Looking in on the Dartmouth debate

The roll calls for the two Senate votes from today referenced during the discussion of Iraq are here (federalism in Iraq) and here (Iran). News reports here (Iraq) and here (Iran).

Much more on the debate at Drew Cline's live blog.

Joe Biden's lash-out at Rudy Giuliani -- he called him the most uninformed person running for president when it comes to foreign policy -- was nothing compared to Biden's shots at Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson and John Edwards at the AARP debate in Iowa. Watch for yourself. And anyway, Joe, Rudy is famous!

Richardson's awkwardly delivered math pitch: Clinton (experience) + Obama (change) = me! He's said this before.

The crowd has been quieter than at most other debates. But the Dartmouth kids woke up at the question about the drinking age! A recent Valley News editorial (the local paper in Hanover) quoted Dartmouth President James Wright as follows: "I think they should be able to drink at 18 if they can go and fight in Anbar province at 18.” Mike Gravel agrees. So does Dennis Kucinich. Sorry, frosh, ain't gonna happen.

Obama and Clinton each got dynasty questions -- Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. If you're tired of those names, Katy Burns is with you.

The Yankees just clinched a playoff spot. The Red Sox, of course, already have. Richardson must be doubly proud. And now Clinton has made an equally inartful dodge between the Yankees and Cubs. In the words of Charlie Brown: Good grief.

UPDATE: Full transcript here. And, according to the New York Times "transcript analyzer," Biden wuz robbed! There were 20,000 words spoken at this debate, and the never-been-called-tight-lipped senator from Delaware spoke only 1,400 of them. Moderator Tim Russert came in first, with more than 3,600 words. Clinton (3,153), Obama, Edwards and Dodd all topped 2,000. (Actually, Biden has made a point of being concise at these debates.)


Don't take that call

"Mr. Giuliani doesn't need more weird."

- The Wall Street Journal, on Rudy's phone call from his wife at the NRA convention.


Remembering Little Rock

"We in Arkansas have wandered around in ambiguity, all kinds of explanations and justifications. And I think today we come to say once and for all that what happened here 40 years ago was simply wrong. It was evil, and we renounce it."

- Mike Huckabee, 10 years ago, marking the 40th anniversary of the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.

Shelby Steele wrote yesterday on the 50th anniversary. (The newspaper being held up by then-Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus in the accompanying photo is the Manchester Union Leader.)


Obama on the air

Barack Obama's first New Hampshire ad is here.


The quotable Fred

"I have a complicated position on this: The Constitution means what it says."

- Fred Thompson, on the 2nd Amendment, speaking to the NRA convention

Coverage of other candidate appearances here.


What does a Ron Paul fundraising letter look like?

From today's e-mail blast:

Dear friend,
Our American way of life is under attack. And it is up to us to save it.
The world's elites are busy forming a North American Union. If they succeed, as they were in forming the European Union, the good ol' USA will only be a memory. We cannot let that happen.
The UN wants to confiscate our firearms and impose a global tax. The UN elites want to control the oceans with the Law of the Sea Treaty. And they want to use our military to police the world.
Our right to own and use property is fading because bureaucrats and special interests are abusing eminent domain.
Our right to educate our children as we choose is under assault. "No Child Left Behind" is seeing to that. And our right to say "no" to forced mental screening of our school-aged children is nearly gone. The elites gave us a national ID card. They also gave us the most misnamed legislation in history: The Patriot Act. And these same people are pushing to give amnesty to illegal immigrants and erase our national borders.
Record government debt is putting a burden on our children and grandchildren that is shameful.
Yes. Our American way of life is under attack. And it's understandable that many are concerned, even discouraged, about the kind of country our children and grandchildren will inherit.
But we must never let discouragement become surrender.
One reason I am NOT discouraged is because I know I am not fighting alone. Each day I head out I know that you and thousands of other patriotic, freedom-loving Americans are right beside me, standing brave and true for what is good and right.
I need your help now, more than ever, to save the country we love...for the people we love.
My wife Carol and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary early this year. We are proud parents of five children and 18 grandchildren. We love them very much, as I know you love your family.
As a U.S. congressman, I always think about the well-being of my family and of all the families of our great nation when I cast a vote or introduce legislation. I also remember that I have sworn a solemn oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.
For me, upholding that oath is the first and best way to preserve and protect the blessed American way of life for our children and grandchildren.
And now you know why I'm running for president of the United States.


Sununu breaks from party on habeas corpus

New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu joined five other Republicans, Arlen Specter, Chuck Hagel, Dick Lugar, Gordon Smith and Olympia Snowe, in voting to advance, according to The Washington Post, "an effort to reverse a provision of last year's Military Commissions Act, which suspended the writ of habeas corpus for terrorism suspects" at Guantanamo Bay. (The measure would give Gitmo prisoners access to federal courts to challenge their detention.) There were 56 votes in favor; 60 were needed to avoid a filibuster. Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama supported restoring habeas corpus. Republicans Sam Brownback and John McCain did not.


Supreme forecasting

The headline-making cases of the last Supreme Court term ended largely in 5-4 decisions that pleased people who encouraged President Bush's appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the court. For the moment, then, the court's loudest critics are on the left -- suggesting that change on the court may be a stronger rallying cry for Democrats than for Republicans (for whom it has been exactly that for a while).

Not so fast, says Tom Goldstein. The headline-making cases from the coming term are the ones most likely to drive voters to the polls in November 2008. And, looking ahead, he writes:

"There is in fact the genuine prospect that the Court will hold (potentially by a five-to-four vote each time) that the government may ban the possession of pistols (possibly guns altogether, if there is no individual Second Amendment right), that child rapists cannot be executed, that certain federal legislation regulating child pornography is unconstitutional, that the Administration's treatment of alleged terrorists is unlawful, and that sentences for crack cocaine should be reduced. In that entirely realistic scenario, it is conservatives who will be aggressively using the Court as a rallying cry - in particular, the cry of the urgent need to move the Court a single seat to the right with the likely retirement of Justice Stevens - in the 2008 election."


Rudy's favorite ad?

Just thinking out loud here . . . At the TV commercial archive mentioned below, you can watch a Ronald Reagan ad from 1980. The announcer calls being governor of California the second biggest job in the nation and credits Reagan with turning a state in crisis into a model of prosperity: "Governor Reagan became the greatest tax reformer in the state's history."

Substitute "mayor of New York" for "governor of California" and update the numbers, and isn't this the Rudy Giuliani playbook? (Regardless of whether he cut 23 taxes or just 15.)


You like Ike, I like Ike, everybody . . .

. . . likes Ike for president.

The link takes you to an archive of presidential campaign commercials stretching back to 1952. It appears to be a work in progress.


Tom Brady for president

Well, not exactly. But fantasy footballers can bring their expertise to the 2008 election here.

UPDATE: Or, if you prefer, here.


Wiki (not Willkie)

How good a resource for the presidential election is Wikipedia? The Washington Post explores some of the debates users have had over how to portray the candidates here. This graphic, titled "The [Fred] Thompson Wiki War," illustrates the point.


The quotable Newt

"There are no Giuliani-Kennedy bills. There are no Giuliani-Feingold bills. Giuliani is a New York, moderate Republican. But he hasn't gone out of his way to pick fights with the Republican base."

-- Newt Gingrich, on why Rudy Giuliani may get more of a pass from the Republican base than John McCain.

"Not necessarily."

-- Gingrich, on whether he wants to run for president.


Obama on Iraq

The text of Barack Obama's speech on Iraq yesterday is here. The latest essay on Iraq from George Packer suggests that anyone with The Answer is oversimplifying. And then there's today's news: that Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the most prominent of the Sunni Sheiks to have partnered with the United States against al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed. (More here and here.)


McCain goes 'all in'

Shorter John McCain on Iraq: I told you so (again and again).