As Barack Obama emerges as Democratic front-runner, Republicans appear to be recalibrating their compasses:
- Disparaging Obama and praising Hillary Clinton is an inevitable response to Obama's growing odds of winning, Jonathan Chait writes in the New Republic: Karl Rove & Co. “discredit” Obama by defining his “supporters out of the mainstream”—as academics and elites—and crediting his rival with populism just to show he lacks it.
- In the Weekly Standard, Dean Barnett gives the candidate some seemingly cynical advice: name John Kerry his running mate. The righty musters a good case for a VP pick he clearly disrespects: Obama needs a veteran with a full résumé—and Kerry is “haughty and dour ... sort of bastard cousins to seriousness.”
- Meanwhile, a decidedly lefty Kate Sheppard writes in the American Prospect that Obama is pulling his weight on a blue-collar Pennsylvania tour, “fine-tuning his populism in the process.” The candidate’s lucky to have the “exercise”: He’ll need to win these swing voters in November.