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Matt Cooper

Entries by Matt Cooper

Dear Gov. Blagojevich

(76) Comments | Posted December 9, 2008 | 4:06 PM

Dear Governor Blagojevich:

I know you've had a long day.

Apparently, federal agents showed up at your house to arrest you at 6 a.m. for trying to sell Barack Obama's senate seat to the highest bidder.

You're probably wondering what to do. I have some advice.

Back in...

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What Hillary Can Ask For -- and It's Not VP

(18) Comments | Posted June 4, 2008 | 6:46 PM

With close to 2,000 delegates, 18 million popular votes, and a majority of primary wins since March—along with victories in the most important electoral states—Hillary Clinton has a right to ask the victorious Barack Obama for some things. After all, nations that have been defeated in war have a...

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McClellan, Right and Wrong

(83) Comments | Posted May 29, 2008 | 4:56 PM

I haven't read Scott McClellan's book yet but, like a lot of people, I'm looking forward to it.

Somewhat infamously, I covered the Bush White House from 2003 to 2006 for Time magazine and got caught up in the C.I.A.-leak case, something that was also a signal moment in...

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Decide in Denver; That's What Conventions Are For

(74) Comments | Posted April 25, 2008 | 9:48 AM

I have a crazy idea. What if Democrats actually use their convention as a convention instead of an infomercial?

Right now, Democrats are fretting over the Clinton-Obama race as if it were the death knell of their party and coming up with one crazy scheme after another to shut down...

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Flag Pins, Cookies, and a Depressing Debate

(13) Comments | Posted April 17, 2008 | 12:54 PM

What a weird night.

Twenty-one Democratic debates ago the weirdness was Mike Gravel, a cranky octogenarian former senator from Alaska, who advocated national referendums for everything. Now we're down to two serious, impressive candidates but the weirdness remains.

You have to attribute a lot of that to ABC News, which...

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John McCain, Flip Flopper

(11) Comments | Posted April 14, 2008 | 5:44 PM

Washington, January 20, 2009 -- John McCain was sworn in as the 44th president at noon today, vowing to end "the era of rancor" and pledging to work with Democrats to vanquish what he called the triple peril of terrorism, climate change, and runaway entitlement spending. "These are the challenges...

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Obama Can Win... by Winning

(7) Comments | Posted April 2, 2008 | 6:03 PM

There's lots of agonizing going on about what happens to the superdelegates. Should they wait until the Democratic convention to cast their votes or should they meet earlier in some kind of confab to get this thing over with earlier? This is leaving aside the question of how to seat...

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John Adams: Good for McCain -- and Kerry, Dukakis

(8) Comments | Posted March 28, 2008 | 10:51 AM

Like a lot of pundits, I've been watching John Adams. Like most everything on HBO from The Sopranos to The Wire to Taxicab Confessions -- admit it, you watch -- it's great. And watching it you can't resist drawing parallels to today. Herewith, two observations:

1. John Adams...

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Run, Hillary, Run. Ralph, Too.

(202) Comments | Posted March 27, 2008 | 12:47 PM

The New York Times is now on autopilot, suffering from an astounding bit of groupthink. First, David Brooks, usually independent minded, echoes the chattering class sentiment about the terrible consequences of Hillary Clinton remaining in the race for president. Now Nick Kristof writes virtually the same thing.

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The Ferraro Fallacy

(10) Comments | Posted March 13, 2008 | 6:08 PM

At first I was willing to give Geraldine Ferraro the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was clumsily trying to say that a lot of Barack Obama's appeal is because he's a spectacular candidate and he's black and people are hungering for someone who can bridge racial divides and so...

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Clinton, Obama and the Narcissism of Small Differences

(24) Comments | Posted February 20, 2008 | 4:07 PM

It's a great phrase: the narcissism of small differences. Freud used it to explain group madness, suggesting that our greatest hatred is often directed at those most like us. "Closely related races keep one another at arm's length," he wrote. "The South German cannot endure the North German, the Englishman...

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Dump the Cuban Embargo

(20) Comments | Posted February 19, 2008 | 8:09 AM

I'm in the U.S. Airways Shuttle Terminal at La Guardia. It's a late night in October, and I run into a senior economic official from the Clinton administration. We catch up on friends, and I tell him that I'm working on a column about the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba...

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Microsoft, Yahoo and the End of Antitrust

(9) Comments | Posted February 1, 2008 | 1:23 PM

The total lack of interest in antitrust considerations is what jumps out at me this morning. If the Justice Department's antitrust division was alive, we'd at least be wondering this morning if they'd give the deal their blessing. To the extent there's any concern at all, it's about the European...

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(28) Comments | Posted January 31, 2008 | 11:29 AM

McCain doesn't have the nomination yet but if he gets it there's a compelling argument for him to pick Colin Powell as his veep. The conventional wisdom is that McCain will need to secure his right flank and select an undisputed conservative. But McCain could take a page from the...

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Ingmar Bergman, Tom Snyder and the Lost 70s

(33) Comments | Posted July 30, 2007 | 5:00 PM

At first the deaths today of Tom Snyder, the idiosyncratic talk show host and Ingmar Bergman, the great Swedish filmaker, would seem to have nothing in common. But at the age of 44, and having grown up in the 70s, I can't help but think of the two together and...

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Hey, Bancrofts: Shut Up

(4) Comments | Posted July 18, 2007 | 3:57 PM

There's something tiresome about the Bancrofts, none of whom I've ever met and who, to their credit, created a great American newspaper in The Wall Street Journal. After owning this poorly run company for so long -- could Bloomberg or Reuters really have flourished into far larger financial news and...

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Where's the Conrad Black Commutation?

(17) Comments | Posted July 13, 2007 | 2:59 PM

Now that Patrick Fitzgerald has scored another high-profile prosecution, maybe Bush can undercut him again with another commutation or even a pardon. The U.S. Attorney won Black's conviction today so why not go all the way and pardon Black. Hmmm, he gave back to his community. He led a...

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Bush's Flawed Logic

(53) Comments | Posted July 3, 2007 | 1:45 PM

I agree with Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo that this was the worst possible decision. Josh argues that a wrong, though consistent, argument could be made that the prosecution was misguided from the start and that the whole verdict should be overturned with a full pardon. But to...

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Libby Walks, Justice Denied?

(73) Comments | Posted July 2, 2007 | 9:02 PM

If you've got an issue with President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice, I suppose you should take it up with the founders. The sainted drafters of the Constitution gave the president absolute discretion in these matters and Bush has excercised that discretion, behind...

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Sicko, Flawed But Brilliant

(35) Comments | Posted June 21, 2007 | 2:23 PM

I went to the Washington premiere of Sicko last night. If that wasn't enough of a Republican nightmare, afterwards I piled into the limousine of a prominent trial lawyer along with an official from a Democratic campaign and a TV executive. I can feel Tom DeLay shudder.

I thought...

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