This year's Marrakech Film Festival has been happening in Morocco all week. During my time there, I saw only one film, but the festival itself was pretty cinematic. Tons of amazingly photogenic people swanning around, lots of gorgeous scenery, mindbending architecture to gawk at, a group of desperate people plotting escape (journalists), the whole deal.
Ten days ago, in Nashua, New Hampshire, Barack Obama gave what had become his standard, sluggish 2012 appeal to a passive crowd of 8,000 voters. A week later, up the road in Concord, though, the confidence of 2008 was back. The crowd of 14,000 had that old Hopey and Changey buzz. Standing stage left were the Davids Axelrod and Plouffe looking very happy to be on the verge of another victory. He closed the campaign with Jay Z, who is obviously now a socialist. What had changed in the interceding week? Had Sandy jolted Barack Obama back in line, even as it had, to borrow Nate Silver's observation, "[...]
Democrats came to Charlotte for the DNC with about a trillionth of the excitement they had for Denver in 2008. Back then, a national cult had enveloped Barack Obama. Instead of a messiah, President Obama has proven to be a very effective commander in chief, but one who couldn't succeed on the most pressing issue for Americans: jobs. Not forcing a jobs program into existence—despite his going to town on Congress exactly a year ago—will probably be looked at as his biggest first-term failure. It would be what costs him the election, should such a thing happen.
But I really came to Charlotte to seek out what was left [...]
On Monday morning in Tampa, I stepped out of a bathroom stall and into a large bald fellow in a blue suit. I didn't even have time to wash my hands before saying good morning to the most important Republican of our time, and my personal hero, Mr. Karl Rove. "Morning," I said. "Morning," he said. It's morning in America, again. And then walking out of the bathroom, I saw a grown, suit-clad man trying to mount a five-foot tall red, white and blue raffle-prize elephant. "Get a picture!" the guy yelled to no one.
The Marriott Waterside Hotel was Fort Romney RNC. The Marriott family are Mormon, are [...]
I arrived back in New Hampshire a couple days after Christmas, attending a Mitt Romney event at Geno's Chowder & Sandwich Shop on a wharf at the port's mouth in Portsmouth. A few hundred people showed up too, the usual Republican mix of dyed-blonde women in furs, size-38-pants men, Brooks Brother-y bros, and girls in those knee-high brown storm-trooper boots that have recently invaded the suburbs.
Mitt's DJ told me that he can't play The Boss or Mellencamp, his faves for campaign rallies (he is a professional political DJ), because they'd sue. "Freedom ain't free when it comes to 'Born in the USA,'" the DJ said. "But Kid Rock, [...]