As upset as certain military officers have been with the White House—and as much as they like McChrystal's can-do spirit—this was a seriously can't-do moment. No one can quite believe that McChrystal would be so stupid as to give this interview, which McChrystal himself this morning conceded in a statement was "bad judgment."
Barack Obama was more cunning than anyone knew. Obama wasn't much of a tennis player, but he mulled a tennis metaphor offered by a friend: his opponent was like one of those guys in white shorts running from the baseline to the net, then from sideline to sideline, all over the court trying to hit the ball.
Elena Kagan is being attacked for her lack of judicial experience by some of the same folks (e.g., Sen. John Cornyn) who said Harriet Miers was especially qualified for the Supreme Court because President Bush had gone outside the usual suspects and nominated someone who wasn't a judge.
The news media and public can only see current events through the prism of the past. So we're all looking for a Katrina replay in the oil-spill story. David Axelrod was on Good Morning America tamping down any suggestion that the White House had been tardy in reacting.
1. No decision has been made by the president.2. The top four candidates are Elena Kagan, Diane Wood, Merrick Garland, and Janet Napolitano.3. Dark horses are still possible, especially if one could be found who is an economic progressive who could help redress what the president considers to be the tilt toward the powerful on the court.
I'm not sure people realize just how much the failure of health care demoralized Evan Bayh. As I learned in reporting for my upcoming book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, out in May, White House aides David Axelrod and Jim Messina visited the Senate just before the August recess last year and left feeling much better after hearing from Bayh.
I took the call on my cell phone at the Starbucks in New York's Penn Station. It was from a doctor I barely knew telling me that a CT scan—ordered after three weeks of worsening stomach pain—showed a large mass in my abdomen, with what she said was "considerable lymph node involvement." I rubbed my eyes and sensed the truth instantly: cancer, and not one that had been detected early.