iowa, but at the very least, he could use this New Hampshire platform as a way to hammer at Obama and Clinton on Iraq. At best it would be a follow up on Iowa success, at worst a Hail Mary pass leading into the primary. He can still do this with several candidates on the stage, but not to the same affect.

And of course it would please the front running senators to have all of the candidates on stage. A smaller debate--perhaps even a three way debate--opens up potential 2-on-1 kind of scenarios. More than three is chaos, and it only allows for canned messaging and timed responses. With New Hampshire rapidly approaching, Obama and Clinton would rather not be given enough rope to hang themselves with. It's the final push, and they simply want to get their message out in the final days.

Edwards seeks to wow and contrast. He may get his chance now, but only if others are excluded.

Best of '07

Jon Swift has a fantastic roundup of reader-submitted blog posts from all throughout 2007. It's a good read, so check it out.

My personal choice--not represented on Swift's list--is this May post by Andrew Sullivan on the double-edged sword that is the blog medium:


Matt Drudge once insisted to me a central fact of the Internet: it's a broadcast, not a piece of writing. Or rather it is writing as a broadcast. The skills for broadcasting - presentation, speed, performance, spontaneity - are not those for writing in the traditional sense. That is partly why I've found the medium so interesting. It really does represent a new, deconstructed, provisional way of writing - halfway between radio and print journalism - and we still don't know where it will end. I've spent these past seven years exploring this unknown territory, and all the time, I've wondered if I wouldn't have been better off in a more traditional milieu. Producing a book while blogging was almost impossible. It wasn't so much the time (though that was hard); it was the very different mindset needed when you sit down to write something that you hope will last a few years and something that you know will only last a few hours.

New Digs

I now have two bloggy homes on the web. If you enjoy RealClearBlogs, check out my new and improved personal blog over at the PoliGazette. Michael van der Galien ws gracious enough to take me on as a sub-blogger there, and Dustin Metzger did a fantastic job desigining the site.

Bookmark it, RSS it, or whatever else you crazy kids do to track your favorite blogs.

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