Barack Obama has written that "the politics of today suffers from a case of arrested development." He calls it "the psychodrama of the baby-boom generation." Can he mobilize post-boomers against the politics of the past? Does the Clintons' appeal to "experience" make older voters want to see them back in the White House? Also, President Bush and Congressional Democrats may be in for another battle over Iraq, and federal raids on four Southern California art museums may lead to criminal indictments.
FROM THIS EPISODE
LA's Getty and New York's Metropolitan are among the prominent American museums publicly embarrassed recently by revelations of stolen artifacts in their collections. Yesterday, four others were raided by dozens of federal agents in Southern California--with TV news crews notified in advance. It's all part of a five-year investigation into looting, smuggling and income tax fraud. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pasadena's Pacific Asia Museum and Orange County's Bowers Museum are highly respected institutions --or at least they were. Search warrants released after the raids reveal taped phone conversations and other evidence of unethical and possibly illegal practices. Jason Felch, who has helped to expose recent high-profile art scandals in the Los Angeles Times, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Chasing Aphrodite.
During last night's Republican debate in Florida, the only Democrats mentioned were Bill and Hillary Clinton. But the Democratic nomination has yet to be decided. In advance of tomorrow's primary in South Carolina, Clinton and Obama have engaged in a series of nasty exchanges, in what's become the kind of campaign that Obama had hoped to avoid. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he describes the politics of the baby-boom generation as "rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched out long ago," by which he means the 1960's. Obama, who offers a style of leadership designed for younger voters, says he's running against that status quo--Republican and Democratic. Hillary Clinton's campaign says former President Bill will stay on the campaign trail, evoking reminders of eight baby-boom years in the White House. Will post-boom voters be turned off by the politics of divide and conquer? Will boomers themselves be attracted to the Clintons' "experience?" On the Republican side, why does John McCain, the oldest candidate in the race, appeal to young people?
Ben Smith, Politico.com
Phillip Longman, New America Foundation
Nicholas von Hoffman, Political Columnist, The Nation
Chris Lehane, Democratic consultant and strategist (@chrislehane)
Robert Samuelson, Newsweek and Washington Post
President Bush and the Democrats in Congress may be in for another battle over Iraq. In 11 months the United Nations mandate for military action runs out and the administration wants Iraq to give the US both combat authority and grant civilian contractors protection from Iraqi law, without the approval of Congress. Charlie Savage, White House correspondent for the Boston Globe, is author of Takeover: the Return of the Imperial Presidency.