The Spectacle Blog


By on 9.28.06 | 7:36PM

Dave: As much as I respect parental divining skills, as well as your own prediction abilities, which are certainly far greater than mine, I'm afraid my own experience in New Hampshire just does not jibe with this analysis. In September 2002 I was assigned by one of New Hampshire's bigger dailies (read: still really small) to cover the Howard Dean beat--mostly because he was a nobody and reporters with seniority had picked their own horses. For months I went to events where only I and maybe one or two other reporters were the audience. Yet a few months beyond that everybody in the country knew who Howard Dean was, for good or for ill. By the time I took a job at the Associated Press six months later, he was too big a fish for a minnow like me to be trusted with covering. The D.C. reporters came in for that and I was stuck covering Lieberman--who, incidentally, was fully introduced to voters three years earlier.

Re: Huckabee Water Cooler

By on 9.28.06 | 5:56PM

The results are in. I asked my dad if the name Huckabee rings any bells.

And even for a guy who I think is up on his politics, Huckabee barely registered.

First try:


Second try:
well the first reply was a guess. I wanted to say governor. I then googled him and there you have it. Why the interest in him?

Third try:
well I think I passed the litmus test sort of... I didn't remember that he was republican.

No, it ain't conclusive. But he has little time to let folks know who he is.

Huckabee Is Awful

By on 9.28.06 | 3:39PM

If Gov. Huckabee is making inroads in new Hampshire, we are all in deep trouble. I covered him for 14 months in Little Rock, and rarely have a been so disappointed in a political figure for whom I had high hopes. He is so thin-skinned he may as well have an epidermis of crepe-paper; he is so sanctimonious he makes John McCain look full of self-doubt; his antenna for possible ethical violations by his staff is not only inoperable, but deliberately so: His attitude is, "How DARE anyone question the ethics of ANYBODY associated with me, because I'm a Baptist minister, so I'm beyond reproach and by extension so is my entire staff!!!" This is a warning to all conservatives: If he is the Republican nominee, the press and Hillary (who of course has her entire Arkansas gang loaded up on oppo research against Huckabee) will EAT HUCK ALIVE. He would be an utter disaster. This is just by way of observation, mind you, not an endorsement of any particular candidacy.

The Huckabee Water Cooler

By on 9.28.06 | 2:24PM

Shawn, That is interesting to hear. But as far as these candidates go, my folks are my best litmus test. If my dad knows who he is, but my mom doesn't (George Allen), he's got an uphill battle. If both know, I consider the candidate a national figure (Rudy). But Huckabee? He may be far too late in letting the rest of the country know who he is. (But I'll ask the old man later today and get back to you.)

Oppresively Low Premiums

By on 9.28.06 | 2:10PM

Wal-Mart is cutting back on its health insurance options for new employees, restricting them to two plans with high deducibles but low monthly premiums:

"We've done the math on this, and we have a pretty good understanding of what this is going to mean," [Wal-Mart spokeman] Dan Fogleman said. "Most associates are going to come out better on this."

Of course, you know who is unhappy:

"Wal-Mart is cruelly hurting its employees, cutting health-care options and shifting costs on to the American taxpayer," said Paul Blank, campaign director for Wake-Up Wal-Mart.

Late September Surprise

By on 9.28.06 | 1:23PM

Bob Woodward's latest book on the Iraq War is on the way, and he gives the "retired" Mike Wallace a preview. Among his points:

According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. "It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That's more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces," says Woodward.