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Tag: "barack obama"

Doesn’t Obama Know He Was Supposed to Order Freedom Mustard?

[ 0 ] May 6, 2009 |

The real scandal is that he ordered his burger medium well.

Take it to the Bank!!!!

[ 0 ] January 20, 2009 |

Given the near certainty that Barack Obama will announce the complete communization of the United States in his inaugural address, it would be irresponsible not to spend all morning at Circuit City buying discounted flat screen tvs and Blu-Ray players.

Jeremiah Wright=Falstaff?

[ 0 ] January 5, 2009 |

Eve Fairbanks and I diavlogged yesterday on, among other things, the critical issue of whether Barack Obama or George W. Bush more resembles Prince Hal of Henry IV parts 1 and 2:


[ 0 ] December 23, 2008 |

Does this mean that Obama will try to have John Roberts arrested?

Making Me *BLARF*

[ 0 ] December 18, 2008 |

What Adam and Matt and Digby and everyone else said. The presence of Rick Warren is inexcusable; the guy is more dangerous than James Dobson, and at least six times as annoying.

This isn’t Right…

[ 0 ] December 6, 2008 |

This op-ed lists William Ayers as the author of “Fugitive Days” and “Race Course”, but not of “Dreams of My Father”; that can’t be right…

Moneyball Campaigning

[ 1 ] November 15, 2008 |

I think Ezra gets this right. Obama’s primary campaign, in particular, was clearheaded, methodical and rational, focusing on delegates rather than “media cycles” and other mystical nonsense. With the Clinton campaign, the frightening thing was not merely their “voters/states that vote for us count more even if it’s a minority coalition” spin — when doomed campaigns are spinning, they have to by definition say things that aren’t true — but that they acted as if it was true.

None of this is to say, of course, that Obama’s win was inevitable. Resources and institutional advantanges matter; you can get away with hiring a Mark Penn or a Ned Colletti if your opponnent is a Bob Dole or a Brian Sabean. If Edwards had been Clinton’s major opponent, her old-school campaign/attractive candidate combination would have been enough. And Obama’s ability to get funds from online donors is a rare instance of the internet really having a major impact on a campaign. Even Billy Beane can’t win consistently with nothing to work with, and without the ability to tap enough small donors to make his campaign clearly viable the Obama’s vastly superior tactics wouldn’t have been enough. Same thing in the general — although I rarely say such things, I think McCain’s campaign really was abysmal, but under the right structural circumstances he could have won. (And conversely, under these structural circumstances he had virtually no chance; we can quibble about margins, but I don’t think there’s any serious question that Clinton/Penn would have also beaten them pretty badly.)

But, then, sabermetric analysis is always about probabilities, not certainties. Obama’s smart decisions increased his odds, and in both cases it was enough.

Obama is the New Canada

[ 0 ] November 14, 2008 |

Backpackers: Stop wasting your time trying to memorize words like “Chretien”, “Eh”, “Ottawa”, and “Harper”.

A Failure of Leadership

[ 0 ] November 6, 2008 |

Kevin Drum suggests that “Obama has a notable streak of temperamental caution that serves him well, but it could also betray him. Maybe he could have turned the tide against Proposition 8 in California if he’d been willing to take a risk on its behalf.” In this case, it’s a fair knock.

I can understand the difficulty of the problem. Injecting new issues into a campaign is a loser’s strategy; when the most salient issues favor you, you don’t rock the boat. Obama’s primary and general election campaigns were superbly disciplined and stayed consistently on message, and I can understand wanting to avoid the same-sex marriage issue.

But, ultimately, in the last week or two of the campaign it was overwhelmingly clear that Obama was going to win, it was clear that Prop 8 was going to be close, and it was also clear that same-sex marriage was going to be an extremely marginal issue in the federal election. Obama had already come out against it; if the McCain campaign was planning to exploit it they would have already done so. Making a statement (however cautious) against Prop 8 in the last week of the campaign could have made a major contribution to human rights without threatening Obama’s lock on the electoral college. Even to a risk-averse politician, that should have been a no-brainer, and it’s fair to criticize Obama for failing to do the right thing.

The end of something

[ 0 ] November 5, 2008 |

Race in America has always seemed to me like the terrible secret at the end of Chinatown, that isn’t really a secret at all. Forget it, Jake . . .


Ah, Damn

[ 5 ] November 3, 2008 |

Obama’s grandmother passes. I never tend to think it’s a tragedy when someone dies at the age of 86; we should all be so lucky. But the day before her grandson is likely to be elected President… no words for that.

The Infomercial

[ 10 ] October 30, 2008 |

I was working so have only seen brief excerpts — was it this good? Certainly, Tom Brady is even better than Katarina Witt. (I’m guessing that very few people still wish that Mark Penn was running the Democratic campaign…)

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