I again asked students in my American Political Parties class at Columbia College if President Obama’s acceptance speech was a success and if it changed their minds about him. Of the six who sought the bonus points, four went in supporting Obama and none changed their minds. Most comments were about the emotional power of the speech and how good a public speaker he is. The criticisms were of the lack of specifics. One was very positive despite her feeling that he had made little progress on his promises from four years ago.
Okay. What’s the deal with Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention? Dirty Harry said, at the end of one of those movies: “A man’s got know his limitations.” Eastwood should have taken Dirty Harry’s advice. What were the Republicans thinking?
The contemporary history of U.S. Senate elections in Missouri is fascinating. It is filled with twists and turns, tragedy and farce. It is extraordinary how rich its arc is and how fabulous the alternative histories that emerge from it are.