Slate's Political Gabfest for Nov. 26.

Slate's Political Gabfest for Nov. 26.

Slate's Political Gabfest for Nov. 26.

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Nov. 26 2008 12:06 PM

The Free Hybrid Parking Gabfest

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

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Listen to the Gabfest for Nov. 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, they discuss Barack Obama's Cabinet appointments, the financial bailout and other economic woes, and the Obamas' choice of school for their daughters.

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

The Obama transition team officially announced the top slots on its economic team, and the stock market rallied on the news.

Emily says that given the difficult economic situation facing the incoming administration, the transition is taking too long. The others disagree, however, with John saying the transition is moving forward at a breakneck pace, while David says time is needed to make certain that the right people are put in place.

John says that Obama performed well in his first news conferences since the election. He says Obama's answers to questions posed by reporters are full of detail and clearly show that he is listening.

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The Obamas have chosen Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., for their daughters. It is John's alma mater. It's also where Chelsea Clinton went to school, along with many other famous children, prompting John to suggest that the school is a good location for high-profile children because it is used to dealing with the significant security concerns these students present.

The Obamas have named family friend Desiree Rogers as the White House social secretary. She will be the first African-American to hold that position.

Emily chatters about the trial of Lori Drew, a woman charged in connection with the death of 13-year-old Megan Meier.

David talks about a short film, The Civil War in Four Minutes. The video was produced by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and is now available online. David says it is well worth watching.

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The show closes with a discussion of a new program in New Haven, Conn., in which owners of hybrid cars can get stickers allowing them to park for free at meters throughout the city.

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 on Nov. 26 by Dale Willman at 12:06 p.m.

Nov. 21, 2008

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Listen to the Gabfest for Nov. 21 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, the Obama administration begins to take shape, politicians jockey for position, and the Big Three automakers come to Washington.

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

Among the people mentioned as potential Cabinet members are Sen. Hillary Clinton and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. Media reports indicate that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has been selected to become the next Health and Human Services secretary.

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The group discusses what it calls the endless speculation over Obama's Cabinet.

There has been a great deal of discussion about the possible nomination of Eric Holder as attorney general. One potential pitfall for such a nomination is Holder's involvement in Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich.

John mentions the so-called "Team of Rivals" approach to forming a Cabinet.

John talks about how President Bush's approval ratings continue to be low, even after the election. He says this is not helping the "Republican brand."

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Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is out, losing a squeaker to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. His loss came the same week as his 85th birthday.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made headlines this week with his New York Times op-ed, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Emily chatters about a federal court ruling involving five Algerian detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The judge, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, ruled that the five men have been held unlawfully and should be released.

David discusses the real estate frenzy in Washington, D.C., brought on by the inauguration. Many D.C.-area residents are renting out their homes and apartments for huge amounts to people hoping to visit the capital for the festivities. By some estimates, as many as 4 million people are expected to descend on Washington.

John talks about the resurrection of photographs from Life magazine. The photos are now being made available through Google. Among them are several of former NBC correspondent Nancy Dickerson, John's mother.

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 on Nov. 21 by Dale Willman at 10:30 a.m.

Nov. 14, 2008

Listen to the Gabfest for Nov. 14 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, the election, how Barack Obama will fare as president, and the future of Sarah Palin.

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

President-elect Barack Obama has the highest approval rating going into office of any president over the past 25 years. Outgoing President George W Bush, meanwhile, has the lowest approval rating of any president since the beginning of such polls.

It appears that the cautious tone of Obama's Nov. 4 acceptance speech was an attempt to tamp down expectations.

A major question for Obama will be whether he should behave like former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and work fast to capitalize on his current popularity or whether he should move more cautiously. John says he favors a bold approach, similar to what Obama promised in the campaign. But he says Obama's bold rhetoric does not match the more mainstream policies he is championing. John says Obama will be able to make some early choices that will be popular, including reversing current policies on the State Children's Health Insurance Program and stem cells.

The group discusses how to talk to children about the Obama victory and its place in the racial history of the United States.

Since the election, Sarah Palin has been talking a great deal about the campaign and her role in it, perhaps in an attempt to rehabilitate her public image. Emily says the visibility campaign may be an effort to become the national spokeswoman of the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

David says Slate has received many inquiries following last week's request for a Gabfest sponsor. He also chatters about a New York Times story that says more and more women are opting to give birth at home.

Emily talks about a Supreme Court argument on whether forensic scientists working for police labs can be required to testify in court about their findings in criminal cases.

John chatters about a 2004 interview in which Obama discussed his views on religion. John says the interview occurred at a time when Obama did not yet have all the filters in place that now prevent him from speaking candidly.

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 on Nov. 14 by Dale Willman at 10:30 a.m.

Nov. 7, 2008

Listen to the Gabfest for Nov. 7 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.

John Dickerson, David Plotz, and Emily Bazelon talk politics. This week, what happened, what's next, and what will become of Sarah Palin?

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

This election is significant for many reasons, among them that the voter turnout was the largest in 44 years.

Exit polls turned out to be pretty accurate predictors of the final results.

Voter turnout in the District of Columbia was huge but caused few voting glitches.

John discusses Barack Obama's final campaign rally in Manassas, Va., which drew as many as 100,000 people. At the end of that speech, Obama told the story of how, months earlier, during a visit to South Carolina, one woman helped motivate him by shouting out, "Fired up, ready to go!" That moment, he says, shows how one person can make a difference. The phrase itself became a rallying cry for the Obama campaign.

John also talks about Rahm Emanuel's appointment as Obama's chief of staff. He says it shows Obama quickly moving from election mode into governing mode. The group also discusses the baggage Emanuel could bring to the Obama White House. He is known for being ruthless and is often described as having "sharp elbows."

One major question lingering after the election concerns the fate of Sarah Palin. Some Palin supporters say she is now being blamed for McCain's loss. Newsweek reported that McCain-campaign insiders are complaining that Palin spent thousands of dollars more than previously disclosed buying clothes for herself and her husband.

David chatters about Curtis Sittenfeld's novel American Wife, which is inspired by the life of first lady Laura Bush.

Emily talks about the passage of Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage in the state. A number of lawsuits have already been filed in an effort to overturn the measure.

John chatters about the holograms CNN used during its election-night coverage.

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 on Nov. 7 by Dale Willman at 11:55 a.m.

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