Saturday, March 29, 2008

The TR: Springtime, Superdelegates, and Shamelessness

It's getting kind of hot in DC. Is it Spring, or is it just The Turner Report? Read on and find out ....

Our Forecast

Darth and NancyWill the "destruction of the Democratic party" story line continue as Hillary stays on the attack? Will big Clinton funders continue acting like Darth Vader, with menacing warnings to Pelosi not to call for an end to the superdelegate madness? (Resist the dark side of the Force, Nancy....) A new Obama Girl video asks, "Can't we all just be friends?"

Unpaid home equity loans and their insidious winnowing into financial instruments worldwide could be the next big financial story. Are the Fed's pockets really deep enough, and will it be inclined to keep up its rescue efforts?

"Stop-Loss" debuts tomorrow and could (or should) generate lots of commentary. The film follows the trials and tribulations of a soldier facing the prospect of being sent back to Iraq after finishing his tour of duty.

Attention all progressive flacks: Freedom's Watch has hired Carl Vonti, Mitt Romney's political director, to spearhead its hawkish agenda in the fall. Here is the platform from which the 2008 version of the swift-boat-style attacks will be launched. So get your bosses on the horn to do everything possible to sink its agenda before it strikes first.

Who Needs a Helmet?Next week NFL owners will meet in Tampa to vote on a statute regulating hair length for players. With half the league in jail or on steroids, is the pressing issue proper grooming? The players may need to look their best while temping on weekends for Avis, but what has that got to do with football? The boys with the big cash should rethink their priorities.

The Week That Was

Who'd 'a thunk it? In a post-Jeremiah Wright week, after hours of right-wing radio spew about Wright's hate-laced venom, Obama's positives went up two points. Okay, so his negatives went up four, but they might have kept rising if not for... "Snipergate"??!! Hillary's overstatements of her experience put her on a slippery slope that last week ended up in an endless TV loop of her calm stroll down the Tuzla tarmac with nary a Bosnian sniper in sight. Conservative commentators have had a field day resurrecting other fibs, such as Whitewater, Travelgate, missing files, Johnny Chung and cattle futures. Even a blog post at The Nation yelled, "The Audacity of a Hoax," and asked, "What else is she fibbing about?" So Hillary's negatives are even worse, with no mitigating up-tick in her positives. Sigh. Lest we suffer another 400 flames from the Hillary camp, let us remind you that the Queen is a supporter with canceled gigantic donation checks to prove it. We're merely observing what is happening in the media.

This week the New Yorker gave us an insider's look at Abu Ghraib, with a cheery, apple-cheeked American girl in fatigues offering a winning smile and a thumbs up beside tortured, dead Iraqis in countless photos.

You'd hardly know that two weeks ago the Fed -- in a boldly historic move said to have re-written the rules of capitalism -- narrowly averted a global financial disaster of bigger-than-1929 proportions.

Casey and ObamaGive points to Obama for not only snagging the lucrative insider- and- outsider endorsement of Bill Richardson, but having the good sense to get the hell out of the country while the Clintons dealt with the fallout. What with James Carville's Judas reference on Easter (is that why the Ragin' Cajun is gettin' the hell outta DC and moving back to New Orleans?), Hillary's embellished combat memories, and crazy electoral math, it's been a bad week for the Clinton campaign on all fronts. With the opposition doing such a good job opposing itself, maybe Obama should have just stayed in the Virgin Islands and given his staff a long vacation until the convention. But wait, was that Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania standing on the tarmac waiting to greet Obama with an endorsement as he got off the plane?

At this point some weary voters are starting to wish O and H would just suit up, pop in their mouthguards and have at it.

So kudos to Jozen Cummings, young editor of, for giving us a chuckle by channeling that urge into these creative concepts:

  • Cribs - The Candidates Edition ("At the end of the show, you can have people text in their vote for which house was hotter, and the winner gets awarded one delegate from their block.")

  • The Amazing Race - Candidates Edition ("If the race ends in a tie, the tie-breaker could be determined by randomly calling both teams at 3 a.m. Whoever answers the phone first wins.")

  • Casual Dress Days On The Campaign ("Just once I would like to see Obama make a speech in a Kangol and a t-shirt with his name on it. Hillary Clinton can pound the pavement in a red, white, and blue Roc-A-Wear velour suit.")

  • The Spouses' Debate ("I want to see Michelle and Bill go head-to-head in a debate, and I'm just waiting for Bill to say the word 'fairytale.' Watch Michelle take those earrings off.")

  • Make their iTunes playlists public ("I don't want to see their tax returns. If Clinton had a bunch of Jay-Z on her iPod, and Obama was actually a closet Barbara Streisand fan, what would the world think?")

Mike GravelCrazy Uncle-in-Chief Mike Gravel, despondent that the Democrats have moved away from FDR, is making a play to be the Libertarian party's presidential candidate. His likely opponent? Former Congressman Bob Barr, a conservative Republican. So here we have two politicians from opposite ends of the political spectrum who divorced their respective parties for the same reason: they believe the parties put politics above principles. We are intrigued by the idea that the Libertarian umbrella is large enough to accommodate both of them.

And in a shameless bit of self-promotion, Wired is asking for input on "The Most Effective Self-Promoter of All Time," listing some of the most notable examples in recent years. We'll have our business cards and notebooks out. Will you?

Reader's Comments

As part of our routine hate mail from the Hillary camp, we were once again bashed and unsubscribed for praising Obama for The Speech. Sigh. And the Queen has for SO LONG been SO OBVIOUSLY for Hillary. No one in O-land complained when our Internet poll showed that many scores of mothers do indeed think Obama looks like the lead character in Pixar's Fish Tales. What's a girl to do?


We didn't anticipate Hillary's sniper fire hallucinations, and we certainly were wrong when we posited that she might get folks to start buying the experience message.

But the rest of our predix were right on. So that just shows that we can still read the newspapers and the blogs and pontificate with the best of them.