Slate's Political Gabfest for Sept. 26.

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Sept. 26 2008 10:25 AM

The Jittery Ball of Sunshine Gabfest

Listen to Slate's review of the week in politics.

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Listen to the Gabfest for Sept. 26 by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz talk politics. This week, Republican presidential candidate John McCain suspends his campaign—or maybe not; the nation faces economic woes; and the vice-presidential candidates enjoy an exciting week.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

McCain suspended his presidential campaign in order to return to Washington to work on the financial crisis. He then canceled an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman but remained in New York to be interviewed by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. Two days earlier he admitted he was too busy to read the bailout plan proposed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

One question concerning any plan is whether it will allow judges to modify mortgages for people facing bankruptcy.

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David mentions George Will's effort to show that McCain does not have a "conservative temperament."

Emily discusses Sarah Palin's interview with Couric, in which the Republican vice-presidential candidate couldn't answer a question about McCain's regulatory efforts as a senator.

CNN News anchor Campbell Brown criticized McCain for sexism and insulting behavior.

Emily chatters about a piece she co-wrote with Chris Wilson that rates executive orders issued during the Bush administration.

John mentions a Slate V video that looks at his favorite moments in debate history. He also recommends the PBS series Debating Our Destiny.

The e-mail address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Posted by Dale Willman on Sept. 26 at 10:50 a.m.

Sept. 19, 2008

Listen to the Gabfest for Sept. 19 by clicking the arrow on the audio player below: You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, David Plotz, and special guest Bill Smee talk politics. This week: the dismal state of the economy and how the presidential candidates are addressing it, whether John McCain invented the BlackBerry, and Joe Biden as champion of women everywhere.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

The week's big story was the continuing difficulties affecting the U.S. economy, starting with the collapse of investment bank Lehman Bros. and including the near-collapse of AIG. Many observers think the economy will now be the No. 1 topic for the rest of the presidential race.

John McCain is calling for the firing of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, even though the president has little control over that position. McCain called for the people responsible for the financial crisis to be thrown out, but John Dickerson points out that he would then need to throw himself out, since he was a strong proponent of deregulating the financial industry.

Earlier this week, a McCain aide implied that the senator had invented the BlackBerry, leading some to draw comparisons between McCain and the urban legend surrounding Al Gore and the Internet.

On Slate V this week, John talks about his five favorite historical presidential campaign ads.

Public opinion polls are showing that Obama is regaining some of the support he lost following the Republican Convention. In part, the poor shape of the economy is being blamed for slowing McCain's poll surge.

Emily says she'd been angry at Joe Biden for some recent remarks perceived as sexist, but an article in the New Republic by Fred Strebeigh reminded her that Biden has a great pro-women Senate record.

Bill says he is an insufferable bore about the baseball pennant races under way, especially the fact that his beloved Mets are not doing well. His chatter suggestion is to avoid talking baseball.

John chatters about a story in this week's Weekly Standard in which writer Matt Labash describes a fishing trip with Vice President Dick Cheney. Apparently, Cheney is a very good fisherman.

(Note: In the discussion about the Obama campaign's economic messaging, Bill Smee inadvertently misstated one of the rallying cries of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign. As candidates, Bill Clinton and Al Gore often repeated that they were running on behalf of people who "worked hard and played by the rules.")

The e-mail address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Posted by Dale Willman on Sept. 18 at 10:50 a.m.

Sept. 12, 2008

Listen to the Gabfest for Sept. 12 by clicking the arrow on the audio player below: You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz talk politics. This week's topics include the state of the presidential race to date, the Barack Obama campaign, and how the Sarah Palin phenomenon rolls on.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

John wonders if Palin will experience a fate similar to what became known as "Obama fatigue."

Emily says that with fewer than 55 days left before the election, it's time to talk about issues.

John discusses Fred Thompson, who recently criticized Obama by saying he must be "the first fellow in the history of presidential politics who thinks that running for president is a qualification for being president."

Several national polls now show Obama and McCain in a tie. The most recent was the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Nevertheless, Obama is still ahead in the race for Electoral College votes.

McCain continues to express outrage over an Obama remark about putting lipstick on a pig. McCain claims it was an attack on Palin, although many commentators, including a number of prominent Republicans, disagree.

David chatters about the Slate feature "80 Over 80."

John discusses a new Web site from the Museum of the Moving Image called Living Room Candidate, which rounds up political ads dating back to 1952.

The e-mail address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com . (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Posted by Dale Willman on Sept. 12 at 11 a.m.

Sept. 5, 2008

Listen to the Gabfest for Sept. 5 by clicking the arrow on the audio player below: You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz talk politics. This week, they discuss John McCain's yawner of a convention speech, the power of Palin, and the Republican flip-flop from experience to change.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin used her convention speech to rally the troops.

David called Palin's speech rhetorically masterful but mean-spirited and vicious. Meanwhile, John McCain vowed to end partisan rancor during his address Thursday.

As far as Emily is concerned, there was no substance to McCain's speech, a view echoed by Barack Obama.

John points out that a CBS poll shows that the race between Obama and McCain is now a tie.

Emily says Palin is the tar baby of this presidential election: If Democrats keep verbally punching her, they will get stuck.

The three discuss the debate over Palin as working mom.

Emily chatters about her newly acquired koi. She says they appear to be multiplying at an alarming rate.

John discusses the season-opening loss of his beloved Washington Redskins, noting that the team has not done well since they moved to their new stadium, which opened in 1997.

David talks about Palin's high-school nickname, Sarah Barracuda, and how the Republicans got into trouble for using the Heart song of the same name Thursday night.

The e-mail address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com . (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Posted by Dale Willman on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.

Slate Senior Editor Emily Bazelon, Chief Political Correspondent John Dickerson, and Editor David Plotz host the Gabfest weekly.