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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Big Monday

This is indeed a busy Monday morning in the political world. The White House is likely to announce retired federal district court judge Michael Mukasey as its nominee to succeed Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, having backed off more controversial possibilities such as Michael Chertoff and Ted Olsen.
Mukasey’s close relationship to Rudy Giuliani will raise a lot of Left and Right eyebrows, and his outspoken support for the Patriot Act will probably spur some netroots talk about opposing his confirmation. But the immediate reaction among Democrats has been fairly conciliatory (reflected most notably by positive comments from Ralph Neas of People for the American Way, as quoted in the Post article linked to above), and the best bet is that Dems will use the confirmation hearings to pin down Mukasey on Gonzales’ various misdeeds and prevarications, most notably the U.S. Attorneys scandal (Mukasey was himself a federal prosecutor under Giuliani back in the day).
On the presidential campaign trail, Hillary Clinton is releasing the “coverage” piece of her health care proposal today, and all indications are that she will embrace an “individual mandate” to ensure universal coverage, joining John Edwards and differing from Barack Obama on that wonky but important point. Initial reaction in the progressive blogosphere is likely to be positive. One things’s for certain sure: any similarities between HRC’s plan and the Massachusetts initiative (which also includes an individual mandate) signed into law by Mitt Romney will be used by the Mittster’s GOP presidential rivals to label him as an advocate for HillaryCare, probably forcing him to discuss the MA plan more frequently.
But while HRC is making news on health care, Barack Obama moved a major chess piece in the politics of Iraq, coming out clearly yesterday for the no-war-funding-without-deadlines approach, earning cheers from Markos Moulitsas. Obama’s statement (in Iowa, of course) aligned him with Edwards, Dodd and Richardson on the funding cutoff strategy (Biden is stridently opposed to it), and shifted the focus to HRC, who in the past has moved in tandem with Obama on this particular issue. But Obama, like HRC (and to a lesser extent Edwards) remains exposed to demands by Dodd and Richardson that he disclaim support for a significant residual troop presence in Iraq after combat brigades are withdrawn.
In the Republican presidential contest, Newt Gingrich made a lot of Democrats happy late last week by renewing talk of a last-minute bid.
And in celebrity-culture-meets-politics news, last night Al Gore picked up an Emmy (for his role in launching the Current channel) to go with his Oscar, while the Fox Network may be open to charges that it censored Sally Fields’ Emmy acceptance speech for profane anti-war comments.

One comment on “Big Monday

  1. Badger on

    I’ve noticed some confusion as to whether Al Gore is an Oscar winner. He isn’t. “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. That award goes to the producer, which Al Gore was not. What happened at the Oscars is that he was chosen by TPTB for the movie to give the acceptance speech if it won more than likely because he was a major catalyst for why the documentary got made in the first place.


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