Friday, January 16, 2009



Days like yesterday, I secretly hope that Steve Jobs is Hari Seldon and he has already recorded keynotes for WWDC 2010 - 2050 in a vault somewhere.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rick Santorum is Making Sense

Former Senator Man-on-Dog writes:
Obama also faces the reality of needing at least one Republican senator to join him to break filibusters. Many speculate that three moderate Republicans will provide the necessary Senate votes and the imprimatur of bipartisanship.

Still, Obama and the GOP moderates will not produce the kind of post-partisan harmony that Obama promised and the public now expects.

But I believe Obama has an ace in the hole among Senate Republicans. This unlikely ace can deliver not only the GOP moderates needed to break a filibuster, but also the stamp of bipartisanship: the 2008 GOP standard bearer, John McCain.

Santorum's essential point -- as much as it pains him to say it -- is that McCain, in an effort to rebuild his damaged image with the public and, more importantly, the media will now go back to tweaking the conservative GOP leadership who has done him no favors.

I believe that this is essentially correct. Further, I would wager that John McCain will, in the next four years, regain his position as the Democrats' favorite Republican Senator by delivering the dwindling block of Republican moderates and McCain buddies to Obama on critical legislation.

This is why it was smart of Obama to absolve McCain buddy Joe Lieberman of his sins, as well as nominate McCain's chief 2010 rival Janet Napolitano to Obama's cabinet.

For immediate evidence of this theory, look no further back than yesterday, when Lindsay Graham publicly supported Tim Geithner's nomination and, as Politico noted, lended "yet another bipartisan boon for President-elect Barack Obama."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Are Retiring Republican Senators More Likely To Support Obama?

Here is a question I can't figure out: will retiring Republicans, freed from their need to appeal to their base, be more likely to support President Obama's agenda?

I assume the answer is yes, but I'm actually not so sure.

Obviously we need to distinguish between more moderate and conservative Republican retirees (i.e., Martinez & Bond vs. Brownback.)

The question does assume that their is some sort of objective "correct position" in the national interest on the issues that Republicans only stray from in order to play political games. Thus, freed from that game-playing obligation, the Senator will be free to maximize national interests, having eliminated their need to play to the base.

A good example of this is Specter, who I imagine is saber rattling on Holder more because of Pat Toomey's looming primary challenge than any real umbrage. I think this is exacerbated because of Specter's particular vulnerability on justice issues from the Conservative base. (It will be interesting to see how Specter treats Obama's judicial nominees. Harshly, I'd assume.)

But I'm not so sure that the retiring Republican votes on Obama's agenda are so assured. Take the auto-bailout bill. Martinez (who I believe had announced his retirement at that point, but certainly knew about it) still voted against it -- I'm not sure about how much foreign auto production occurs in Florida.

It is interesting to note that Bond was one of 3 Republicans south of the Mason-Dixon line (retirees J. Warner & Dole were the others) to vote for the bill. (Actually, come to thnk of it, Brownback also voted for the bailout.)