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The key to victory in Iowa

2 January 2008 21:15

Des Moines, Iowa Quite remarkably on the eve of the Iowa caucuses both the Democratic and Republican races are far too close to call. The determining factor on both sides… Continue reading

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Obama makes his pitch

2 January 2008 20:23

Des Moines, Iowa Barack Obama’s closing video is radically different from Hillary’s talk to camera. Obama’s ad-men have gone for essentially a collection of his greatest hits starting  with that… Continue reading


Hillary’s closing argument

2 January 2008 15:20

Every Iowan watching the 6PM news tonight will see this extended ad from Hillary Clinton. The message hits Hillary’s theme that she is ready to be president from day one,… Continue reading


Brown’s challenge in 2008

2 January 2008 5:43

Jonathan Freedland has a typically smart piece on what Gordon Brown needs to do in 2008 in this morning’s Guardian. Freedland writes, “We will not vote on him this year,… Continue reading


New Iowa Poll has Obama winning big

1 January 2008 19:01

Today’s Des Moines Register poll suggests that Barack Obama is on course for his dream result in Iowa. It has Obama at 32, Hillary Clinton at 25 and John Edwards at… Continue reading


What the candidates want from Iowa

31 December 2007 14:47

It is now only 4 days until Iowa Caucuses get the 2008 presidential contest under way. The most precious commodity that Iowa can bestow upon a candidate is momentum; the… Continue reading


Brown needs help, but he won’t take it from the Blairites

31 December 2007 14:03

Few columnists can claim to understand Team Brown better than Jackie Ashley, so her Guardian column this morning on this weekend’s Blairite overtures is particularly interesting. Ashley writes that Brown… Continue reading


Son of Fraser

31 December 2007 13:27

My favourite Ronald Reagan quote is how government is like a baby’s alimentary canal: endless appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. I now have the chance… Continue reading


Who will get knocked out by the Romney one-two punch?

30 December 2007 11:10

The Democratic presidential contest is getting the lion’s share of the media coverage because the two main competitors in it are political superstars whose candidacies would be historic and because… Continue reading


Could Cameron have survived an autumn election?

29 December 2007 13:30

I was on BBC Radio Four’s Talking Politics today with Anne McElvoy of the Standard and Michael White of the Guardian – and Dennis Sewell in the chair. During it… Continue reading


What will fill the vacuum in Pakistan?

28 December 2007 12:47

Ahmed Rashid’s Washington Post column on what happens next in Pakistan is an absolute must read. As Rashid puts it, “The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has left a huge political… Continue reading


Bovver for the BBC over the foul Catherine Tate Christmas Special

28 December 2007 11:52

On Boxing Day, The Skimmer noted how the Catherine Tate Christmas Special with its orgy of swearing was hardly suitable for BBC1 on Christmas Day. Now, The Times reports that… Continue reading


How politicians reacted to Bhutto’s murder

28 December 2007 0:48

The Bhutto murder lets the world see how politicians of all kinds react to such events. Mike Huckabee rather failed the test by offering "sincere concern and apologies for what has… Continue reading


Can the Musharraf regime keep a lid on the violence in Pakistan?

27 December 2007 19:09

The political fall-out in Pakistan is likely to centre around a letter that Benazir Bhutto wrote to Pervez Musharraf on her return home, demanding that in the event of her… Continue reading


Musharraf’s share of the blame

27 December 2007 18:38

I don’t think Musharraf can now avoid be blamed for failing to provide Bhutto with the security she needed. Even worse for him that this should happen in Rawalpindi, the… Continue reading


Why is the BBC’s coverage of the Pakistan crisis so poor?

27 December 2007 18:27

Anyone listening to BBC Radio for the latest on Pakistan would have found only Five Live running with it. When I switched on, they had a chap with a South… Continue reading


What effect will Bhutto’s assassination have on the presidential primaries?

27 December 2007 18:13

Benazir Bhutto’s tragic death is dominating the news in the United States and could change the mood of the presidential primaries. The improvements on the ground in Iraq and the… Continue reading


What’s next in Pakistan?

27 December 2007 16:12

The Pakistani government is currently meeting to decide what to do about the Parliamentary elections scheduled for January. It seems almost certain that they will be postponed. The next question… Continue reading


The implications of Bhutto’s murder

27 December 2007 14:38

Outside the hospital where Benazir Bhutto died, her supporters chanted “Dog Musharraf, dog” – but no one would seriously believe that he, or any political party, was behind it. She… Continue reading

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Bhutto assassinated in Pakistan

27 December 2007 14:23

Benazir Bhutto’s murder vastly reduces the West’s options in Pakistan. Bhutto, while flawed in many ways, at least offered a secular and relatively liberal alternative to Musharraf. Musharraf now knows… Continue reading


What London should learn from New York

27 December 2007 14:00

New York’s famed zero-tolerance approach to crime continues to work its magic. This year murders are on track to fall below 500 for the first time since reliable records began… Continue reading


Party Non-Etiquette

26 December 2007 17:15

I gave two big Christmas bashes this year, one in London, one in New York. Both included friends who are celebrities, such as Joan Collins, Michael Winner, Tina Brown, Harry… Continue reading


Things worth reading

26 December 2007 17:12

David Brooks, perhaps the most perceptive commentator in America, picked out the year’s best American magazine pieces in The New York Times the other day. They are all well worth… Continue reading


A foul Christmas special

26 December 2007 13:54

The Catherine Tate Show’s Christmas Day Special managed over 20 uses of the F-word in the first five minutes, which must be something of a record, even by today’s debased… Continue reading


Happy Christmas

24 December 2007 15:53

Coffee House will be quiet over Christmas itself. We’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and thank you for reading and contributing. If you want a political giggle… Continue reading