The Gabfest on Joe Ricketts’ super PAC Attack, the Political Impact of Social Media, and the Facebook IPO.

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
May 18 2012 12:58 PM

The “Can We Get in on That IPO?” Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about a super PAC’s planned character attack on Obama, the political impact of social media, and the Facebook IPO.


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Join David, John, and Emily for a live Gabfest next Wednesday, May 23 at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. Buy tickets here.

This week’s Slate Political Gabfest was recorded live at IAB’s Innovation Days in New York City. On the show, David Plotz, Emily Bazelon, and John Dickerson discuss the New York Timesreport on a conservative super PAC’s plans to attack Obama’s character, the impact of social media on the campaigns, and Facebook’s IPO. They also do a quick Q-and-A after the show.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • The New York Times article on Joe Ricketts’ super PAC and its plan to use Reverend Jeremiah Wright in an attack campaign on Obama.
  • The racially-charged Willie Horton attack ad on Michael Dukakis in 1988.
  • TPM’s graph tracking Romney’s favorability over time.
  • A Washington Post/ABC News poll from April finding Mitt Romney the least popular presidential candidate since 1984.
  • Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s infamous “God damn America” speech.
  • The New York Times article reporting that white babies make up fewer than one half of U.S. births.
  • The Obama campaign’s attack ad on Romney’s record at Bain.
  • Emily’s Slate piece on whether or not we can draw conclusions from Mitt Romney’s actions during his adolescence.
  • John’s Slate piece on how Romney’s bullying story fits in to the history of presidential origin myths.
  • The Real Romney, a biography by two Boston Globe reporters.
  • John’s Slate piece on the four kinds of campaign controversies.
  • Farhad Manjoo’s Slate piece on what the Facebook IPO means for the average user.
  • Henry Blodget’s New York Magazine feature on Mark Zuckerberg.

Emily chatters about Jack Hitt’s new book, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character.

John chatters about how Florida’s five presidential elections since 1992 have come down to a cumulative difference of 60,000 votes. He also chatters about Isaac Asimov’s The Roving Mind and an interview with Asimov in 1988.

David chatters about a Commentary Magazine article about how the White House staff has inserted President Obama’s name in almost every presidential biography since Calvin Coolidge.

The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Andrew Bouvé and Dale Willman. Links compiled by Aviva Shen.

Emily Bazelon was a Slate senior editor from 2005 to 2014. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.


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