An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Who wants to be president?

Yesterday’s Washington Post included an article that mentioned a survey that found that 2/3 of Americans cannot name a single Democrat running for President. One realizes how different the world is from inside the beltway when faced with the fact that the editor of OnBackground was able to name all nine of the current candidates for President, and, with a little assistance from colleagues, put them together with photos of their mouths shown in a recent edition of Roll Call. Perhaps that’s too much information.

So the next big thing in presidential politics might be Wesley Clark as many flock to his cause as a decisive, handsome military hero who can beat Bush in the defense/security game. A piece in the Clevelend Plain Dealer offers some perspective on General Clark: http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/opinion/1062325807248550.xml?ocsul

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


The internet has such promise as an accessible source of information. Not only is it increasingly easy for all of us to enjoy the internet’s vast array of information, perspectives, communication and entertainment, no matter where we may be, but it is still easy and cheap to share your point of view through the internet.

Unfortunately, far too many of us (this writer included) spend the bulk of our time at sites that are run by large companies; usually these sites are from the same companies whose papers, magazines or other products we bought before we ever heard of the world wide web. They feature such thrilling and cutting-edge stories as today’s New York Times on John Kerry’s announcement of candidacy, the Washington Post on Ari Fleischer’s fundraising for the President, or the Washington Times on spam in South Korea.

There are still a variety of voices out there, we just have to listen a little harder to pick them out of the cacophony. I’d like to introduce you to such perspectives on occasion. Once such voice – an insightful, sometimes biting, rarely shy voice straight from Baghdad – is that of the writer of http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/ Her direct insight into events and personalities, capable writing, and willingness to present unvarnished opinions are interesting and thought-provoking.