Is Obama The "Most Liberal" Senator?

Michael Weiss · 07/28/08 11:01AM

Tom DeLay thinks he's a Marxist (if only mewls my subscription to New Left Review), McCain isn't sure he's not a socialist, and everyone else in America agrees Obama's a partisan liberal Democrat despite his sentimental post-partisan effluvium. The evidence for this assessment rests heavily on an elaborate ranking system devised by the magazine National Journal — sort of the Zagat for congressional voting (Barbara Boxer's "romantic" yea for this "controversial" resolution to "carve up" Iraq makes her a "fire-breathing elitist gorgon.") It named Obama the "Most Liberal Senator" in 2007. Except that its methodology is cracked, according to Josh Patashnik at the New Republic. For one thing, a decisive factor in the magazine's evaluation is how many votes a lawmaker has missed, and Obama's actually not been truant enough:

Doree Shafrir · 08/22/07 11:40AM

In our item yesterday about the New Republic's sad number of ads in its latest issue, we overlooked the fact that last month the magazine hired former National Journal Corporate Advertising Director Sarah Kuhn, and a couple weeks ago hired former National Journal Advertising Director Holly Maine to beef up ad pages. Neither has started yet, but they've got their work cut out for them when they do. We'll be watching!