"When they're refusing to say who's behind the initiative," says Chris Lehane, a consultant who handled communications for the countereffort, "the rules of the game are that you can make all sorts of allegations." [E.A.]
Who makes these "rules of the game"? Maybe if Lehane played by more appealing rules he'd win a few. ... 9:40 P.M.
The Dog Ate My Sermons: Mike Huckabee wants credit for his work as a preacher** but doesn't seem to want to make public his preachings--his campaign says its "not able to accommodate" press requests" for his sermons, and a pastor's assistant at his Texarkana church tells Mother Jones
much of the archival material from Huckabee's tenure as pastor had been destroyed during a remodeling. The rest, she said, was not available to the press.
Hmm. These aren't exactly private documents. They're addresses to large groups. He's running for President. Seems like he should make them public. Could be a rich treasure trove of embarrassment! [Like your archives-ed I've been thinking of, you know, remodeling.] ...
**--See, e.g,, his December 2 Stephanopoulos interview ("I also have a record of being in the private sector, not only in small business, but being involved in the human work of touching people's lives from the cradle to the grave ..."). 2:02 P.M.
School Me (a new feature in which I advertise areas in which I'm embarrassingly ignorant, in the hope that readers will fill me in faster than I could fill myself in by, say, making phone calls): Back in June, Ron Brownstein wrote that in California "liberal interests and labor unions ... hate the idea" of an "individual mandate" requiring everyone to buy health insurance. Does that "hate" hold true nationally? Is it grounded solely in the sentiment Brownstein alludes to--that "they consider it unfair to working families"? Or does it also have a more cynical, institutional grounding, namely unions' fear that an individual mandate would undermine employer-provided insurance and the role of unions in negotiating for that insurance? ... American labor has been relatively selfless, it seems to me, in lobbying for government programs (e.g. OSHA) that partially remove the very need for unions by providing directly, through government, what unions otherwise provide through collective bargaining. This would be an exception to that tradition. ...
Most important (for campaign purposes) does this mean that on the domestic policy issue where Obama is most conspicuously more "conservative" than Hillary Clinton, he's not telling voters "what they need to hear," good-government style, as advertised in his J-J speech--he's telling powerful liberal interests "what they want to hear," New Deal-hack style? ... 12:44 A.M.