1. It’s Thursday, October 15, 2015.
2. It looks as though Hillary Clinton did exactly what she was supposed to do at Tuesday night’s Democratic debate. And, as a result, a lot of the talk about finding someone else (see Biden, Joe) is abating.
Clinton’s problem this summer has been that she’s had no good way of displaying her strengths at the same time her opposition – the Republicans and Bernie Sanders – have been able to swat at her.
But on the stage with other Democrats, there was little doubt who had the presidential bearing, who was the one you would want in the Oval Office or Situation Room in a tense crisis. (An aside: Those 3 a.m. ads, which were mocked last time around, might play really well later in the campaign.)
Sanders, for his part, appealed to his base and showed his main virtue as a candidate – his reputation for saying what he thinks. That was clear in the comments that lambasted the attention on Clinton’s e-mail server – it was a moment that helped her, but it showed why people are drawn to Sanders in the first place.
It’s not clear what happens when, as expected, she’s the nominee; I guarantee he’s not her running mate. He’ll be given a role at the convention and a chance to speak his mind, and will be well received. But after that, who knows?
3. President Obama will not leave office without a sizable U.S. force in Afghanistan. He announced that this morning, saying the 9,800 troops there now will stay through most of next year.
The president wanted to extract our forces from Afghanistan before Jan. 20, 2017, the day he leaves office. But Afghanistan isn’t a very cooperative place – its history is one of fractiousness and strife.
Other outsiders have faced these problems as well; its reputation as the graveyard of empires. It would seem easy to say that we should just let Afghanis kill each other and put our people out of harm’s way.
The problem is that the Taliban stepped over a line when it harbored al-Qaida as it plotted the Sept. 11 attacks. We have extracted a little revenge and pushed them back into insurgency rather than power.
I understand what President Obama is thinking: We can’t let them give another terrorist group another shot. I’m not happy about troops staying there. I just can’t think of what else we can do.
4. I would like to be able to say this has been a great week for baseball.
Toronto’s dramatic decisive game victory in the American League Division Series. The fact that neither Texas team is going to the next round, jinxed by a bad jump-the-gun celebratory Tweet from the state’s moron governor. The sound of thousands of Cubs fans singing their team song in such strong unison that someone recorded the sound from a mile away from Wrigley Field.
But as far as I’m concerned, this will be a miserable week for baseball if tonight’s game in Los Angeles doesn’t go the Mets’ way.
I’m on the verge of busting from the tension. With that in mind, a simple, heartfelt and strong “LET’S GO METS!” is in order.