Why Are Democrats Unhappy With Nate Silver?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
March 28 2014 10:12 AM

The "Is Hillary Clinton Too Old to Be President?" Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case, ageism in politics, and the spat between Democrats and Nate Silver.

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To listen to the discussion, use the player below:


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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, David Plotz, New York Times columnist Gail Collins, and Slate Group chairman Jacob Weisberg discuss what the Hobby Lobby case means for reproductive rights, whether Hillary Clinton's age will hurt her in 2016, and why Nate Silver is making Democrats sweat.

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

  • The Supreme Court heard arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby this week.
  • Dahlia Lithwick writes that the contraceptive mandate is probably doomed.
  • Abortion and contraception are a relatively new fixation for the American right, Jamelle Bouie points out.
  • In his new book, Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel writes that employer coverage is on the way out.
  • This week's Audible recommendation, from Jacob, is New Ways to Kill Your Mother by Colm Toibin. Gail's latest book, As Texas Goes, is also on Audible.
  • Gail recently profiled Gloria Steinem at 80.
  • Is Hillary Clinton too old to run? Is it sexist to ask?
  • Silicon Valley is brutally ageist, Noam Scheiber writes in the New Republic. Jon Nathanson responds at Slate.
  • George Packer's 2013 New Yorker article about the politics of Silicon Valley argues that "the hottest tech start-ups are solving all the problems of being twenty years old, with cash on hand, because that’s who thinks them up."
  • Nate Silver relaunched FiveThirtyEight last week. He also updated his predictions for the 2014 elections—he now thinks Republicans will take control of the Senate.
  • Paul Krugman has criticized the new site. Nate Silver responded with a post crunching the data about Krugman's mentions of Silver's work—at this rate, Silver says Krugman will write 425 more blog posts about FiveThirtyEight by the 2016 election.
  • In the New Republic, Leon Wieseltier writes that there's a cult of data journalism.

Jacob chatters about the Danish political drama Borgen, and why Danish TV shows are so great.

Gail chatters about the movies Omar and Bethlehem. Both focus on life in the West Bank.

David chatters about the bizarre assortment of best-selling coloring books on Amazon, including one about Ted Cruz.

This week's credits were in the style of a waiter.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

Gail Collins is a New York Times Op-Ed columnist and the author of As Texas Goes … and When Everything Changed.

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

Jacob Weisberg is chairman and editor-in-chief of The Slate Group and author of The Bush Tragedy. Follow him on Twitter.


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