On March 4, 2008, Hillary Clinton won surprise victories in primary elections in Texas and Ohio. At first, it seemed to be a momentous shift of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, making Barack Obama's victory seem not so inevitable after all, as some had believed it to be since he won the Iowa caucus two months before.
But it quickly became apparent that Clinton's popular-vote wins were almost meaningless. In the contests that took place that day, Obama had actually garnered more delegates than Clinton. His march to the nomination continued unabated. By executing a carefully planned strategy of delegate accumulation and worrying less about the campaign's daily ups and downs, Obama bested a more seasoned rival to become the Democratic candidate.
One of the oddest things we've seen in recent weeks is the way Republicans have taken to lashing out at congressional staff.
First you had Newt Gingricharguing that health-care reform couldn't be done right because it was in the hands of staffers "who have never had a real job, who spent their entire life being arrogant to visitors from back home, who end up thinking they know a lot because they stay up until 3 o'clock working on a word processor, and who write legislation as though they have some contact with reality."
Remember during the 2008 primary campaign how Obama supporters argued that one reason not to elect Hillary Clinton was that she would unite Republicans against her? And that since they hated her so much, they'd wage a scorched-earth campaign against everything she tried to do, miring the country in years of bitter and angry conflict, full of insane and venomous charges that would force the administration to defend itself against the conspiracy theories of an increasingly unhinged opposition? And that they'd work their supporters up into such a lather of hatred that we might see a repeat of the early 1990s, with the rise of right-wing anti-government populism that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing?
The blogosphere has been abuzz with the strange case of David Frum, who just got canned from his cozy sinecure at the American Enterprise Institute, probably the second-most-important think tank on the right (after the Heritage Foundation).
The census Web site has long been dreadful, a circa-1995 dump of a place. Which is a pity, because they have some of the richest data in the world, yet to get at it you have to go through layers and layers of menus until you reach ... a downloadable excel file. If they had the will (and the time, and the money), they could make their site a cornucopia of informative, accessible, and interactive infographics. But they don't.