Brighten their holiday. Enrich their everyday.Give The Atlantic

Five Best Thursday Columns

Jill Lawrence on why Hillary Clinton is no Bob Dole, Dave Weigel at Slate on whether Democrats have a chance in Mississippi, Nicholas Kristof on ignorance of Myanmar's apartheid, Sarah Stillman on the political fight against polio, Kavitha A. Davison on why the Stanley Cup final is a rich man's championship.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Jill Lawrence at Al Jazeera America on why Hillary Clinton is no Bob Dole. “There is no avoiding age as an issue in presidential campaigns. Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and John McCain all had to deal with it, and 2016 prospect Hillary Clinton is already fielding ham-fisted Republican references to her age and health. The Drudge Report even suggested she was holding a walker on the cover of People magazine — except that the walker was actually a patio chair. Before Drudge, there was Karl Rove, who reportedly wondered whether Clinton’s 2012 concussion and blood clot might have led to brain damage,” Lawrence writes. “If anything, the age issue would be even more pronounced in 2016 than it was in 2008. While a Clinton victory would be a thrilling breakthrough for women, it would also seem like a generation-wide step back after Obama’s inauguration at age 47. Hillary Clinton is no Bob Dole. She is very much in the moment, weighing in on current issues from economic inequality to voter ID laws to empowering women (especially older ones).”

Dave Weigel at Slate on whether Democrats have a chance in Mississippi. "We don’t actually know who ‘won’ the first round of the GOP’s Mississippi Senate primary. There’ll be a runoff, and the Republican establishment is see-sawing between two responses to this. One: As Josh Kraushaar and others have reported, it’s not rushing to spend more money to bail out Cochran. Two: It’s echoing the Cochran campaign’s claim that McDaniel could give the seat away to Democrats in a storm of Akin-ization. According to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, 'polling' shows that McDaniel would start in a tight race. According to anonymous Democrats, their polling shows the same thing,” Weigel writes. “How true is this? Well, no one’s unlocking the polls, but publicly available numbers on the primary showed Chris McDaniel’s favorable rating dipping as the race when on. Democrats cleverly coaxed one-and-a-half term Rep. Travis Childers into the race, on the possibility that he’d get to challenge McDaniel. Is there any reason to believe Childers can win? Not unless McDaniel makes tons of mistakes, no.”

Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times on ignorance of Myanmar's apartheid. “Few people have fought as courageously for human rights as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize-winning democracy advocate who stood up to the generals here in Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi should be one of the heroes of modern times. Instead, as her country imposes on the Rohingya Muslim minority an apartheid that would have made white supremacists in South Africa blush, she bites her tongue. It seems as though she aspires to become president of Myanmar, and speaking up for a reviled minority could be fatal to her prospects. The moral giant has become a calculating politician,” Kristof writes. “The role of Aung San Suu Kyi is particularly sad. She has lost international stature because of her unwillingness to speak truth to her people, while at home many voters object that she is insufficiently chauvinist.” The Age’s Paul Austin tweets, “'The moral giant has become a calculating politician.' Nicholas Kristof on Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Sarah Stillman at The New Yorker on the political fight against polio. “Where does polio refuse to die? The three countries where it remains endemic are Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. In recent years, a bright spot of polio-eradication efforts has been Nigeria—a country that also raises some of the most challenging questions about sustaining progress in the absence of peace. It has taken creative tactics by health workers to grow immunization efforts amid the resulting unrest, including efforts by insurgents to thwart them,” Stillman writes. “The problem of parents refusing vaccines for their kids, it turns out, is far smaller than the problem of children never having the chance to be immunized, owing to political violence thwarting health-worker access. But it’s alarming how quickly that can change. What happens when prevention efforts swerve entirely off the rails? Look no further than Syria. For the first time in fourteen years, the virus has now spread to Iraq, with whooping cough, measles, and other contagions quite possibly along for the ride.”

Kavitha A. Davidson at Bloomberg View why the Stanley Cup Final is a rich man’s championship. “The Stanley Cup Final kicked off last night, and these two teams seem like they'd make a dream final for the NHL: The New York Rangers, an Original Six team, have history and a fan base hungry for a cup after a two-decade drought, while the Los Angeles Kings won it all just two years ago and have one of the greatest American goaltenders ever in Jonathan Quick. What must really excite the league, though, is that these teams come from the two largest television markets in the country, which will definitely translate to historic viewership. Right?” Davidson writes. “Not necessarily. As the New York Times's Richard Sandomir notes, the league might have to temper expectations of sky-high ratings for this year's final. There is at least one area in which this final matchup will greatly benefit the bottom line: ticket sales. Ticket prices on the secondary market have been absolutely nuts, especially for games played in New York. But this is what you get when two of the richest cities meet in the championship round of a sport with the wealthiest fans.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.