Mr Bush, of course, is more lame duck than poisoned chicken. The eyes of the world are on his successor. But I still harbour a conviction that for all their expectation of a brave new dawn, the Europeans are going to miss Mr Bush in ways that they are only beginning to understand.
They'll miss, first, having a villain in the White House. It's a really convenient excuse to avoid doing anything yourself on pressing global concerns. And if Senator Obama wins, while the tone and nuances will sound more mellifluous to Europeans ears, most of those issues won't change, and some might actually become a lot worse.
-- GERARD BAKER
I have my own personal nomination for vice president for McCain. It’s Rudy Giuliani, precisely because he shares the vision of a practical, reforming, war-winning Republican Party that inspires John McCain, plus the stronger-than-usual grounds for hoping that he might be the rare candidate who can make a difference in an essential state — in this case, New Jersey.
But, my personal preferences aside, I hope, Senator, that you will make your choice with this consideration in mind: This choice may prove to be your most important legacy to your party and your country. Your nominee probably won’t help your candidacy–but he or she may secure your vision or else destroy your reputation. Sports talk about the veepstakes is good, entertaining political fun. But a party in as much trouble as the GOP in 2008 has little time for fun.
-- DAVID FRUM
No wonder John McCain, who has had the nomination sewn up for months, is taking his own sweet time about picking a running mate. He's got to have figured out by now that whoever he picks to placate his extremist base is going to be a millstone around his neck in the general. As VP candidates go, it's likely that any choce accepatble to social conservatives and neocons alike will make Dan Qualye and Dick Cheney look like paragons of sanity and moderation by comparison.
The current front runner appears to be sometime-exorcist and intelligent design pusher Bobby Jindal - who my good friend Kyle Moore thinks would be the very best pick . . . from the Democrats' point of view.
I've got another candidate in mind. Pantswetting idiot Newt Gingrich. He plays well to both the warmongers and the seven-day-Earthers, and he's already backed Jindal so you get a two-fer. He and McCain could run on a platform of fearmongering, spouse-cheating and gaffes together. What's not to like?
From time to time, you'll hear a high-minded liberal (one who probably doesn't worry about his manufacturing job getting shipped overseas, for example) express support for Obama because of his "intellectual habits." The Senator from Illinois isn't a knee-jerk Democratic Party loyalist, they say. He seeks out opposing view points and assimilates their best arguments into his own thinking.
In dealing with [Patrick] Buchanan, one must accept at the beginning two caveats. First, as is his style, he will always resort to ad hominem attacks in lieu of an argument. . . .
Second, Buchanan unfortunately is neither a reliable journalist nor an historian, and thus simply cannot be trusted to report accurately what is written.
So hiring former
Clintonstaffers is a slap in the face, thinking about nominating a woman other than as VP is a slap-in-the-face, and, well, pretty much everything is a slap-in-the-face. THE QUEEN BEE DOES NOT HAVE THE NOMINATION, AND EVERYTHING IS A SLAP IN THE FACE. Clinton
Here is an idea. Why don't we ignore these people, who clearly have nothing to offer but petty grievances and playing the victim? Seriously, grow up. As every day goes by, the Clintonistas look more and more like garden variety wingnuts, and should probably be treated as such. Just ignore them or mock them until they decide to stop trying to stir shit up (and it is worth noting that Obama was in talks with Doyle for over a month. This is no surprise to anyone, and back then it was perceived as a sign of reconciliation between the two camps.)
-- JOHN COLE
In his eternal quest for the Republican presidential nomination, the supposed maverick John McCain has repeatedly reversed long-held positions and compromised purportedly core principles. . . .
But over the past two weeks, McCain's rapid fire, acrobatic flip-flops have produced whiplash, at least for voters. 10 times since the beginning of June, McCain has retreated from, upended or just forgotten positions he once claimed as his own. On Social Security, balancing the budget, defense spending, domestic surveillance and a host of other issues so far this month, McCain’s "Straight Talk Express" did a U-turn on the road to the White House.
-- JOHN PERR
I realized that the tax cuts enacted by the Bush administration are, in effect, a fiscal poison pill aimed at future administrations. True, the tax cuts won’t prevent a change in management — the Constitution sees to that. But they will make it hard for the next president to change the country’s direction. . . . Anyway, back to my main theme: looking at the tax proposals of the two presidential candidates, it’s remarkable and disheartening to see how effective President Bush’s fiscal poison pill has been in restricting the terms of debate.
-- PAUL KRUGMAN
Lately I've been wondering what an Obama White House might mean for the future of bling. For the fate of heavy gold, medallions, below-the-butt denim, the whole hip-hop gangsta fashion habit. What if January 20, 2009 turned out to be not just a cultural and clothing pivot point for adults -- a return to the minimalism of sleek, 60s-era sharkskin suits, the containment of golf-ball sized Barbara Bush costume pearls -- but a watershed fashion moment for teenaged boys?
Cartoon by Tom Toles/Universal Press Syndicate