David Kirkpatrick

March 28, 2008

Clinton supporters threaten Pelosi

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:53 am

I agree with Matt Yglesias here:

I have to say that I doubt threatening Nancy Pelosi to take their toys and go home if she doesn’t urge superdelegates to do what they want is really the smartest way for Hillary Clinton supporters to try to win this election. It sort of re-enforces the case that the Clintons and their close allies are selfish people willing and ready to destroy the party in order to maintain control over it.

Update: Another take on the same topic, this time from Noam Scheiber at the New Republic blog, “The Plank.”

From the link:

Via Avi Zenilman, the crew over at First Read makes a great point about that heavy-handed letter from Hillary’s rich donors to Nancy Pelosi:

Shakedown: Why didn’t the Clinton campaign get superdelegates to sign on to that letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi rather than donors? Doesn’t this letter coming only from major donors make it look like a threat or a shakedown? Wouldn’t this letter coming from fellow superdelegates have had more impact? One Dem operative who doesn’t have a horse in this fight reminds us: “Members of Congress — who are superdelegates — make up the DCCC. Threatening the DCCC is essentially threatening the very superdelegates HRC’s trying to court. The HRC donor letter will just push undeclared superdelegates in Congress leaning toward Obama to endorse him sooner. It also reinforces the notion that the Clintons will destroy the party to win the WH. I just don’t get it.”

I don’t get it either. The obvious answer is that Hillary couldn’t find any superdelegates to sign on to such a letter. But maybe the campaign had something in mind that we’re just not seeing.

March 1, 2008

Clinton’s “3:00 a.m. president” ad

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:18 am

Clinton’s latest commercial, about the 3:00 a.m. president, is stirring a lot of debate whether it’s effective or not, and whether it helps, or actually hurts her.

A commenter, “BHLnye,” at the linked New Republic piece maybe put it best:

Frankly, I don’t think the timing of this ad could have been much worse for Camp Clinton. Over the last couple of weeks their candidate has shown us Screechy Hillary, Shame-on-you Hillary, Weepy Hillary, Sympathetic Hillary, Make Nice Hillary and Sarcastic Hillary. How would any voter know which one was there to answer the call? Especially when Obama has presented himself as sure and steady and someone who’s comfortable in his own skin.

I don’t see how this can possibly help Clinton. People just aren’t this stupid, are they?

Of course the next comment, from “virginiacentrist,” is pretty good, too:

The only call Hillary is going to get at 3am is Bill saying he’s not coming home, with the muffled sounds of a 20 year old coed giggling in the background.

Obama, the civil libertarian

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:00 am

Jeffrey Rosen’s TRB column in the February 27, 2208, New Republic is about how Obama would be the first truly civil libertarian president. That column really sums up what I like about Obama. As a libertarian, civil and fiscal, I don’t agree with a lot of his ideas, but I love his honest and strong civil libertarian bent. After the Bush 43 years this approach to personal liberty and privacy would be a welcome change.

And as far as government spending goes, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess he’d be less “liberal” than Bush. Sure Obama’s spending will focus on different areas than Bush’s, but in pure government expansion it’s almost impossible for Obama, or any other “spend thrift liberal,” to match Bush’s woeful record. Plus an Obama presidency might push the GOP to look deep into the dark night and find a core that seems to be lost in Rovian factions and coalitions. The Rove gloat of creating a generation of GOP rule died, oh, about two or three years in.

All that being said, I sincerely hope Obama wins either Texas or Ohio and forces Clinton out of the Democratic nomination race. Of course that would also involve Clinton conceding with grace. An outcome still in serious doubt at this time.

Here is Rosen’s lede:

If Barack Obama were to win the Democratic nomination and the White House, he would be, among other things, our first civil libertarian president. This is clear not just from his lifetime rating on the ACLU’s scorecard (82 percent compared to John McCain’s 25 percent). It is clear from the fact that civil liberties have been among his most passionate interests–as a constitutional law professor, state legislator, and senator. On the campaign trail, he has been unapologetic about these enthusiasms. In New Hampshire, I heard him end a rousing stump speech by promising the cheering crowd, “We will close Guantánamo, we will restore habeas corpus, we will have a president who will respect and obey the Constitution.” Has a political consultant ever urged a candidate to brandish habeas corpus?

January 10, 2008

Ron Paul’s newsletter scandal

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:37 pm

I’m not a huge backer of Ron Paul, although as something of a libertarian I do like some of the ideas he’s bringing to the GOP table.

In light of the fact I posted a primer on Paul …

And the ongoing scandal of newsletters published in his name containing bigoted commentary brought to mainstream attention by a New Republic story …

Here’s a link with subsequent links to good information and commentary from Reason readers, a group fairly invested in the Paul movement and how it’s drawing new libertarians to the fold.

(edit: Here’s my second post on this issue with more information on the newsletters’ background. You can find my third, and presumably final, post here.)