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Obama-Mania Reigns

Plus: Historic Hillary's Brave Fight Against Sexism & At Least Communists Meant Well
Obama-Mania Reigns at the Times
"He is recruiting followers, yes, and his Democratic primary race here with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton could not be tighter. But the moment is suffused, so as almost not to require that he make it explicit, with a sense of historical moment. I, you, we can make history, he says, by turning the nation's sorrowful racial narrative into something radiant and hopeful....There is no getting around it, this man who emerged triumphant from the Iowa caucuses is something unusual in American politics. He has that close-cropped hair and the high-school-smooth face with that deep saxophone of a voice. His borrowings, rhetorical and intellectual, are dizzying. One minute he recalls the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his pacing and aching, staccato repetitions. The next minute he is updating John F. Kennedy with his 'ask not what America can do for you' riff on idealism and hope." - Michael Powell after Barack Obama's victory in the Iowa caucuses, January 5.

If These Guys Aren't Liberals, Then Who Is?

"In 1980, Ted Kennedy, who ran as something of a populist, pouted and barely could bring himself to endorse President Jimmy Carter at the Democratic convention. In 1988, the populist Jesse Jackson kept stony counsel before giving his nod to the pragmatist Michael Dukakis." - Michael Powell, January 6.



Can We Work Some Anti-War Bias In Here?

"NATO has about 16,500 troops on the ground, slightly fewer than it had during the riots in March 2004. And the endgame in Kosovo's drive for independence comes as a distracted and overstretched American military, which still has a contingent in Kosovo, is fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." - Nicolas Kulish, December 9.



At Last the World Is Listening to the Goracle

"He has said it again and again, with increasing urgency, to anyone who will listen. And on Monday, former Vice President Al Gore used the occasion of his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize lecture here to tell the world in powerful, stark language: Climate change is a 'real, rising, imminent and universal' threat to the future of the Earth." - London-based Sarah Lyall, December 11.

No Terrorist Attacks in U.S. = Black Mark for CIA?
For six years, Central Intelligence Agency officers have worried that someday the tide of post-Sept. 11 opinion would turn, and their harsh treatment of prisoners from Al Qaeda would be subjected to hostile scrutiny and possible criminal prosecution. Now that day may have arrived, after years of shifting legal advice, searing criticism from rights groups - and no new terrorist attacks on American soil." - Scott Shane, December 13.


Republicans Still Appealing to Racism

"The Republicans' ascent in Arkansas was not based on racial divisions as it was in other Southern states, where appeals to solidarity based on race remain a potent if unspoken force for the party. Quite the contrary: Mr. Rockefeller, who in 1966 became the first Republican to be elected governor since Reconstruction, opened up state offices to blacks and sang 'We Shall Overcome' on the Capitol steps after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated." - Adam Nossiter from Arkansas, January 8.



Proud Atheist Compares GOP to Harsh Saudi Arabian Law

"Belief in God too often spawns reasons to punish sinners - 'adulterers' in Saudi Arabia, gays for some Republican presidential candidates. Through the ages, it has provided people of all sorts of creeds a great argument to kill and maim the people from the next creed over." - Economics reporter-turned editorial board member (and atheist) Eduardo Porter, December 14.



Historic Hillary's Brave Fight Against Sexism

"Even Democratic women with no intention of voting for Mrs. Clinton found themselves drawn into the debate and shaken by what briefly seemed like a humiliating end to the most promising female candidacy in American history." - Jodi Kantor in a January 10 story headlined "Women's Support for Clinton Rises in Wake of Perceived Sexism."



At Least Communists Meant Well, Unlike the Nazis
Director Francis Ford Coppola: "It's sort of like saying my grandfather was an Italian fascist. In those days, in 1937, or even earlier, all the Italians were fascists. It might have been like the Communist thing in this country. If you were young in the '30s, and very humanistic, you might have flirted with Communism, and then it came to haunt you."
Deborah Solomon: "No, Communism was rooted in a utopian vision, the Iron Guard was rooted in hatred."
Coppola: "Well, there were people who felt that the Communist effort in the '20s and '30s among our writers was orchestrated by Stalin, but the people who got into it I'm sure got into it for idealistic reasons." - Exchange with the Times Q&A interviewer Deborah Solomon in the December 14 issue of the magazine.


Romney, Hard-Right Jerk

"The question at this point is whether [GOP candidate Mitt] Romney jerked the wheel too hard to the right as he now tries to pick up a broader cross-section of voters." - Michael Luo, December 20.



Huckabee the Reaganite?

"It is pretty much Reagan-era stuff, only funnier." - Paul Vitello describing GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who has many fiscal and foreign policy views, December 21

Economics Reporter Finds Free Market "A False Idol"

"For more than a quarter-century, the dominant idea guiding economic policy in the United States and much of the globe has been that the market is unfailingly wise. So wise that the proper role for government is to steer clear and not mess with the gusher of wealth that will flow, trickling down to the every level of society, if only the market is left to do its magic....But now the invisible hand is being asked to account for what it has wrought. In this country, many economic complaints - from the widening gap between rich and poor to the expense of higher education - are being dusted for its fingerprints." - From economics reporter Peter Goodman's front-page Week in Review story of December 30.



Yum, Yum, Those Delicious Democrats

"In discussing their choices, Democrats sounded like diners ooohing and ahhing slowly - very slowly - over a menu with too many enticing choices." - Jodi Kantor, January 3.