Monthly Archives: June 2009

It Came From Wasilla (Why Can’t It Go Back?)

I’m having a hard time deciding whether Todd Purdum’s exhaustive profile of Sarah Palin in the new issue of Vanity Fair just isn’t that interesting, or if she’s just not that interesting.  I think it’s the latter. Every revelation here, aside from the news that Mark McKinnon helped prepare the Governor for her debate against […]

American Idol?

Check out the latest World Public Opinion poll on the popularity of various global leaders among their own publics and abroad.  President Obama is the hands-down “winner” — though Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories rate him significantly lower than does much of the rest of the world. Also of note:  […]

An Interesting Talk by Jeff Immelt

What comes to mind when you hear the words, “manufacturing economy?” If you said, “China today” or “the United States, 30 years ago,” you’d be in the mainstream.   Conventional wisdom long ago abandoned the idea of America as a manufacturing economy.  We’re a consumption-led, services-based economy now.  Right? In this speech before the Detroit Economic […]

Not Just Left, But Right

Ed Walsh has quickly become one of my favorite conservatives.  Of course, I disagree with him about 94 percent of the time, too, but he’s always thoughtful, and he’s always entertaining. Ed makes good points about a public health plan option, but I guess I have more faith in the private sector than he does.  […]

Best of the Left

Robert Reich is my favorite liberal. I don’t know him from Adam, and I disagree with his take on policy roughly 94 percent of the time. But I generally find him to be congenial on television and well thought-out in print. When I saw that he had written an op-ed about health care reform in […]

A Fresh Look at the “Evil Empire”

A guest post today from another new addition to the West Wing Writers team, David Litt: As a 22 year-old, I’ve always associated the phrase “Evil Empire,” with the New York Yankees, not the USSR. I’m embarrassed to say that I had never even read President Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech. I’d meant to, but, like […]

Did I Say Appalachia? I Meant Argentina.

Unsurprising 3:00 pm update: Governor Sanford acknowledges he was having an affair with a woman in Argentina. Original post: To the relief of apparently no one who knows him well, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford returned from his magical mystery tour today. While staff had told the press and other public officials that the governor was AWOL […]

No Exceptions

President Obama today issued some of his strongest words about the situation unfolding in Iran. Opening his 378th press conference, the president said: The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I […]

Taking Exception, Take II

There is no question—as Clark states in his latest post—that President Reagan’s words helped empower Soviet freedom fighters in the early 1980s. But as the last administration demonstrated on more than one occasion—from “wanted dead or alive” to “mission accomplished” to “axis of evil”—there is a big difference between talking tough and projecting strength. To […]

Paying Tribute to Title IX

A guest posting today from the latest addition to our West Wing Writers team, Julia Lam: Thirty-seven years ago today, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 into law, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.  While Title IX applies to nearly […]

Taking Exception

I want to offer a counterpoint to Clark’s latest post, in which he argued that the president’s response to the dramatic events unfolding in Iran have “sharpened the growing impression that he is not a man of strength.” Scott Wilson, in this morning’s Washington Post, has a front page story describing the apparent partisan divide […]

A Show of Weakness

In this blog and in columns before Election Day 2008, I have warned that Mr. Obama was in danger of being seen as congenitally weak.  For some time now, he has needed to take actions — even actions that might cut against his grain — to establish that he will be resolute in the face […]

Missing: Obama Eloquence on Iran

President Obama has been reserved in his comments about the situation unfolding in Iran, and politicians and commentators across the political spectrum are urging him to say more. The president’s low-volume strategy is undergirded by two assumptions: first, that public support from the US president will feed the Iranian regime’s efforts to pin the protests […]

Say My Name, Say My Name

I don’t want to get into name-calling, but some people in Washington have become VERY sensitive about how they’re addressed. Yesterday Politico tattled on Elizabeth “For the love of God, don’t call me Liz” Becton, a Congressional scheduler who teed off on a K Street executive assistant for mistakenly using the L-word in an email. In a […]

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

One of the quirks of Republican speechmaking is that for all their bluster about small government, Republicans often define their achievements by how much money they spend. President Bush, for instance, touted the extra education funding he doled out alongside the reforms of No Child Left Behind. I’ve always thought it’s a bit of a […]