Sam Boyd

Sam Boyd is a former assistant web editor at the Prospect

Recent Articles


Call me crazy, but shouldn't it be bigger news that four people may have been planning on assassinating Barack Obama ? CBS4 has now learned at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges. CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass reported one of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle … sighted at 750 yards." Law enforcement sources tell Maass that one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative." It's not clear how serious this was, but the sourcing seems solid (more here ). But the cable news pundits aren't mentioning it at all, and it hasn't gotten a mention on The New York Times site, CNN, or MSNBC. Shouldn't this be a bigger deal? --Sam Boyd


I'm watching the convention on C-Span from my couch in D.C. like a good blogger (no Cheetos though) and from my perspective Claire McCaskill is knocking this out of the park. Rather than vague statements about how Obama is, like, totally awesome, she's saying McCain would be a bad president . Doesn't sound like much, but no one else is doing it. "Change" as a message is meaningless without any argument about, you know, why we need it . McCaskill, unlike so many other people out there tonight, is making that argument and arguing that McCain represents part of the problem, not the solution. It's not an artful speech or particularly well delivered, but it actually makes sense logically, and that makes up for a lot. --Sam Boyd


I'll echo Dana and Ann 's comments about Kathleen Sebelius and add a few of my own. As this nice New York Times piece points out, Sebelius reinforces Obama 's core message in a way none of the other potential VPs do. She has a record of working with Republicans to achieve progressive aims -- increasing school funding, blocking the construction of new coal plants -- in exactly the same way Obama promises to do. That message of bipartisan change, which has been the center of Obama's brand since his convention speech in 2004, has gotten lost in the shuffle over the last month as Obama has dived into the general election. It's still his strongest argument and I can't think of a better way to reinforce it than picking Sebelius. Picking Biden , on the other hand, would signal a deliberate decision to abandon that approach and run a more traditional Democratic campaign, and if there's one thing Obama isn't, it's traditional. What's more, Sebelius' relative absence from VP speculation over...


For a while now, I've been wondering why no one is talking about the Senate race in Oklahoma (yes really, Oklahoma). In fact, I've been wondering long enough that I wrote an article about the Democrat in the race, Andrew Rice , for In These Times a few months ago. Now, Washington Post campaign guru Chris Cillizza highlights a new poll showing the race in single-digits after a month of advertising by Rice. So far, Rice's ads are gauzy positive spots, aimed at boosting his name ID and positive perceptions. When I spoke with Rice in March, he also seemed very optimistic about the possibility of using incumbent James Inhofe 's egregious environmental record against him, though that may have changed in the last few months. And, while Inhofe will presumably continue to enjoy a big lead in fundraising, (being the most vocal denier of global warming in the Senate helps to open up those oil-industry pocketbooks) the DSCC's big cash advantage over the NRSC and the low cost of media in the state...


MSNBC just announced that, starting on September 8, Rachel Maddow will have her own nightly show on MSNBC at 9 p.m., right after Keith Olbermann 's show at 8. She'll replace Dan Abrams , who will remain on the network. I'm working a piece about Maddow for the next issue of the Prospect ; she's a fascinating figure, a great object lesson for progressives in the media, and also just a deeply sensible person. I'm not surprised by this development, though it came somewhat sooner than I expected (As Olbermann points out in a Daily Kos diary entry about the announcement, she's only been a paid guest on MSNBC for five months). It's also worth noting that, while Olbermann's support has been part of her success at MSNBC she's also really well liked by executives there. Fans of her Air America radio show shouldn't worry, her show's executive producer Vanessa Silverton-Peel just confirmed to me over email that it will continue. As Maddow told me about doing both, "If Glenn Beck can do it" she...