How To Deal With Iran

Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has a few pointers on handling the Iranians, among them:

Washington should refrain from making any grand overtures to Tehran that could redeem Ahmadinejad’s leadership and increase his popularity ahead of the country’s June 2009 presidential elections. Since assuming office in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has used his influence to amplify objectionable Iranian foreign practices while curtailing domestic political and social freedoms and flagrantly disregarding human rights; his continued presence could serve as an insurmountable obstacle to confidence building with the United States.

He also counsels avoiding heavy-handed rhetoric and focusing on dealing with Khamenei. Read the whole thing.

Cabinet Reaction

Tom Barnett likes what he sees so far of Obama’s appointments:

Obama is trying to satisfy in a lot of different directions, and I think it’s a good mix to date. They reflect a true CEO mindset that wants very strong subordinates, and I like a cabinet for America right now that reflects too much agenda and too much leadership rather than too little in either category. I don’t want an America that simply accommodates or surrenders to presumed trends. I want an America that leads as it always has, but does so in a smarter fashion. 

Hillary and Foggy Bottom

Count me among those dubious about the idea of Hillary Clinton’s becoming secretary of state. While it appears the courtship is serious, I’m still recalling that the campaign exposed her as having little in the way of executive skills or ability to mediate differences among strong-willed subordinates. Those flaws make it unlikely that she’d be a success at State, with its coterie of careerists who are notoriously resistant to political leadership. 

One point in her favor: She’d be a helluva lot better than Bill Richardson, a blowhard who’s nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Wolfson Can’t Leave It Alone

Howard Wolfson, former Clinton spokesflack:

“The fact that Palin is pro-life and pro-gun will be a block for many of Senator Clinton’s supporters — but not all. And it will raise the question for many why Senator Obama didn’t pick Senator Clinton as his running mate.”

Hey, jackass, get a clue. It’s already clear having what amounts to two presidents in one administration is a bad idea. Picking Hillary, we’d have three. Bill comes in the bargain.

So Far in the Convention

Blogging’s been a bit light around here (social obligations, plus things being soggy around here thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay) so I’m a bit late to commenting on the Dem’s big party. But these things stick out:

  1. Hillary’s were-you-in-it-for-me-or-the-cause moment Tuesday night. Pitch perfect, and absolutely the right question. Eventually, the intended targets of that question will answer, “the cause.”
  2. Joe Biden’s riff on the economy. No raise, falling home values, rising gas prices, all concerns for the middle class. A blow well-struck. He was less convincing on foreign policy, however.
  3. Bill Clinton’s hammering on the economy. Not the way I would have done it — all one need to is compare the misery index components at the end of his administration to those prevailing now — but effective nonetheless. 

Obama’s task in his acceptance is to build on what Biden and Bill had to say about the economy.

Hillary’s No PUMA

I think we’ll hear this in her prime-time speech. As David Byrne said in Stop Making Sense, does anyone have any questions?

Oh, and Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has only it partly right:

It’s almost as if the party “rift” has been exaggerated for effect by news outlets obsessed with the notion of drama, and desperate to find some kind of major conflict, whether it exists or not.

No, Steve, it’s a plant. And some people are dumb enough to fall for it.

UPDATE: They’re still at it. Let’s go to the tape, shall we?