EDITORIAL

Marvellous Mitt

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Andrew Marvell, Mitt Romney

Six months ago, in an editorial titled “President Romney,” I speculated that Mitt Romney​—​then behind in the polls​—​could prevail this fall: “If Romney can speak to Americans’ sense that it’s a big moment, with big challenges, and if he can make this a big election rather than a petty one, then he can win​—​perhaps big.” I continued: “Romney needs, over the next six months, to convince some number of swing voters he can and should be the next president. The easiest way to do this is by .  .  . behaving like a president. If you want to seem presidential, be presidential. .  .  . Let Obama lower himself by acting as campaigner in chief rather than commander in chief. Let Obama be shrill. Let his campaign be petty. Meanwhile, Romney can lay out his governing agenda to restore our solvency, put us on a path to prosperity, attend to our security, and safeguard our ...

Embassy in Flames

The Omertà Administration

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

At a speech in Davenport, Iowa, on October 24, with 13 days left in the presidential election, Barack Obama introduced a new closing argument: “Trust matters,” Obama ...

ARTICLES

The Campaign Dog that Didn’t Bark

Farewell, Mediscare.

BY MARK HEMINGWAY

Obama attempts some Mediscare

When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced on August 11 that he had selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, the consensus was that he had made a daring choice with a huge risk: being demagogued on Medicare cuts.

Ryan’s reputation rested on his bold proposals as the House Budget Committee chairman to offer seniors “premium support” payments to purchase their own Medicare coverage. Even though the program is facing an astronomical $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities and is the single-largest driver of America’s mounting debt, Medicare reform has historically been a big electoral loser for Republicans. As recently as May 2011, Democrat Kathy Hochul came from behind to win a ...

Tom Smith

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?

The Pennsylvania Senate race is too close to call.

BY MICHAEL WARREN


Plumcreek Township, Pa.

Last year, Tom Smith looked at the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania with ...

Mitt Romney in Youngstown, Ohio

Independents’ Day

Romney’s advantage with unaffiliated voters could prove key.

BY JAY COST

With a week to go until the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney has a decided leg up on President Barack Obama.

President Obama

Botching the Debates

How Biden and Obama blew it.

BY FRED BARNES

Joe Biden was forewarned. When he did a walk-through at the site of his debate with Paul Ryan, he asked if there might be double screens when the debate was broadcast. Yes, indeed, he was told, though it would be up to each ...

Paul Ryan in Janesville

Wisconsin Saves America?

That’s Ryan’s hope.

BY JOHN MCCORMACK

Milwaukee
Speaking at a Tea Party rally on a sunny ...

Josh Mandel

The Negative Guys

Josh Mandel’s uphill struggle.

BY KATE HAVARD

Columbus, Ohio

The Paradoxes of China

The Paradoxes of China

Understanding our rival.

BY CHARLES WOLF JR.

China, on the cusp of a major leadership transition, has cropped up only ...

Obama and his plan

Obama’s Second-Term Agenda

Entrenching his first-term ‘achievements.’

BY JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

Observers on both sides of the political aisle have noted, often with surprise, President Obama’s failure to offer an agenda for a second term in office. It would be a mistake, ...

FEATURES

The Day After

Four scenarios for the next four years

BY JAMES W. CEASER

President Obama

For the small school of political analysis that draws its inspiration from the great French 17th-century philosopher René Descartes, the cardinal methodological rule is to begin from what one can know “so clearly and distinctly as to exclude all ground of doubt.” The only important fact about the election contest today that meets this stringent threshold is that someone named either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be declared president, most likely on November 7.

Beginning from this point of certainty, Cartesians are already at work surveying the possible alternative post-November 7 political landscapes. “I prognosticate. Therefore I am.”

McGovern with the McGovern Democrats: Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug

Prairie Democrat

George McGovern, 1922-2012

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

I only really spent time with him once. Well, no, that isn’t entirely true. I also met him briefly when I was a child, ...

Books & Arts

War Without Victory

A bicentennial reflection on the War of 1812.

BY JAMES M. BANNER JR.

Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans

The War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States—“the American War” to Britons—was part of the closing phase of the Napoleonic Wars. Those wars composed the final of three world conflicts—60 years of them—reaching back at least to the Seven Years’ War (our French and Indian War) of the mid-18th century, and including the American War of Independence. Some historians even see the Napoleonic Wars as the last gasp of what they call the Second Hundred Years’ War—extending longer than a century, in fact—commencing as far back as the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) for dominance in Europe and overseas.  

Martin Amis, Christopher Hitchens, Tina Brown,  New York, 1995

Dark Laughter

Depravity at the heart of contemporary England.

BY KYLE SMITH

Despite the inapt ...

Mark Blitz

See Things as They Are

Mark Blitz on politics and philosophy.

BY CHRISTOPHER LYNCH

Mark Blitz’s Plato’s Political Philosophy makes, and keeps, some large ...

Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, 1956

Drama in Twilight

The good and the bad of Arthur Miller’s middle period.

BY COLIN FLEMING

With their first volume ...

Gregory Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway in Cuba, ca. 1950

Papa’s Secret

Words, as well as deeds, are the key to understanding Hemingway.

BY EDWIN M. YODER JR.

This superb revisionist study suggests to me that its subject, ...

CASUAL

George Herbert Walker Obama

Andrew Ferguson, campaign veteran

BY ANDREW FERGUSON

George Herbert Walker Obama

The news readers from NPR were mum-mum-mumbling in the background the other morning as I was putt-putt-puttering around the house when .  .  . all of a sudden .  .  . running counter to every fiber of my being .  .  . pulling against my every natural inclination .  .  . I began to pay attention! President Obama, one of the news readers said, was giving a speech in the Midwest to road-test a new theme for the campaign’s final weeks: “trust.”

“There’s no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust,” the president said. “Trust matters!” The Midwesterners cheered.

SCRAPBOOK

The Incredible Shrinking Obama

Lena Dunham

With our embassies around the world besieged, and some 47 million Americans on food stamps, the pettiness of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has been something to behold. The leader of the free world has spent the last few weeks before Election Day talking about Big Bird and “binders full of women.” His latest gambit—accusing his challenger of having “stage three Romnesia”—manages the adolescent twofer of simultaneously mocking his opponent’s name and making light of cancer. 

We were convinced the Obama campaign had hit bottom, but if the president has one thing going for him it’s his ability to surprise. And so last week the Obama campaign unveiled a new campaign ad ...

Trick or Treat in NYC

Trick or Treat at the New York Times

The chief defect of the New York Times, it has long seemed to The Scrapbook, is that it is at heart a deeply ...

Obama's Lame Line

Annals of Publicity

Jon Meacham’s new blockbuster—Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power—landed on The Scrapbook’s desk with ...

Obama's Rolling Stone Cover

Gasbag Alert

Last week on CNN, Anderson Cooper interviewed presidential historian Douglas Brinkley about his interview with President Obama for Rolling Stone—the one in which the ...

Election News Online

Election News Online

This issue of The Weekly Standard, as it happens, will be the last one to carry campaign news before Election Day. (Next ...

PARODY

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