• Murder on the Straight Talk Express: Who or what is killing John McCain’s presidential campaign? Drew Cline, editorial page editor of New Hampshire’s Union Leader, agrees with the received wisdom that the Arizona senator’s presidential bid isn’t conservative enough for Republican primary voters. But Cline sees “poetic justice” in McCain’s money-raising problems. He writes on his Union Leader blog:

    So after a series of stances unpopular with the G.O.P. base, McCain, the one-time front-runner, finds his political support, as reflected in campaign donations, drying up. People are not donating to him because they don’t support his positions on several important issues.

    If McCain’s campaign fails to recover, it will be poetic justice of a sort. The man who waged war on the people’s right to express themselves through their financial support for particular candidates for office and who does not believe that donations are the result of ideological support will see his campaign wither and die for a lack of ideological support expressed through campaign donations.

  • The U.C.L.A. public policy professor Mark Kleiman, writing at the academic group blog, The Reality Based Community, notes that Fred Thompson “was a White House mole on the Senate Watergate staff” in the 1970s. Thompson divulged his leaks to the White House in his 1975 Watergate memoir, “At That Point in Time,” and the Boston Globe recently re-reported the story. The story, Kleiman suggests, “says something truly horrible about Thompson’s character.”