Election 2008

Election 2008: A Voter's Guide

Editors of The New Republic
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Election 2008
    Book Description:

    Featuring the writers and editors of THE NEW REPUBLIC, this handbook for the 2008 presidential election contains information every citizen needs as we head into the primaries. THE NEW REPUBLIC'SElection 2008: A Voter's Guideincludes deeply reported, psychologically rich profiles of candidates and a compendium of facts and figures about the hopefuls. Marked throughout by the irreverent wit, style, and intelligence of THE NEW REPUBLIC,this will be the indispensable guide to the 2008 election season.

    Election 2008: A Voter's Guidefeatures:

    · Ryan Lizza on Barack Obama's real guru· Michael Crowley on Hillary Clinton's views of war and peace· Jonathan Cohn on Mitt Romney's uncomfortable relationship with his father· Thomas B. Edsall on Rudy Giuliani's unlikely appeal· Jason Zengerle on John Edwards's populist reinvention· Michelle Cottle on the masculine charms of Fred Thompson· Noam Scheiber on the many conversions of Sam Brownback· John B. Judis on the electoral trends that will determine the next president

    eISBN: 978-0-300-15033-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. viii-xii)
    Franklin Foer

    This book will appear in the fall of 2007, when the aborted campaign of former presidential flirt Mark Warner will already have been the subject of several retrospective tomes. At this late stage, it’s a bit hard to understand why Warner justifies such treatment or to even conjure the former Virginia governor’s fund-raising prowess or his grand plans for exploiting new technologies. But, at the peak of his prospective bid—that Paleozoic era of the presidential campaign known as last summer—he was regarded as a major contender for the Democratic nomination.

    During the Warner boom,The New Republicassigned...

    • Hillary Rodham Clinton The Real Reason She Wonʹt Apologize: Hillaryʹs War
      (pp. 3-24)
      Michael Crowley

      In October 2000, Hillary Clinton was entering the home stretch of one of the most unusual Senate campaigns in American history. Although her husband still occupied the Oval Office, she had decamped to a Dutch Colonial in Westchester County to run for the seat of retiring New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. To compensate for the fact that she had never actually lived in the state she intended to represent, she immersed herself in Empire State minutiae. Off the top of her head, she would describe in detail the virtues of the Northeast dairy compact and the rate of upstate...

    • Barack Obama Barack Obamaʹs Unlikely Political Education: The Agitator
      (pp. 25-48)
      Ryan Lizza

      In 1985, Barack Obama traveled halfway across the country to take a job that he didn’t fully understand. But, while he knew little about his new vocation—community organizer—it still had a romantic ring, at least to his 24-year-old ears. With his old classmates from Columbia, he had talked frequently about political change. Now, he was moving to Chicago to put that talk into action. His 1995 memoir,Dreams from My Father, recounts his idealistic effusions: “Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll organize...

    • John Edwards John Edwards, Poor Manʹs Candidate: The Accidental Populist
      (pp. 49-68)
      Jason Zengerle

      Last October, the United Steelworkers of America went on strike against Goodyear, leading some 13,000 of its members to walk off the job. Once they did, it was only a matter of time before John Edwards went to see them. Like a moth to a flame—or Al Sharpton to a police shooting—Edwards of late seems inexorably drawn to labor strife. As he has laid the groundwork for his 2008 presidential campaign, he has become a fixture at union rallies and on picket lines across the country. Striking janitors at the University of Miami; disgruntled Teamsters at a helicopter...

    • Bill Richardson Bill Richardson v. His Resumé: Paper Candidate
      (pp. 69-86)
      Ryan Lizza

      Are you ready for some hot dogs?” says the ballpark announcer. “Let ’em know!”

      Bill Richardson is ready. It’s been a grueling day on the campaign trail—five events spread across some 350 miles of Iowa interstate—and, as we find our seats behind home plate for a minor league game in Des Moines, Richardson looks beat. A New Mexico wag once compared the governor’s appearance to an unmade bed, and, right now, he looks the part. His black hair is tousled and his tie is gone. His collar is smeared with pancake makeup and his lapel is dusted with...

    • Dennis Kucinich On His Terms: Taking Dennis Kucinich Seriously
      (pp. 87-94)
      Jason Zengerle

      On a sunny Saturday in New Hampshire not long ago, Dennis Kucinich laid out for me the path that would lead him to the presidency. “I think what will happen,” he explained, “is that the tremendous demand for integrity and authenticity is going to cause my candidacy to emerge powerfully in the closing weeks of the primary campaign to change it all.” The two of us were sitting in the backseat of an SUV driven by an aide, shuttling between campaign events. Small in stature but loud in voice, Kucinich held forth on any number of matters related to his...

    • John McCain The Making of an Überhawk: Neo-McCain
      (pp. 97-118)
      John B. Judis

      I have liked John McCain ever since I met him almost a decade ago. At the time, I was writing a profile of then-Senator Fred Thompson, who was rumored to be considering a run for the presidency. I had been playing phone tag with the press secretaries of senators friendly with Thompson and was getting nowhere. I decided that, instead of calling McCain’s office, I would drop by. I spoke to one of his aides, who asked me whether I had time to see the senator then. To my amazement, I was ushered into McCain’s office, where, without staffers present,...

    • Mitt Romney How Mitt Romney Un-Became His Father: Parent Trap
      (pp. 119-140)
      Jonathan Cohn

      On July 8, 1964, 17-year-old Mitt Romney slipped into a front-row seat at a San Francisco hotel ballroom. The start of the Republican National Convention was just days away, and tensions in the room were high—not over the choice of nominee (Barry Goldwater had already locked up enough delegates) but over the ideological future of the party. Inside the ballroom, the committee in charge of writing the party platform was under attack from a small band of dissenters determined to make one final stand against the radical conservatism of Goldwater and his supporters. And one of the most prominent...

    • Rudy Giuliani Why the GOPʹs Future Belongs to Rudy: Party Boy
      (pp. 141-156)
      Thomas B. Edsall

      William “Rusty” DePass named his dogs Goldwater, Reagan, and Bush. He is, needless to say, a conservative man, one who lives in a conservative state where the psychological scars of the Civil War still run deep. Six bronze stars on the west wall of the Capitol building here in Columbia mark the trajectory of Sherman’s 1865 cannon fire from across the Congaree River. A state senator points me to the deep gouges on the building’s banisters—gashes left, he says, by the sabers of Union officers charging the stairs on horseback. The Confederate flag still flies proudly in front of...

    • Fred Thompson Whoʹs Your Daddy? the Masculine Mystique of Fred Thompson
      (pp. 157-174)
      Michelle Cottle

      Thwack! An elaborately beaded elephant handbag lands solidly on Fred Thompson’s upper arm. “Law and Order on the Border!” the bag’s owner, a short, sassy, middle-aged brunette, crows at the presumed presidential candidate. “There’s your campaign slogan right there!” Vibrating with pride at her cleverness in linking Thompson’s get-tough immigration stance with the title of the NBC series on which he until recently starred, the Republican dame grins broadly and repeats the line with even greater gusto: “Law and Order on the Border!” The former Tennessee senator, characteristically imposing in dark blue pinstripes, responds with a smile of indulgence and...

    • Sam Brownback The Many Conversions of Sam Brownback: The Apostle
      (pp. 175-198)
      Noam Scheiber

      It’s a Tuesday in mid-October 2005, and Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is chairing a meeting of a little-known but highly influential Senate group called the Values Action Team (VAT). Think of it as a PTA board for the vast right-wing conspiracy: The Concerned Women for America has a standing invitation, as do the Family Research Council, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Right to Life Committee. The activists sit around a conference table in the Capitol building and plot strategy on matters like broadcast decency, Internet gambling, and anti-abortion legislation.

      Typically, the group’s weekly meetings draw 50...

    • Newt Gingrich Cogito Ergo Sum Newt: The Thinker
      (pp. 199-216)
      Jason Zengerle

      Who’s that gray-haired guy in there with the monkeys and the Kennedy?”

      It’s a hot, humid summer afternoon at Providence’s Roger Williams Park Zoo, and a young woman is asking about the enthusiastic gentleman who, along with Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy, is behind the glass wall feeding mealworms to the white-faced saki monkeys. Kennedy, who is only a couple of weeks removed from an embarrassing stint in drug rehab, has the sheepish look of a man who would rather be somewhere—anywhere—else. But his silver-haired companion is having the time of his life. Wearing a squinty-eyed smile, his...

    • Ron Paul The Surprising Relevance of Ron Paul: The Crank
      (pp. 217-224)
      Michael Crowley

      A star had just been born when, a day after the May Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, I met Texas Representative Ron Paul for lunch on Capitol Hill. The meeting had been scheduled for several days; but, as luck would have it, the previous night Paul had gone from an oddball obscurity to a major sensation in the political world when, answering a question about September 11, he seemed to suggest that the attacks were justified by an aggressive U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. “They attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for...

    • Chuck Hagel The Unmooring of Chuck Hagel: Look Back in Anger
      (pp. 225-242)
      John B. Judis

      What distinguishes the politician from the political agitator is a lively concern for his own job security. Politicians sometimes say what they believe, but they don’t usually say things that might jeopardize their political future. Until recently, Chuck Hagel was a consummate politician, and a successful one at that. He defeated a popular sitting governor in his first Senate race in 1996 and won reelection, in 2002, with 83 percent of the vote. While he occasionally strayed from the GOP fold on foreign policy—an ardent internationalist, he had criticized both the Iraq war and neoconservatism generally—his credentials as...

  7. The Creeping Realignment: The Parties and the Presidency in 2008
    (pp. 243-266)
    John B. Judis

    Every presidential election has its peculiarities, but the 2008 edition is shaping up to be more unusual than most. Two of the leading candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination are an African American and a woman. African Americans and women have run before but were never in a position to win a major party nomination. On the Republican side, three of the leading candidates for the nomination made their reputation as moderates in a party that, since 1980, has been thoroughly dominated by conservatives. The most reliable conservatives, such as Kansas Senator Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Governor...

  8. Coda: Warner and the Agony of Running for President
    (pp. 267-272)
    Ryan Lizza

    Mark Warner and I had each had a couple of cocktails. They say up in the air one drink feels like two, and so things were, as Warner would later remind me the day he announced he wasn’t running for president, “a little foggy.” We were aboard a campaign donor’s jet, flying back to Virginia after two intense days of New Hampshire politics. Democrats who show up to listen to presidential hopefuls stump in the dead of August two years before the election are a tough crowd. And Warner’s pitch, earnest and wonky—“We’ve fallen to sixteenth in the world...

  9. Appendix: Where They Stand
    (pp. 273-292)