Up Front


After a few months of tactical wavering, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol has found his inner feminist. The day after the Iowa caucuses, Kristol thanked Barack Obama for preventing a "Clinton Restoration." (Scientists are currently exploring "The Kristol Effect," an unexplained phenomenon wherein a Kristol prediction can actually make said outcome less likely to occur.) As the Democratic primary seasons refused to end, however, Kristol whined that "white women are a problem we all live with."

But as convention time for the Democrats closed in, Kristol, as Ann Coulter might say, was "practically lactating" the milk of gender equity. He declared that he was "appalled" by the "sexism and misogyny" Democratic primary voters had demonstrated by not nominating Hillary Clinton, although Kristol had once proclaimed that she "hasn't passed any legislation" and had accused her of "pretending to cry" to win the New Hampshire primary. And after Barack Obama picked Joe Biden to be his running mate, Kristol wrung his hands in concern about "gender equity" in the Democratic Party.

Of course, all the gender problems in the Republican Party have been solved now that militantly anti-choice Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska has become the Party's vice-presidential nominee. Kristol himself is now the model feminist. While a few weeks earlier he had dismissed Palin as an inadequate pick because of a complete lack of foreign-policy experience, days after the rollout Kristol abruptly declared that "insiders ... overly value" experience. Looks like he's gotten over his problem with white women.


By the final night of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, the Prospect began to pick up a groundswell of media opinion. Our colleagues just couldn't bring themselves to go down onto the convention floor again and talk to the delegates.

Problem is, the social composition of Republican Convention delegations grows more retro and insular with each passing convention. The problem isn't just demographic, though this year's GOP conclave was whiter and maler than any in years. The real problem is what these insulated Americans believe: This year, according to a New York Times poll of the delegates, 57 percent of them considered the state of the economy either very or fairly good. In a word, the GOP delegates were anti-empiricists. There are no facts for them, no solutions: There are only conservative facts and conservative solutions. Hence their chant "Drill, baby, drill" as their response to the search for a proper energy policy. Hence their immersion in their party's perpetual cultural civil war -- not until Sarah Palin's cosmopolitan-bashing speech did the convention floor come alive.

"I can't stand it," one of America's most bipartisan journalists told us on the convention's final night. "I just can't talk to these people any more." Other reporters swore to us they'd interview no more delegates.

Or consider this crack, which one (female) media wag told a Prospect reporter during the balloon drop at the conclusion of John McCain's speech: "What's the difference between those balloons and the heads of the female Republican delegates? Lipstick."


Over the summer, John McCain has had his fun trying to make Barack Obama out to be a celebrity on par with heiress Paris Hilton. But McCain's Obama makeover is more revealing of his own tastes than of Obama's: After all, he married an heiress of his own, his second wife, Cindy.

Can you tell Cindy and Paris apart? Take the Prospect quiz and guess which of them fits the following descriptions:

  1. Spent time in rehab for a painkiller addiction after being caught with illegal prescriptions.
  2. Is planning a humanitarian trip to Rwanda.
  3. Family money begins with father's mob ties.
  4. Wore a $313,100 outfit to recent gala event.
  5. Family business under social-conservative scrutiny for pornography connection.
  6. Offered coherent energy policy in recently produced political Web video.
  7. Attended the University of Southern California, where she was a cheerleader.
  8. Spent $273,000 on household servants last year.
  9. Began her career as a model.
  10. Served truncated jail sentence for DUI after being caught speeding several times.

Answers: 1. Cindy McCain, 2. Paris Hilton, 3. CM, 4. CM, 5. PH, 6. PH, 7. CM, 8. CM, 9. PH (Though Cindy was a Rodeo Queen), 10. PH


FROM: Steve Schmidt

TO: McCain '08 Staff and Allies


I gather that some of you are feeling uncertain over how to respond to press inquiries into the recent statements and actions of our candidate. These talking points should serve as a guide. For inquiries concerning:

John McCain's promise to become a dual citizen with the Republic of Georgia and make the country our 51st state.

RESPONSE: John McCain knows that we're all Georgians, and so do you. Once we find the second Georgia on a map, we will value it as a complement to our existing Georgia—shashlik meets sweet potato. Anyone who disagrees fails to grasp the complexities of Eurasian politics and is a craven wussy.

John McCain's promise to "annihilate the Sufi insurgents."

RESPONSE: John McCain well understands the difference between the various sects of Mohammedanism. Lesser known than the Sunnis or Shiites, the Sufis are easy to miss but many times as cunning. Unlike Obama the appeaser, John McCain will obliterate the Sufis in four years.

John McCain's proposal to provide every American family with an oil drill.

RESPONSE: Obama wants government to solve energy problems. John McCain believes in the personal initiative of each and every American. With a drill in the hands of every family, American ingenuity and creativity will take care of the rest. A thousand points of black.

John McCain's vow to "personally stuff Ahmadinejad's face into a fissile reactor."

RESPONSE: Barack Obama might want to play kissy-face with madmen, but John McCain knows exactly what he'd do to that little Tehranian turd to keep Americans safe. Just let McCain at him. Then see what happens.

John McCain's announcement of the marriage-to-be between daughter Meghan McCain and James Dobson's first eligible grandson.

RESPONSE: This is an entirely voluntary marriage. John McCain is a former prisoner of war. The media hates John McCain. You're a sexist.

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