The Friday Political Thread: Free State of Mind Edition


There actually isn't a full-blown political thread this week, as I'm taking a short breather. From January 2nd to January 9th I'll be in New Hampshire covering the Republican primary—for the most part, covering Ron Paul and the state's rugged population of libertarians. That means I'll be watching the Iowa caucus, from afar, with members of the Free State Project and a TV tuned to C-Span. It also means I'll be filing reports from Paul campaign HQ, from the trail, and eventually from Paul's election night party. If you're in one of the lesser 49 states or, God forbid, some other coutry, stay tuned to the blog. If you're actually in New Hampshire, get in touch at dweigel at reason.com.

The week in brief…

– Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, scrambling both US foreign policy in Pakistan and the positions of the presidential candidates.

– John McCain basked in poll numbers that reflected a "surge" reporters had been predicting for nigh on four months. Mitt Romney looked frazzled trying to blunt his momentum.

– Barack Obama slapped John Edwards for benefitting from a 527 ad; Edwards counterpunched and then folded like a dixie cup, asking the 527 to stop.

– Hillary Clinton stopped her fall and now stands tied or ahead of the field in the first three primaries.

– The president vetoed a $696 billion defense bill because it exposed the Iraqi government to lawsuits.

Below the fold…

– John Tabin parties with the "best hair champions" of the Dems and GOP.

– Justin Raimondo takes on the anti-Ron Paul smear merchants.

– Mark Sunwall says Ron Paul is the only internationalist in the race.

– Jonathan Cohn asks whether John Edwards, in the throes of a populist campaign, had lost his ability to appeal to the middle class.

No music video this week, either, but there's a full-blown music post coming up later.