Jim Pinkerton mocks Giuliani's "virtual fence," including a particularly vicious--but not unfair--line:
Bricks, concrete, barbed wire, all that: overrated! We don't need physical boundaries between us, only virtual boundaries. That's why we'd never put up a real fence, for instance, if we wanted to keep our children or pets from wandering away. ...[snip]
Some see weaknesses in this virtual approach. A headline in The Washington Post from Sept. 21, 2006, declared: "Plenty of Holes Seen in a 'Virtual Fence'/Border Sensors Not Enough, Experts Say." ... But President Giuliani can fix any technical challenge. After all, as mayor, he solved the problem of radio interoperability between the police and fire departments long before disaster struck on 9/11. [E.A.]
Obvious point: Dick Morris says that Hillary's attacks on Obama in Iowa give Obama "added credibility." But doesn't the Hillary vs. Obama mutual-sniping dynamic that's developed actually create an opening for Edwards to slip ahead as the acceptable, "electable" third candidate in the warped minds of Iowans--the same way ... well, John Edwards slipped ahead of Dean and Gephardt in 2004? Wouldn't it be smart for Obama to stop responding tit-for-tat to Hillary to prevent this from happening? ... P.S.: Obama was supposed to get Edwards to do his dirty work for him. That's not happening.... 5:12 P.M.
Who Says the Press Isn't Covering the Issues? We're Covering Who's "Electable"! One reason the "electability" issue has become so prominent--why "presidential primaries have become an electability bonanza," as Jason Zengerle puts it--is that the mainstream press likes it when electability is the issue. For one thing, "who's electable" is a Neutral Story Line--it seemingly doesn't require reporters and publications to take stands or sides. You can write dozens of "Is Hillary Electable?" stories without letting on what you think about, say, government-guaranteed health care. It's harder to write "Will Hillary be a Good President?" without doing that. Second, "electability" questions--like the traditional "horse race" questions--are in political reporter's analytic wheelhouses. Indeed, "electability" questions are "horse race" questions. They're the horse-race on stilts! Or, rather, they're the horse race "process" turned through some serendipitous alchemy into candidate "substance." ... P.S.: I don't think 'electability' is a bogus concern in the primaries. But I think Iowa's discredited caucusers are lousy at spotting it. Howard Dean was a more "electable" candidate than John Kerry (and, in retrospect, than John Edwards). ...
Update: Mark Blumenthal argues that ordinary voters and caucusers don't think "electability" means what political reporters think it means. ... 2:06 A.M.
Shouldn't Hillary now get Jonathan Franzen to campaign for her? ... 1:52 A.M.