Measuring How Liberal the Candidates Are



My friend Dave Meyer — one of DC’s best political researchers and a co-conspirator on a number of projects with me — browsed through the scorecard that the National Journal used to produce the result that Senator Barack Obama was the most liberal member of the Senate in 2007. Just for the record, I do think that Barack Obama is more liberal than Hillary Clinton — but that said, I don’t think that should be considered a negative. However, Meyer…

Winograd Report Does Not Bring Down Olmert



At least thus far, the coalition partner’s in Ehud Olmert’s current government seemed poised to remain where it is, even after the release of the Winograd Report — which criticizes the government for its actions and decision-making in the Lebanon War. I strongly support President Bush’s efforts to get some kind of deal track set between Abbas and Olmert on a negotiated two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. In the current climate, Olmert is probably the best leader Israel has,…

Pittsburgh and Denver



Members of the global steel cartel used to set steel prices at the Duquesne Club where I enjoyed an interesting evening tonight with board members and donors of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. My task was to outline some of the fault lines in foreign policy and how this fits into the various campaigns. I had a great evening with an informed crowd — but it is a challenge to discuss all of this without getting overly complex, and…

White House Silliness: Whiners Try to Micro-Manage America’s Effective Ambassador to UN



I’m not sure of this, but my hunch is that Zalmay Khalilzad is probably the highest level Muslim in the Bush administration, and he’s brought a skill set of diplomatic dexterity to the Ambassadorial position at the United Nations vacated by John Bolton. Various UN watchers, international diplomats, and even other colleagues of his inside the White House see that Khalilzad has bolstered America’s position and credentials at the United Nations. But now someone in the White House (and I…

Pickering/Jones Afghanistan Study Group Ponders American/NATO Failure in Afghanistan



The Afghanistan Study Group — co-chaired by General Jim Jones and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering will release its report today in an unusual event in the Senate Dirksen Building. The Pickering/Jones Afghanistan Study Group report will be issued along with two other Afghanistan reports also to be released today by the Strategic Advisors Group of the Atlantic Council and the National Defense University. The Afghanistan Study Group was launched by the Center for the Study of the Presidency after the…

Who Got a Tan in Florida?



First of all, the Democrats as a party scored big in Florida. Turnout was huge among Democrats — just truly impressive in a state that knew that it was being neglected by Democratic campaigners for moving the date of its primary ahead of February 5th. Second, Hillary Clinton — despite those who say it didn’t matter — scored a win that matters. To some degree, Florida neutralizes the momentum Obama achieved in South Carolina and gets both back to a…

The Sicilian Approach is Un-American



When John McCain lost in 2000 to President Bush, his followers were left to wander in the wilderness during President Bush’s first term. They had chosen the wrong horse and Bush’s loyalty-obsessed handlers wanted to make the McCain team pay. By the time the second term came around, there was some loosening but not much. There are stories percolating now that some Dem campaigns are telling others — “you are with us or you are against us;” “if you help…