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Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Beast’

KAMPANJ | Michael Tomasky, special correspondentThe Daily Beast, har läst sex (troliga) republikanska presidentkandidaters böcker.

The New York Review of Books - March 19 2015

Dessa böcker skrivs ofta i ett försök att visa att politikern har tänkt till kring de stora frågorna USA står inför.

De vill visa att politikerna har ett intellektuellt djup och inte bara är en samling one-liners och talking points.

Men i realiteten läses de mest av policy wonks och journalister som bevakar presidentkandidaternas valkampanjer.

Mer intressant är själva böckerna – eller åtminstone Tomaskys recensioner av dessa – är den ”issues palette” som recensenten anser att alla valkampanjer kretsar kring.

Dessa frågor kan variera från val till val men gynnar alltid en presidentkandidat på bekostnad av en annan.

Och den sida som lycka identifiera och sätta agendan med en sådan ”frågepalett” kommer också sätta agendan och dominera debatten.

Tomasky förespår t.ex. att stagnerade lönerna för både arbetare och medelklassen kommer att bli en av de frågor som nästa presidentvalskampanj kommer att kretsa kring. Och detta borde gynna demokraterna på bekostnad av republikanerna.

I sin recension i The New York Review of Books skriver Tomasky:

In any given presidential campaign, there exists what we might call an “issues palette”—an underlying set of public concerns that seems likely to end up being what the race is fundamentally about. To take three obvious examples: the 1932 election was about the Depression; the 1980 campaign focused on stagflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, and the larger questions of statist failure; the 2008 campaign, from September 15 onward, hinged on the economic meltdown and its dangers.

The important point about these issues palettes is that they always tend to favor one party or the other, for the obvious historical reason that our two parties are associated in the public mind with particular sets of issues, and each is seen by most voters as good at certain things and bad at other things. If terrorism or deficit reduction is the top electoral preoccupation, the tilt will be toward the Republicans. If an election ends up turning on protecting Social Security and Medicare, that should favor the Democrats. (The condition of the economy underlies everything else, and the incumbent party is typically rewarded or punished based on its strength or weakness.)

So here we are, in the protean stages of the 2016 campaign, and already it seems that we can say, with all the requisite qualifiers, that the issues palette should be reasonably favorable to the Democrats. As matters are shaping up so far, the sense of many people I speak to is that the election appears destined to be about the condition of the middle class, the issue of wage stagnation, and the recognition (finally) that the American economy has been working far better for those at the top than for those in the middle or, obviously, on the bottom.

[…]

All this has been known for a long time, and groups like the liberal Economic Policy Institute have produced dozens of papers documenting the problem. But middle-class wage stagnation, and the inequality that has resulted as compensation at the top has surged, has never been the central economic preoccupation of Washington. It is becoming so now.

This is happening for a number of reasons, some of which have percolated up by design, others by accident. Certainly, President Obama has taken up the theme of middle-class incomes with considerable energy. Various Democratic-minded think tanks in Washington push the notion as well. The Center for American Progress, arguably the most influential of these groups, released in January a major report on “Inclusive Prosperity” that recommended a range of policies—increased profit sharing, greater bargaining power for workers, vastly more infrastructure investment—to bring the have-nots closer to the haves. The real significance of this report was that the commission that drafted it was co-chaired by Larry Summers, whose endorsement of these ideas might make them more politically palatable to Hillary Clinton.

So there is some coordination here, but mainly, it’s just the way the cards are tumbling. However prematurely, Washington seems to have agreed, around the arrival of the New Year, that the recovery is on and that we have entered a new economic phase. A new phase brings a new set of questions, and the one being asked most insistently these days is: Yes, all the indicators are positive, except wages, where growth has remained sluggish. What are we going to do about that?

Bild: Framsidan av The New York Review of Books,

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VAL 2016 | Kommer hon eller kommer hon inte att kandidera? Ingen vet. Kanske inte ens hon själv. Åtminstone inte för tillfälligt.

Newsweek, 11 februari 2013

Men om den nu avgångne utrikesministern Hillary Clinton väljer att kandidera till presidentposten kommer hon att bli en av de tuffaste motståndarna för både demokratiska motkandidater och för den som väljs till republikanernas kandidat.

För närvarande är det svårt att se att någon annan – möjligtvis med undantag av vicepresident Joe Biden – som kan matcha hennes stjärnglans inom partiet och i landet för övrigt.

Det kan mycket väl vara så att många av partiets mest lovande och kunniga politikerna väljer att inte ställa upp om Clinton beslutar sig för att kandidera.

Varför ta chansen att bli massakrerad när man lika väl kan bida sin tid och hoppas på ett lättare startfällt några år längre fram?

Men Clinton, om hon vill och partiet väljer henne, har även andra fördelar.

Sannolikheten är stor att republikanerna ännu inte hunnit hämta sig från sina egna interna problem lagom till valet 2016.

Dessutom skulle en kvinnlig presidentkandidat kunna inspirera på samma sätt som Barack Obama gjorde 2008. USA:s första svarta president och nu chansen till den första kvinnliga? Snacka om att känna historiens vingslag.

Redan under Clintons första försök att bli sitt partis presidentkandidat omgavs hon av ett enormt gräsrotsstöd.

Dessa s.k. PUMA:s (Party Unity, My Ass) hade mycket väl kunna göra livet surt för Obama om inte Hillary uppmanat alla att ställa upp för Obama.

Michael Tomasky kallar henne för den mest inflytelserika kvinnan i USA:s historia.

That 2000 Senate campaign is when I started getting a firsthand look. She wasn’t a good candidate at first. She was, I was told, a bundle of nerves that first day, when she appeared with Sen. Pat Moynihan at his farm. Murdoch’s New York Post tried to kill her—the iconic cover with Clinton kissing Suha Arafat, and so much else. Clinton seemed downright afraid of Rudy Giuliani, New York City’s swashbuckling mayor; he would poke fun at her, mock her, tie her to every loopy left-wing cause in town, and she would never even mention his name.

But in upstate New York, away from the city’s bumptious glare, even when she was giving so-so speeches, I observed something else powerful going on. It was the look in women’s eyes, and especially in their daughters’ eyes, when they met her; waiting for hours, at a skating rink in Elmira I think it was, or a minor-league ballpark in Jamestown. How nervous they were, even overwhelmed, to meet her. How patient she was with every one of them, every last one of them, working those rope lines for hours and hours, posing for pictures, signing autographs—even obligingly signing some of those idiotic attack books, by Laura Ingraham and Peggy Noonan and so forth, if that’s what people shoved under her, always smiling, smiling.

“What I’ve found most unique about Hillary,” says Neera Tanden, head of the liberal think-tank the Center for American Progress and a longtime card-carrying Hillarylander, “is the almost weird connection people have to her. It’s been that way since 1992, right at the beginning.” This sounds like spin. But the other journalists following her around upstate and I saw it. It’s true.

That race—winning a landslide in a state she’d never really had a thing to do with—is absolutely key to understanding her success. Not only did the “weird connection” manifest itself intensely, but she also became a real politician over the course of that campaign. Her own person, in public terms.

[…]

The presidential race? Her one failure. The one time in her career she did a very un-Hillary thing: she didn’t prepare enough. Didn’t ask every conceivable question. You could somehow see it in that opening video she shot, sitting on the couch, saying, “I’m in it to win it.” It was a little arrogant. That’s exactly what she was not in 2000. If she tries again, she will certainly remember this.

Läs mer: ”Hillary Clinton in 2016: Be Afraid, Republicans” av Lloyd Green på The Daily Beast.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är den nya papperstidningen Newsweek med datumet 11 februari 2013.

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VALEXTRA | Inte oväntat är nyhetsmagasinen fyllda av eftervalsanalyser. Här är några om varför Barack Obama vann och vad som nu väntar.

For Obama, Survival Is the New Winning” av David von Drehle

(Time, 19 november 2012)

A subtle message about things to come may have been planted in the victory speech. The re-elected President, having proved that he can win by brawling and not just by floating on gossamer dreams, announced a new era of mature discipline — starting at home. Four years ago, Barack Obama delivered hope and change to his daughters in the lovable form of a brand-new puppy. This time around, all they got was a pat on the head. “Sasha and Malia,” he said before an adoring — and relieved — crowd in Chicago, “I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now, one dog’s probably enough.”

Fortunate One av Daniel Klaidman

(Newsweek/The Daily Beast, 19 november 2012)

As Republicans lick their wounds in the wake of their electoral drubbing, they may be tempted to blame their woes on Obama’s luck. But that would be self-defeating. They’d be better off finding solace in the fact this is the last time they’ll have to run against Barack Obama, a man who is so skilled at both creating and seizing on good fortune. “Obama is a preparation freak,” says one member of his cabinet, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “He makes his own luck.”

The Next Four Years: Obama’s Holding the Cards” av Joshua Green

(Bloomberg Businessweek, 12-18 november 2012)

At first glance, the results of the 2012 election look like a return to the status quo: President Obama was reelected, Democrats retained the Senate, and Republicans held on to the House. But don’t be fooled. The political dynamic of the next four years will be almost exactly the opposite of the last four. […] In Obama’s second term, leverage will shift to the Democrats on almost every issue of importance. And that shift has already begun.

Ledare: “Now, hug a Republican

(The Economist, 10-16 november 2012)

This newspaper endorsed Mr Obama and is glad he won, but he was lucky: lucky for the second time to have faced a less fluent opponent weighed down by his party’s trunkful of baggage; lucky that the American economy perked up, a little, just when he needed it to; maybe lucky even that Hurricane Sandy appeared when it did. Mr Obama fought an appallingly negative campaign and scraped a victory in both the swing states and the popular vote (which he won by only 2.4%, the lowest ever for a successfully re-elected president). The Democrats’ gains in the Senate stemmed largely from the Republicans choosing candidates of such tragicomic extremism that they might have been characters from a Tom Wolfe novel. And, above all, in the House the Republicans preserved their majority, feel vindicated and are spoiling for a fight.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslagen är Time och Newsweek den 19 november, Bloomberg Businessweek den 12-18 november och The Economist den 10-16 november. (Bloomberg Bussinesweek hade ett omslag med en åldrad Mitt Romney redo ifall han vunnit.)

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FYRA ÅR | Om Barack Obama vinner valet i november kommer han att bli demokraternas motsvarighet till Ronald Reagan.

Det är åtminstone vad Andrew Sullivan tror och hoppas. (Sullivans blogg The Dish ligger hos Newsweek/The Daily Beast.)

Sullivans önskningar om vad Obama skulle kunna åstadkomma om han får ytterligare fyra år i Vita huset är naturligtvis rena rama spekulationerna.

Men vad som är intressant är alla de likheter Sullivan tycker sig se när han jämför Reagans fyra första år med Obamas.

Sullivan skriver i Newsweek:

[U]nlike Clinton’s constant triangulating improvisation, Obama has been playing a long, strategic game from the very start—a long game that will only truly pay off if he gets eight full years to see it through. That game is not only changing America. It may also bring his opposition, the GOP, back to the center, just as Reagan indelibly moved the Democrats away from the far left.

[…]

[Reagan] was, in office, a center-right pragmatist who struggled badly in his first term, reversed himself on tax cuts several times, was uneasily reliant on Southern Democrats, -invaded Lebanon, lost 265 U.S. servicemembers, and then fled, and ran for reelection with a misery index of unemployment and inflation at 11.5 percent. (Obama is running for a second term with a misery index of 9.8 percent.) Reagan also got major flak from his right wing, as Obama has from his left. A classic excerpt in early 1983 from The Miami Herald: “Conservatives may not back President Reagan for reelection in 1984 unless he reverses what they consider ‘almost a stampede to the left’ in the White House.” Reagan’s Republicans lost 26 seats in 1982, down 13 percent from their previous numbers. That same year, Reagan’s approval ratings sank to 35 -percent—several points lower in his first term than Obama’s ever reached. If you compare Gallup’s polls of presidential approval, you also see something interesting: Obama’s first-term -approval—its peaks and valleys—resembles Reagan’s more than any other recent president; it’s just that Obama’s lows have been higher and his highs lower. Reagan struggled. By his reelection in 1984, he’d been buoyed by a rebirth of economic growth and -lower -inflation—but it was in his second term that he became the icon he remains today.

[…]

Obama’s first term looks very similar—two big initial wins, the stimulus and universal health care, that became a liability in the midterm election. Obama’s mid-term crash was worse than Reagan’s, and his opposition far less accommodating. Reagan won 48 Democratic House and 37 Democratic Senate votes for his first signature policy, the tax cuts; Obama got zero and three Republican votes, respectively, for a stimulus in the worst recession since the 1930s. Those are the fruits of polarization. Nonetheless, the administration has soldiered on since 2010, and the tally of achievements is formidable: the near-obliteration of al Qaeda, democratic revolutions in the Arab world that George Bush could only have dreamed of, the re-regulation of Wall Street after the 2008 crash, stimulus investments in infrastructure and clean energy, powerful new fuel-emission standards along with a record level of independence from foreign oil, and, most critically, health-care reform. Now look at what Obama’s second term could do for all of these achievements. It would mean, first of all, that universal health care in America—government subsidies to people so they can afford to purchase private insurance and a ban on denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions—becomes irreversible. Yes, many details of the law would benefit from reform, experimentation, and fixes—especially if Republicans help to make them. But it’s still the biggest change in American health care since the passage of Medicare in 1965.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Newsweek den 1 oktober 2012.

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DESIGN | Den 31 december 2012 blir sista pappersnumret av Newsweek. News-Week, som man då skrev namnet, kom ut första gången i februari 1933.

Därefter går man över till betaltjänst på olika plattformar. The Daily Beast är tänkt att förbli tillgänglig som den är idag.

Huvudanledningen till nedläggningen är ekonomiska. Tidskriften säljer helt enkelt inte tillräckligt. Vikande reklam- och försäljningssiffror har länge pekat mot en nedläggning.

Förklaringen till varför Tina Brown inte har lyckats lyfta Newsweek är många.

Men en av kritiken (av många) som riktats mot henne är att hon försökt kompensera vikande relevans med hjälp spekulativa omslag och attacker på offentliga personer.

Noreen Malone, The National Review, skriver:

Despite her enthusiasm for her web-only project, The Daily Beast, Brown hasn’t been able to keep up with the very media landscape she helped to create. We’re living in the high era of buzz […] (Now you build this person up! Now you tear her down!), and, arguably, the low-level chatter about stories has overtaken the stories themselves. To get their attention, Brown’s been forced to resort to what all those chatterers have labeled trolling (though, to her credit, often of a particularly imaginative bent): the Michelle Bachmann eyes, the gay Obama cover, the ghost of Princess Di, the Heaven Is Real argument. If they look like moves of desperation that’s because, well, they are. Former employees say that Brown had, quite clearly, lost her confidence. Many of her editorial decisions look more like catchup than agenda-setting: her recent efforts to amp up coverage of philanthropy, politics, and feminism seem driven more by her rivalry with Arianna Huffington than by any particular moral or intellectual imperatives. According to a former employee and Brown fan, “Tina didn’t have good concepts by the end, so she just started attacking public figures.”

En av de mer harmlösa ”lånen” är exemplet ovan (artikel av Sidney Blumenthal). Omslaget skall illustrera att Abraham Lincoln minsann inte skyggade för dirty tricks om det gällde att vinna valkampanjen för att sedan kunna avskaffa slaveriet.

Det är inte svårt att se att man har kopierat majnumret av Esquire 1968 – ett av de mest kända omslagen som finns.

George Lois tillhör en av giganterna inom reklamvärlden. Han var en av de riktiga Mad Men långt innan tv-serien var påtänkt.

Så här skriver Lois själv om omslaget:

This is my Esquire cover of spring 1968, before Tricky Dick was nominated for president. My composite shot was a satirical comment on the 1960 TV debates, when the Whittier Wiz lost to the handsome John F. Kennedy by a five o’clock shadow because he looked evil on America’s screens. I located this profile shot (Nixon getting shut eye on a plane) and we photographed the hands of four makeup artists, including the guy wielding the lipstick. The day it hit the newsstands, editor Harold Hayes got a phone call from some stiff on Nixon’s staff. He was miffed. In fact, he was incensed. You know why? The lipstick. He said it was an attack on his boss’s masculinity. He screamed, ”Showing Richard Nixon as a flaming queen is outrageous. If he becomes president, Esquire had better watch out!,” and hung up.

Övrigt: Citatet av Lois från $ellebrity – My Angling and Tangling with Famous People (Phaidon Press Ltd). Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är Newsweek den 22 oktober 2012. Fler uppmärksammade och provocerande omslag.

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DEBATT | Vem vann vicepresidentdebatten? Svaret hänger antagligen samman med om man ser sig som demokrat eller republikan.

Newsday, New York, USA

Oshkosh Northwest, Wisconsin, USA

The Courier-Journal, Kentucky, USA

Någon tydlig vinnare är svårt att kora utifrån själva retoriken under debatten. Det utdelades knappast något tydligt knock out slag under natten. Vad som däremot skilde debattörerna åt var själva debattstilen.

Vicepresident Joe Biden var betydligt bättre än Barack Obama när presidenten debatterade med Mitt Romney. Demokraternas kärnväljare uppskattade säkert hans betydligt tuffare och aggressivare stil.

Den yngre och mer oerfarne Paul Ryan lätt sig dock inte skrämmas. Han behöll sitt lugn rakt igenom debatten. Han var fokuserad och påläst. Han fick antagligen sagt vad han ville säga och gav ett kunnigt intryck.

Vad som däremot var en tydlig skillnad var deras respektive sätt att debattera.

Biden avbröt ständigt Ryan medan Ryan var mer respektfull när Biden talade.

Bidens ständiga huvudskakaningar, nedlåtande leenden och fnysande när Ryan talade kan mycket väl ha stött bort många tittare. Inte minst kan det ha påverkat osäkra väljare. Ryan uppfattades som betydligt mer respektfull i sin stil.

Brett O’Donnell, The Daily Beast, sammanfattade det väl:

In the back and forth of this undercard event, both Biden and Ryan accomplished their goals—advance the campaign’s message, adeptly represent the top of the ticket, and convince the audience you’re prepared for the presidency.

Perhaps Vice President Biden was looking for perfect balance in the debate world by being as aggressive in his debate as President Obama was timid in his. Biden even broke the golden rule of debating—never argue with the moderator unless you’re Newt Gingrich. Yet both men left their partisan bases happy by fighting hard for their side’s vision. The question that remains is, was this an “Al Gore moment” for the vice president who overcorrected through his interrupting, condescending laugh, and eye-rolling behavior throughout the debate, or will he be seen as the Obama campaign’s hero who put the campaign back on message. That decision will certainly be in the eye of partisan beholder.

For Paul Ryan the challenge was to prove himself to have presidential mettle. And he passed that test. He handled the foreign-policy questions competently and remained calm in the face of the full fire of the vice president. He was at times overly concerned with defending detail, and he almost seemed embarrassed when the vice president raised the issue of Ryan’s letter seeking stimulus funds. But his answer to the question of what do you say to the veteran about the tenor of the campaign, captured by the line “Leaders run to fix problems,” struck the visionary chord that has made him one of the icons of the Republican Party.

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DENVER | Mitt Romney tog initiativet från första början. Han var både påläst och engagerad. Dessutom verkade han tycka det var kul att få debattera.

Presidenten däremot verkade både ointresserad och okoncentrerad. Obama lyckades aldrig koppla något riktigt grepp om sin motståndare. Han försökte inte ens. En märkligt tam insats från presidenten.

Det var lite av en överraskning att Romney var så överlägsen som han var. Många hade nog förväntat sig en mer jämn debatt.

Andrew Sullivan som bloggar på The Daily Beast – och är en av Obamas anhängare i media – sammanfattade väl vad många av demokraternas väljare antagligen kände efter debatten.

Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.

Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn’t there. He was entirely defensive, which may have been the strategy. But it was the wrong strategy. At the wrong moment.

The person with authority on that stage was Romney – offered it by one of the lamest moderators ever, and seized with relish. This was Romney the salesman. And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It’s beyond depressing. But it’s true.

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