Phoebe Connelly

Phoebe Connelly is a former web editor of the Prospect. Previously, she was managing editor of In These Times. She writes on political culture, human rights and feminism.

Recent Articles

THE SMELL OF FEAR.

Echoing what Dana said, it looks like Howard Wolfson and company are starting to reach a bit. Now they're citing an essay Barack Obama wrote in third grade! What's next, his middle school yearbook haircut as an indictment? -- Tom Schaller

GAMING OUT MCCAIN'S IMPROBABLE WIN.

As I said in August in a Baltimore Sun column , I still think John McCain is the Republicans' best bet to keep the White House in 2008. Though I sometimes disagree with David Broder , he's right about the lure of a McCain-Mike Huckabee ticket. Without repeating my reasons for believing McCain is the most electable Republican, let me switch to a discussion of the possible scenario for how McCain could pull the nomination rabbit out of the hat: 1. Huckabee wins Iowa, thereby sinking Mitt Romney 's robotic, pandering candidacy. 2. Giuliani 's late start in iconoclastic New Hampshire (he's just going up with television ads there) is simply too little, too late, permitting McCain, who of course did amazingly well there in 2000, to surge there in a way that Huckabee the southern preacher cannot in such a Catholic (38 percent) state. Rudy or Romney finishes second behind McCain, with Huckabee falling to third or fourth, taking the steam out of his Iowa win. 3. The long wait until February 5...

OVERFLOWING WITH CAUTION.

Despite what I said about the Obama campaign's growing confidence, there was an interesting moment after Obama's speech when he poked briefly into the overflow room to greet and thank throngs of his supporters, who had packed that room because the main ballroom was full. In fact, they were so loud that sound from the second room, which was adjacent to the main hall, could be heard for several moments after Obama's introduction, and he couldn't start his remarks until things calmed down. (And, smartly, he smiled and paused so that the extra boostering would be noticed by the audience and the media.) Anyway, in the overflow room Obama began with the usual thank-you-for-all-you-do rally stuff, and exhorted them to "finish strong." But then he told them during the final 30 days not to "read the newspapers and pay any attention to who is up and who is down in the polls." The comment reminded me of four years ago, when the host of this event, now-DNC Chair Howard Dean, was riding a late-...

CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED.

The Clinton campaign is raising the issue of Barack Obama 's incomplete health care plan and misleading statements about what it does and does not do. Clinton camp internet director Peter Daou published this at HuffPo calling on Obama campaign chair David Axelrod to correct the record. At the DNC fall meeting here in Leesburg, Virginia, Axelrod was asked about the flap, and he was dismissive, even a bit cheered by it. "Our plan has been out there for months, and now [the Clinton people] are coming out with this?...That tells me they are either slow on the uptake or [campaign] circumstances have changed. And I don't think they're slow on the uptake." Translation: The Obama campaign now feels comfortable enough to commence a "Hillary is grasping" meme. In fact, Axelrod went on to compare the Clinton campaign to a plane that has hit turbulence and the folks piloting it as scrambling around to regain control. Suffice to say, with a month to go, things are heating up. Correction: I meant...

Personal Finance Gets Political

Self-help finance guru Suze Orman has had an epiphany: Lending institutions could use some regulation.

Illustration by Steve Brodner.
Suze Orman's seven-day December cruise around the Caribbean has been cancelled. In between shuffle board and sunning, the popular financial adviser had been slated to dispense wisdom on "How to Make More Out of Less," "Retirement Planning," "Investments," and "Estate Planning." But at a time when 2.2 million people have lost, or risk losing, their homes due to the mortgage crisis, when credit card debt has nearly tripled, and when the average student leaves college with $21,000 of student loan debt, it seems few people were willing to drop the $1,000-plus ticket price to learn the mantra of the personal finance industry: You, and you alone, have the power to control your financial destiny. During the fat years, this message defined the attitude of both the personal finance industry and the average American toward our money and our debt. But in these leaner years, some wise finance-watchers are seeing the limits of the up-by-your-bootstraps mantra. And now, surprisingly, even Orman has...

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