March 31, 2007: First fund-raising deadline passes. Barack Obama looks like a serious threat.
July 10, 2007: John McCain’s top advisers quit, campaign left for dead.
MARC AMBINDER: As long as a candidate has a national platform and a state, he’s not dead. Reporters came to Concord today to cover a funeral, and what we found instead was a juiced-up candidate who doesn’t really need journalists to give him a second life. (July 13, 2007)
July 23, 2007: In the Democratic YouTube debate, Obama says he would meet controversial foreign leaders “without precondition.”
ANDREW SULLIVAN: You know how much I hate to say this, but [Clinton] destroyed the opposition tonight: out-classing it, out-debating it, and avoiding the usual pitfalls. I wish it weren’t so, but it’s what I saw. If she keeps this up, it’s hers.
August 11, 2007: Mitt Romney wins, Mike Huckabee comes in second in Iowa straw poll.
ANDREW SULLIVAN: Ultimately, this is a very good result for one person, and one person only: Mike Huckabee. He may not be my favorite candidate (I totally disagree with him on social issues, and he is more big-government than me), but he deserves kudos for pulling off what he did today.
October 30, 2007: At a debate in Philadelphia, Clinton gives a confusing answer on whether she supports granting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Her opponents pick up the scent.
MARC AMBINDER: For a solid hour, the Democratic presidential candidates ganged up on Clinton, and her vote in favor of the Lieberman-Kyl resolution served as their
November 5, 2007: Ron Paul raises more than $4.2 million in a single day, largely through online donations.
ROSS DOUTHAT: Ron Paul actually is an extremist, insofar as he holds positions that are way, way outside the Beltway mainstream. And his (admittedly limited) successes hint at an Internet-enabled future in which, for good or ill, a hundred ideologically diverse flowers can bloom—or at least run ads in New Hampshire. (November 6, 2007)
ANDREW SULLIVAN: Whatever happens in this race, Paul’s candidacy has already provided a focus for all of those conservatives who despise the big-spending, unchecked-executive, busybody, Christianist wing of the GOP. And all those liberals who know that a new politics—centered around individual freedom and global peace—needs to be born. (November 6, 2007)
December 6, 2007: With anti-Mormon tracts proliferating on the campaign trail, Romney speaks on his religion.
ROSS DOUTHAT: The [upcoming] speech should have been given at the very beginning of the primary season, or after Romney won the nomination; it doesn’t make sense to give it in response to Mike Huckabee’s rise in the polls. (December 3, 2007)
MATTHEW YGLESIAS: All of this meshes with Romney’s disgusting efforts to unite all people of faith under the banner of excluding atheists entirely from his account of virtue. (December 7, 2007)