If Obama wants people to stop calling him a closet conservative, he's got to stop saying stuff like this:
"The Republican approach I think has played itself out. I think it's fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time over the last 10 or 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies, when they're being debated among the presidential candidates, it's all tax cuts. Well, we've done that, we've tried it."(sigh) And this the day after I defend his seemingly neutral Reagan comments.
Taken altogether, it's clear he's saying in the above statement that the Republicans had their shot to try out their crazy ideas for 10-15 years, and their ideas all failed, so now let's give the Democrats a turn. Which is hard to argue with. And he's careful not to characterize the ideas because he doesn't want to offend anyone old enough to vote. But to say that Republicans have been the "party of ideas" is to imply that the Democrats haven't had ideas during that same time, which is patently false. I think Obama's looking ahead to the general election, knowing he's going to have to defend a pretty liberal voting record and trying to soften it with some non-offensive statements about Republicans and Republican icons (i.e. Reagan), but this doesn't make good political sense. He's got to win the nomination first, and anything that even smacks of admiration for Republicans is death in a close primary fight. Hillary and Edwards have been beating him over the head with his recent spate of lofty, almost disinterested-sounding statements and, leaving aside for a moment whether the statements are true or not, it's just not good politics. It's dumb politics and he's got to be smarter to win this thing.
Of course, Hillary mischaracterizes what he said, saying, incorrectly, that Obama said Republicans had "better" ideas, which he did not say, but one can hardly blame her for taking the club Obama gives her and beating him over the head with it. She's trying to win too.
The Obama campaign responds to Hillary's response, some might say lamely, here.
Also: further developments on the Ron Paul newsletter story. Apparently, Ron Paul was close to naming who he believed was responsible for writing some of the more unsavory items in those newsletters, but opted not to. Even if it becomes clear that Paul was responsible for writing exactly none of those racist articles, I think he needs to come out and explain why he let those newsletters go out under his name for decades and decades without a lawsuit, or even a word of protest.
And fellow blogger Peter Fedak has seen "Cloverfield." His teaser review is quite brief.