The Friday Political Thread: Diamond Club Edition


SUNDAY UPDATE: I'll be appearing on Jim Babka's Downsize DC at 3 p.m. ET, discussing the ins and outs of the Ron Paul campaign. Listen live here.

UPDATE II: A small story on Saturday was the tumble of Barack Obama in two tracking polls—he went from up 8 to up 1 on Clinton in Rasmussen, and from up 5 to up 1 in Gallup. Dean Barnett wondered whether the Jeremiah Wright controversy would curdle and Obama would keep falling. For now: Nope. Obama rose by 2 points in both polls on Saturday night. At Intrade, Obama shares hardly moved at all. The candidate fell from around 76 dollars to 72 dollars when the Wright story went nuclear, and rose from 72 to 73 dollars the next day.

I don't think the story can drag on unless a researcher finds video of Obama in the audience as Wright drops one of the lines Obama said he did not hear. I'm not that surprised. I presume that if Obama had swept the March 4 primaries and knocked Hillary Clinton out of the race, he'd have done a mea culpa tour on Wright and Tony Rezko by now. Best to knock this stuff out early and steer the narrative.

Unconvincing Quote of the Week

"I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."—disgraced New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, March 10.

The Week in Brief
– Barack Obama easily won the Mississippi primary, the last Democratic contest until Pennsylvania on April 22.
– The Western Front 1915-style conflict between the Clinton and Obama surrogates continued. Advisors in trouble this week including Geraldine Ferraro, who claimed being black gave Barack Obama an unfair leg up, and Obama's Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose habit of saying lunatic things finally produced video evidence.
– John McCain laughed and pocketed millions of dollars.
– The mayor of Detroit imploded in a manner almost as amusing as Eliot Spitzer.
– The House passed its own version of FISA. Are you enjoying the deadlock? So are the terrorists.
– The Democrats lurched toward mulligan elections in Michigan, and maybe in Florida, to decide their nomination. Hey, remember when they were about to win the presidency?

Below the Fold
Amanda Carpenter watches Kay Bailey Hutchinson knock herself out of McCain's veepstakes.
– Matt Yglesias has, to my mind, the best take on Jeremiah Wright.
– Dan Zarella starts to make the libertarian case for net neutrality, an issue I haven't thought enough about lately.
– Mary Kane makes the completely strange argument that our endless wars may be affecting the economy adversely.
– John Zmirak ponders the alternate universe where Distributists won the battle of ideas.
– Scott Jordan asks David Vitter (remember him?) about Eliot Spitzer.

This week's Politics 'n' Prog winners: Soft Machine.