MCCAIN'S TEMPER. For an interesting preview of the coming smear job on John McCain, check out Newsmax's article questioning whether McCain has the temperament to be President. It warns that, "to insiders who know him, McCain has an irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief." Ooh -- scandal!
ON ITS FACE! Remember two weeks ago? Those were the days. The Boston Globe offers a recap of Jason Zengerle versus the blogs (without mentioning, though, the hilarious "blogofascism" interlude) in which Zengerle observes, "I mean, what do they call us, 'The Joe Lieberman Weekly,' stuff like that. That is kind of ridiculous on its face." On its face, I would say people call them that because they ran an unsigned editorial arguing that . . . Joe Lieberman should be President of the United States and put it on the cover of the magazine.
THERE SHE GOES AGAIN. My eagle eyes are always scouring the Web for mentions of unlikely reformer Queen Nour, absolute monarch of Jordan, who seems to be in Aspen:
Secretary Albright was to discuss "The Changing Middle East" with the Jordanian, Egyptian, and Israeli ambassadors to the United States, with Queen Noor sitting beside the Jordanian ambassador. Dov Zakheim, the former CFO and Under Secretary of Defense, moderated.
THE POLITICS OF PERSONALITY. There's a fascinating new Gallup poll out today parsing the public's views of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Surprise finding: Only 3 percent of Democrats dislike Clinton on account of her views on the Iraq War. The main reasons Democrats do object to Clinton are, instead, a perception that she's wishy-washy or changes her mind on issues; is overly aggressive or overbearing; and that they "simply don't like her," for unspecified reasons. Republicans who dislike Clinton, meanwhile, do so primarily for substantive reasons (e.g., a disagreement with her "political views in general") as well as for personal reasons (e.g., seeing her as "wishy-washy" and simply not trusting her).
WHITE FLIGHT? I'm not really sure what to make of this data showing that the deterioration in the President's poll numbers is largely due to "white flight," with non-Hispanic white support for Bush dropping by about 20 points since June 2004. That tracks pretty closely with the accelerating rise in gas prices, but it's hard to disaggregate concerns over fuel costs from the war in Iraq, Bush's mishandling of Katrina, and all the other sundry scandals and failures that have marked this administration's second term.
WHY OBJECTIVITY NEEDS DEFENDERS. To follow up on something we were discussing last week, via ThinkProgress comes word of this shift on the part of the U.S. military:
Rod Nordland, a former Baghdad bureau chief for Newsweek, says the U.S. military �has started censoring many [embedded reporting] arrangements.� �They want to know your slant on a story - they use the word slant - what you intend to write, and what you have written from embed trips before. If they don�t like what you have done before, they refuse to take you.�
BLOGS AND GROUPS.Noam Scheiber, in this whale of a post, teases out some of the implications of the interactions between netroots types and traditional liberal interest groups that Garance wrote about yesterday. I think the macro-level impact of the rise of netroots influence should actually be pretty easy to summarize -- ceteris paribus it will make the party less liberal on the issues that are really, really important to key interest groups and more liberal on the other issues.
LEFT, RIGHT, AND CRAZY.ViaBelle Waring, Michael Ledeenuncorks a doozy:
In today's "reportage" of the World Cup semifinal between Italy and Germany, the (lefty) Washington Post reported that the game-winning goal was scored on a left-footed kick, while the (righty) Washington Times reported it was scored on a right-footed kick. The Post account was correct, but don't you find it mysteriously symbolic of something or other?
This mostly seems symbolic of the dementia of rightwing media criticism to me.
MORE ON NUTMEGGERS.Garance reminds me of something that will be a very important factor if Lamont wins the primary.
If that happens, certain MSM liberal and centrist pundits will start writing immediately about how the Democrats have lost their soul, gone radical, cashiered the last good man (I know, but they will). That will set a tone: Virtue will triumph only if Lieberman pulls it out. That narrative will be set in stone unless, that is, three things happen.