The Fringe, Part 2
Presidential candidates you've never heard of.
Updated Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, at 6:30 PM
But the calls for Dodd also reflect a growing disillusionment with Obama on the left. (See here and here to read some frustrated venting.) Obama's promises to discard the ways of Washington are bumping up against the pragmatism and party loyalty necessary to win an election. He's caught between reinventing politics and having to practice it. He probably would oppose the FISA bill, but he knows it could cost him.
Dodd, on the other hand, has very little to lose. He's barely registering in polls (the ones that he said "don't mean spit"), and his third-quarter fund-raising wasn't stellar. Taking a firm stance on wiretapping is both consistent with his support for civil liberties and a good way to distinguish himself from his opponents.
Even if he can't hoist himself out of the second tier, Dodd at least has a chance to influence the debate. Just as Bill Richardson can say to Hillary, I won't leave residual troops in Iraq—why will you?, Dodd can now ask Obama, I stood my ground on wiretapping—why didn't you?
Also: In case you're curious, Daily Kos has a useful guide to how a "hold" works.
Fortunate nephew: Jeb Bush Jr., son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, brother of President George W. Bush, will be joining Rudy Giuliani's Florida team, the campaign announced today. That's just a week after Elizabeth Cheney joined Fred Thompson's campaign as co-chair.
So, if Bush's nephew and Cheney's daughter—the straight one, of course—are supporting different candidates, does that mean there's a rift in the White House?
So far, Giuliani seems to have a lock on the administration's (tacit) support. He's been much less critical of Bush than, say, Romney has, and based on his comments about national security and Iran—"the military option is not off the table"—he may even outhawk the current brass. And just look at some of his advisers: Norman Podhoretz, Stephen Rosen, Daniel Pipes. These guys make the Iraq war architects look like Cindy Sheehan. The White House doesn't do endorsements—which in this cycle is probably a good thing—but if it did, Giuliani could probably count on it.
Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.
Photographs of: Mark Klein courtesy of Dr. Klein; Jack Shepard courtesy of Dr. Shepard; Rudy Giuliani in the Republican presidential debate by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; Bill Richardson baseball card courtesy the Richardson campaign; Duncan Hunter by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images. Photographs of Sam Brownback by: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images; Darren McCollester/Getty Images; Mandel Nagan/AFP/Getty Images; Scott Olson/Getty Images; Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; and Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.