After tonight’s YouTube debate, CNN ran a segment critiquing the candidates on their body language and dress. Wolf Blitzer introduced it, stating, “Candidates also sighed, they rolled their eyes, they looked at their watches during the debate.” CNN’s Carol Costello commented, “Look at how the candidates were dressed. The men wore dark suits, but Hillary Clinton wore a brightly-colored jacket.” Watch it:
As a fervent supporter of the Bush administration and the Iraq war, Hewitt’s questions were, as one would expect, designed to enable Gen. Petraeus to make statements without any questioning or challenge.
As I am much more of a war skeptic than Hewitt, both the questions I would pose and the audience which would be exposed to the interview would be different than the one Gen. Petraeus conducted with Hewitt. It is my sincere hope that Gen. Petraeus, in order to facilitate as honest and robust a public discussion as possible, is willing to discuss the situation in Iraq and the merits of the current strategy with both supporters and critics of the initiative.
If John Edwards or Barack Obama were the frontrunners at this point, I think they would have performed just fine in the debates. Edwards’ highs are emotive and personal, and Obama’s are lofty and aspirational, but they both hit them and they both had only minor moments of awkward. But, of course, Hillary Clinton is the front runner. She didn’t stumble at all, she hit a few high points, and since nobody tried to tear her down, nobody succeeded in tearing her down. Under the circumstances, it’s a clear win for her.
Nothing’s going to happen until somebody with a better shot than Joe Biden or Mike Gravel makes a serious move, but I think the real contenders are making the right calculation that it’s not worth their while to do it yet. I bet this race stays boring for a few months yet.
UPDATE: Huh. Other professional journalists agree but CNN’s focus group seems to have given the win to Obama.
Photo by Flickr user Marcn used under a Creative Commons license
. . . but amidst The Weekly Standard‘s huffing and puffing about how “Scott Thomas” couldn’t possibly have come across a mass grave in a particular area of operations where he allegedly said he came across one (crucially, he didn’t actually say that), they inadvertendly corroborated the story. Thomas said he and other soldiers found a bunch of skeletons during the construction of a combat outpost. One of the article’s detractors concedes that “There was a children’s cemetery unearthed while constructing a Combat Outpost (COP) in the farm land south of Baghdad International Airport” and then gets very insistent that it was no mass grave. The article, however, just said they found a bunch of bones and then speculated idly that it might have been a mass grave. Well, turns out it was a children’s cemetary.
Meanwhile, the case that nobody could possibly have driven around in his Bradley Fighting Vehicle killing dogs seems to essentially come down to the fact that “This would violate standard operating procedure (SOP) and make the convoy more susceptible to attack.” I don’t, however, think anyone ever argued that killing dogs was SOP, the claim was that it happened. Surely the Standard is prepared to concede that SOP, though standard, is sometimes violated.
Speaking to fellow reporters this morning, conservative columnist Robert Novak said he was “disappointed in the journalism profession” for its reaction to his printing Valerie Plame’s identity. “I thought we stuck together in things like this. I guess that wasn’t the case.”
Let’s call it an open thread, I’m watching and don’t want to try liveblogging again.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) held the Senate open for an all-night debate on Iraq, calling the conservatives’ bluff on the filibuster and highlighting “Republican resistance to allowing a simple majority vote on a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq.”
The conservative leadership quickly blasted Reid’s move as a political stunt. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “Our enemies aren’t threatened by talk-a-thons, and our troops deserve better than publicity stunts.”
As Atrios pointed out, today, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) hit back against McConnell, declaring that the “only stunt” that’s going on is conservatives who are enabling the Iraq war to continue:
The only that is going on here is by Republicans in the Senate who have continued to fabricate excuses for this Iraq war, year after year. They have been enablers of this tragedy. They have not shown the guts in most cases and vote to end this war. They will use every excuse, every slogan, every political trick to not let us end this war, so I would call that the stunt, and that’s the stunt that’s killing Americans.
Transcript: Read more
According to a new Washington Post poll, “Bush’s overall approval rating equals its all-time low…at 33 percent, with 65 percent disapproving. Fifty-two percent said they ‘strongly’ disapprove of his job performance, the highest figure of his presidency and more than three times the 16 percent who strongly approve.”
After attacking DailyKos for a few extreme comments, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly defended his cherry-picked attack, saying, “I have my own website. Open forum is bull. You can regulate what’s on your website.” Today, Kos responded with a sampling of the hateful comments on O’Reilly’s website:
Posted By: Monty (2615 posts) 11 Jul 2007 – 5:27 PM PT
Reply: RE: The O’Reilly Factor (Wed 07/11) – The culture war goes to the ballpark, Should we be worried about terrorism?, Drugs, cheating and sports, more…
I have been to many ballgames and I never saw heterosexuals slobbering over each other all over the place. There might be a few who do it, but it was obvious that the homosexuals were doing what they always do when they have a stage and that is flaunt their fagginess to an “in your face extreme”.
Posted By: MadDog (961 posts) 21 Jul 2007 – 7:34 PM PT
Reply: RE: Future San Francisco Disasters
Get out or perish with the sodomites…
Either O’Reilly’s not regulating his website as he says or he simply doesn’t consider hoping for the destruction of an American city to be an example of hateful speech.
Hugo Lindgren glosses Tyler Cowen’s view on what makes for good cuisine: “The magic ingredient, he elaborates, is extreme income inequality, which ensures a large reservoir of cheap labor to grow and prepare the food, as well as a sufficient number of rich people who, being rich, must eat well.”