May 2, 2008
I heard the other day that Senators McCain and Clinton had both come out in favor of a federal tax holiday on gas for the summer. Sounds great, except it isn’t. The oil companies will just raise their prices, AND what we really need now is a.) for people to adjust their behavior toward energy independence, rather than take the easy way out, and b.) leadership on that issue and not political gimmicks.
I saw this online this morning:
He’s still my guy.
Follow up… 150 economists who have signed on to a petition indicating this to be a bad idea:
HRC has yet to produce ONE who agrees with her.
January 18, 2008
My monthly column in Adotas is up, teaser:
No matter what your politics, these are interesting times in the realm of political marketing. After a decade-long footrace between the parties to out-execute each other in the realm of “microtargeting,” the technique is being painted as the root of all evil by progressives bent on putting the “United” back into the good ‘ol USA.
Tabling for a moment whether this shift is motivated by aspiration or resignation on the part of the Democrats, the strategy itself merits some reflection by commercial marketers.
Pretty pleased with it, actually, your comments welcome here or there.
November 21, 2007
Great, balanced editorial by Maureen Dowd in the NYTimes. While she expresses reservations about the depth of Obama’s foriegn policy experience, she finally says what only another woman could say about Hillary.
Her Democratic rivals had meekly gone along, accepting her self-portrait as a former co-president who gets to take credit for everything important Bill Clinton did in the ’90s. But she was not elected or appointed to a position that needed Senate confirmation. And the part of the Clinton administration that worked best — the economy, stupid — was run by Robert Rubin. Hillary did not show good judgment in her areas of influence — the legal fiefdom, health care and running oppo-campaigns against Bill’s galpals.
She went on some first lady jaunts and made a good speech at a U.N. women’s conference in Beijing. But she was certainly not, as her top Iowa supporter, former governor Tom Vilsack claimed yesterday on MSNBC, “the face of the administration in foreign affairs.”
She was a top adviser who had a Nixonian bent for secrecy and a knack for hard-core politicking. But if running a great war room qualified you for president, Carville and Stephanopoulos would be leading the pack.
The closer is also a keeper. Of Hillary’s recent barb regarding Obama’s claims to the value of experienceing other cultures as a boy, Dowd says:
“With all due respect,” she told a crowd in Iowa. “I don’t think living in a foreign country between the ages of 6 and 10 is foreign policy experience.”
But is living in the White House between the ages of 45 and 53 foreign policy experience?
November 15, 2007
Roger Cohen has this to say in the New York Times today:
…American exceptionalism, as practiced by Bush, has created a longing for new American engagement.
Renewal is about policy; it’s also about symbolism. Which brings us to Barack Hussein Obama, the Democratic candidate with a Kenyan father, a Kansan mother, an Indonesian stepfather, a childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia and impressionable experience of the Muslim world.
If the globe can’t vote next November, it can find itself in Obama. Troubled by the violent chasm between the West and the Islamic world? Obama seems to bridge it. Disturbed by the gulf between rich and poor that globalization spurs? Obama, the African-American, gets it: the South Side of Chicago is the South Side of the world.
He lingers a bit too long for my taste on the interest the rest of the world has in this election. For me the more important point is that a more productive engagement with the rest of the world is good for America, and that’s why we need to make this happen.
The time is now, please consider donating here.
November 8, 2007
Speaking for myself alone, after considerable reflection, I think he’s my guy.
It started with his book, but this article started me over the cliff, and this one finished it. A particularly potent excerpt:
Hillary makes far more sense if you believe that times are actually pretty good. If you believe that America’s current crisis is not a deep one, if you think that pragmatism alone will be enough to navigate a world on the verge of even more religious warfare, if you believe that today’s ideological polarization is not dangerous, and that what appears dark today is an illusion fostered by the lingering trauma of the Bush presidency, then the argument for Obama is not that strong. Clinton will do. And a Clinton-Giuliani race could be as invigorating as it is utterly predictable.
But if you sense, as I do, that greater danger lies ahead, and that our divisions and recent history have combined to make the American polity and constitutional order increasingly vulnerable, then the calculus of risk changes. Sometimes, when the world is changing rapidly, the greater risk is caution. Close-up in this election campaign, Obama is unlikely. From a distance, he is necessary. At a time when America’s estrangement from the world risks tipping into dangerous imbalance, when a country at war with lethal enemies is also increasingly at war with itself, when humankind’s spiritual yearnings veer between an excess of certainty and an inability to believe anything at all, and when sectarian and racial divides seem as intractable as ever, a man who is a bridge between these worlds may be indispensable.
On a more emotional level, the man has something special. See for yourself:
Yep. That’s my guy.
May 14, 2007
Originally came across this in Guy Kawasaki’s blog on best presentations of the year. It’s a great one on both style and substance fronts, putting our competition with China and India into sharp focus.