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February 21, 2007

Comments

Giuliani (R) v. Obama (D) --> Toss-up. The Big O needs to show that he's got some foreign policy chops, and that he's not going to run hard-left on economic issues.

Giuliani's foreign policy shops are...? (just asking).

Giuliani's foreign policy shops are...? (just asking).

Not much different from Obama's, as in, thin. But Giuliani is likely to be pro-market and pro-trade.

I think von is mixing apples and oranges. Obama's response to the suggestion that "it would be bad for Democrats to have a black atop the ticket" was absolutely devastating. Today's flap, on the other hand, comes across as typical political mudslinging, the stuff people hate. Obama's strength lies in his ability to score points while rising above the usual tone of politics, and his campaign missed the mark today.

On a separate note, I confess I always giggle when I see someone suggest, as von did, that a Democrat might "run hard-left on economic issues." I mean, how many industries are you worried Obama might nationalize? Do you really fear that he'll call for the state to control all means of production? Do you think he'll raise the top marginal tax rate to 90%, or will it be more like 95%? I know von is a smart guy, I know he knows what the "hard left" really looks like, and yet even he occasionally lapses into these giggle-inducing turns of phrase.

McCain (R) v. Obama (D) --> McCain (R)

i think you overestimate how much people are going to be eager to get away from the uber-hawk WAR WAR WAR party.

Obama by 10%.

sorry.... underestimate.

"I mean, how many industries are you worried Obama might nationalize? Do you really fear that he'll call for the state to control all means of production?"

I hear he may plan a Great Leap Forward, in which we all etch our own chips in our backyards.

Five Year Plans: definitely.

I cannot wait to see Giuliani in a hardhitting debate. I really believe his campaign is headed for a spectacular meltdown.

i think you overestimate how much people are going to be eager to get away from the uber-hawk WAR WAR WAR party.

FWIW, the Von-voter Guide is how I'd vote, not my predictions of who will be elected.

Whatever. I am too old for politics to get this crazy. Everyday I am more flashing on '68. Must be another Romney. Or was that 1972? "If you remember..."

FWIW, the Von-voter Guide is how I'd vote, not my predictions of who will be elected.

ah, my mistake.

still, i think you should vote the way i want everyone else to vote.

"FWIW, the Von-voter Guide is how I'd vote, not my predictions of who will be elected."

Oh, good. That's what I thought you'd said, and thus I was confuzzled when I read cleek's comments.

"I really believe his campaign is headed for a spectacular meltdown."

I hope Rudy starts doing live call-in radio again, so he can start once again telling voters that they're "real jerks" and that their concern "is something you should examine with a therapist," that "there's something deranged about you." And so on.

We should have a poll on how long it is before Rudy says one of his opponents "should have his head examined": it's only a matter of time. Count on it.

"Everyday I am more flashing on '68. Must be another Romney. Or was that 1972?"

'67. He was brainwashed about Vietnam, remember?

Return with us to yesteryear.

What George Romney actually said was really perfectly reasonable; but it was still early enough for him to be easily crucified for it, with almost no effort at all.

I couldn't agree with you more re:Obama except to say if he survives - literally survives - to election 08 he will win.

Surviving - literally surviving - the summer and fall of 08, in this country, with that Right wing, with those who won't accept a Democrat, much less a Black Democrat, winning the presidency? That's what will be tricky.

Strange to say, I am working on an Obama foreign policy post...

I'm curious about your dislike for Biden and especially Edwards. I can understand preferring McCain (though I don't) and just barely, Giuliani, but Huckabee? or Brownback???

Speaking as someone who used to like Biden: Biden has never seen, smelt, or heard of an idea that wasn't his (plaigarizing Kinnock was only the start). The guy sucks all O2 out of a room. I also strongly oppose his partition plain for Iraq.

Edwards is running as an economic populist on a two Americas platform. I'm also influenced by my dislike of several members of the Plaintiffs' bar, of which Edwards was a prominant example and my unfair sense that a lot of the bar neither understands nor cares to understand what business actually entails.* Edwards might have won me over had he demonstrated some command of economics, but instead all we've gotten is demagoguery.

von

*Ever been accused of lying because (1) you said your client's net worth was X but (2) that's allegedly impossible, because your client early reported a yearly gross profit of X+1? "Judge, his client's gross profit directly contradicts his client's net worth!" (For those who haven't seen a balance sheet -- a category that didn't include my accuser -- this is something like saying the fact that you have an apple is directly contradicted by the fact that you also have an orange.)

von: you (and any other lawyers around) might want to check out this fascinating account of the summation of the Libby case. Not having been there, I can't vouch for its accuracy, but it gives a really interesting view of the kinds of interesting emotional dynamics that lawyering involves -- the fight to the death concealed beneath the cloak of rational argument.

Thanks, Hilzoy.

Hilzoy, when reading that I was wondering if more televising of trials would make it less possible for lawyers to keep using the same shtick (like Wells' weeping in the closing statement) over and over. But I suppose the jury selection process would weed out anyone who was familiar with the lawyers involved, so they'd still be free to continue the fakery.

Outstanding, Hil. Lots of people who spend lots of time poring over statutes and cases about contracts lose sight of the central fact about our legal system: jurors are human, and respond like humans to narrative.

KC, I'm not sure how faked-out jurors get anyway. They spend enough time watching the lawyers when we're not onstage to get a good idea about who we really are.

It's less in the DC federal courthouse than, say in Rockville, but you see jurors in line for security, on the elevator, at lunch, hanging around in the courtroom waiting for something to happen.

In Rockville, jurors have nowhere to go if they arrive before the courtroom is unlocked in the morning, and so everyone -- lawyers, jurors, clients, witnesses -- is waiting together in the anteroom in the morning, and then again whever the civil trial has to be adjourned while the judge does a sentencing, takes an allocution, or whatever.

This is not any outrage at your choices, the whole thing was a hoot to read (though real handicappers would go deeper down, so we might get some of the lower ranking entities, just in case bird flu knocks off the top 5 candidates of each party. And the real handicappers would move people up and down the weight class, maybe comparing them with candidates from yesteryear)

However, the fact that Obama lived overseas as a child and has a Kenyan father iirc should stand for something. I'm not saying that this is why one should vote for Obama, but there is a difference between backstory and actual experience. Anyway, fun post, thanks.

My experience is that juries tend to appreciate a certain degree of showmanship, even though in their hearts they may know it's all faked. I'm not sure this extends to flat-out weeping, but take it for what it's worth.

What's the problem with Richardson? Or by "anyone else (D)" do you mainly mean Edwards?

LJ:However, the fact that Obama lived overseas as a child and has a Kenyan father iirc should stand for something.

Lost me on that one…

I think it was Hilzoy who pointed out that one of the reasons that Obama is more sensitive to the potential problems of a pandemic is that he has seen the kind of conditions that exist overseas. While I don't think that insight always makes itself heard, someone who has experienced living in a different culture is going to be better equipped to deal with small but potentially potent differences that can make or break relations. Von mentioned Obama's lack of foreign policy experience in comparing him to Guiliani, and seems to think that the backstory is more like a marketing campaign rather than a wellspring for insights.

Gottcha. Not sure I agree but thanks for the explanation.

Specifically, I read some comment by Obama to the effect that one reason he jumped on avian flu, as an issue, was that he had lived in a poorer section of Jakarta where chickens run all over the place, and understood immediately what it meant to have infected chickens wandering around.

More generally, having spent a bunch of time overseas, I think it's hard to overstate the value of knowing what the US looks like from abroad. I don't mean one always has to agree with that view, or anything; just that knowing what it is is invaluable.

What's the problem with Richardson? Or by "anyone else (D)" do you mainly mean Edwards?

I hadn't given Richardson any thought -- which is probably Richardson's largest problem. So he's not included in those rankings.

Outstanding, Hil. Lots of people who spend lots of time poring over statutes and cases about contracts lose sight of the central fact about our legal system: jurors are human, and respond like humans to narrative.

As a lawyer who tends to think too much -- and, when he does think of narrative, usually does so in the context of a summary judgment motion and rarely at trial -- this is a particularly valuable lesson. Thanks again, Hilzoy.

What's the problem with Richardson? Or by "anyone else (D)" do you mainly mean Edwards?

I hadn't given Richardson any thought -- which is probably Richardson's largest problem. So he's not included in those rankings.

Outstanding, Hil. Lots of people who spend lots of time poring over statutes and cases about contracts lose sight of the central fact about our legal system: jurors are human, and respond like humans to narrative.

As a lawyer who tends to think too much -- and, when he does think of narrative, usually does so in the context of a summary judgment motion and rarely at trial -- this is a particularly valuable lesson. Thanks again, Hilzoy.

As long as we're invoking the shade of George Romney, although a single supposed gaffe knocked him out of the running in 1967 (for 1968), I'm not sure how far he was going anyway. The line on him, as I recall it, was: "Deep down, he's shallow."

You all do know that Mitt is George's son, right?

LJ: someone who has experienced living in a different culture is going to be better equipped to deal with small but potentially potent differences that can make or break relations.

Having slept on it, my specific disagreement is this:

I lived in foreign countries for more than six years and traveled extensively to many others. I lived among foreigners for so long that I literally had culture shock when I returned to the US – it took me months to re-assimilate. After a quick review of his biography I can say with certainty that I have lived in more foreign cultures than Obama.

That in no way qualifies me as a foreign policy expert, and I’m sure you agree that there is no way you would want me in charge of US foreign policy. ;)

OCSteve, I truly think you might be better at it than those in charge now.

But then again, I am sure I would still have something to complain about, just not as much.

Well, I will say that my respect for your point of view shot up when I found that you actually had overseas experience. And it's not that it made you an expert, but I certainly believe that it has made you more open to the possibilities that other people might not embrace the ideas you (or most Americans) think are perfectly logical. Which, to me, is where foreign policy should start. If you can't put yourself in the other person's (or in this case, the other country's) shoes, you are going to be lucky if you don't get into trouble.

JM:I truly think you might be better at it than those in charge now.

Heh. Well, at least I’d float my proposals past the ObWi review board as a trial balloon. By the time you folks got done with it I would be able to tweak it into a pretty solid policy. ;)

LJ: Good point. I do agree with you that it adds a lot to one’s perspective. In his case though, it was from age 6 to 10, which would seem to be more of a dim childhood memory than a formative experience.

It just sort of reads as looking for anything to shore up his lack of experience.

OCSteve, actually age 6-10 is more than a dim childhood memory, as those are really formative years.

An adult may spend a lot of time being judgemental of another society and culture he finds himself in rather than really trying to learn about it.

I am not saying that this alone qualifies Obama to be a great foreign policy expert, as I understand your point. And I am sure you were not the judgemental type (said in complete seriousness.)

What I am impressed by is what appears to be a real desire to learn about things on Obama's part. This is a real departure from the current President.

What I am impressed by is what appears to be a real desire to learn about things on Obama's part. This is a real departure from the current President.

No argument there :(

Brownback sucks

OCSteve: and I’m sure you agree that there is no way you would want me in charge of US foreign policy. ;)

I had rather have you in charge of US foreign policy than anyone in the Bush administration. I admit this is a bit of a backhanded compliment, but I'd add that I'd rather have you in charge of UK foreign policy than some Foreign Secretaries we've had in my memory, too: you may be more bellicose and more right-wing than I care for, but you're also capable of admitting you don't know, asking for reliable information from people who do know, and basing your actions on what you've found out. That, all by itself, puts you streets ahead of some career politicians.

(And thank you, blahblahblah, for drawing my attention back to this thread, which I missed first time through and which has just enabled me to pay OCSteve a well-deserved compliment, but I feel I should point out to the Kitten, nonetheless, that I believe you are a spambot.)

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