The vote of the Democratic rules committee not to seat the entire Michigan and Florida delegations — as Hillary had wanted — signals the end of the domination of the Democratic Party by Bill and Hillary Clinton. It began when Bill won the California primary in 1992 and ended this past weekend, on May 31, 2008. During this period, nothing moved unless the Clintons OKed it. Now the Party has declared its independence, shaking off their family fiefdom.
The Bush Administration is crazy for mounting so vigorous a defense to the McClellan book, talking about what an ungrateful sleaze he is and asking how he could possibly do this to W. All this publicity is just helping book sales and leaving the average person with the impression that a top Bush official wrote a tell all book saying that Bush was a phony on the war in Iraq.
Published on TheHill.com on May 28, 2008.
In January 1998, right after The Washington Post revealed President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica, I spoke with him about his predicament. Shell-shocked and stunned at the calls for his impeachment, he knew he was facing the fight of his life. At first, he was vintage Bill Clinton: maudlin, sad and full of self-pity. But as we talked, he gradually changed his tone. Admitting that he was not innocent, but recognizing his diminishing support, he then told me defiantly:”Well, we’ll just have to win.”
One of the major misconceptions about the White House press secretary’s role is to assume that he has more power than he really does. Because he is always the president’s public face, we assume that he is our window into the White House and is a top level policy official or, at least, the one who knows what is doing on. Nothing could be further from the truth.
McClellan’s book is neither right nor wrong. It is just ill-informed. In the Clinton White House, for example, Mike McCurry, perhaps the best press secretary of our generation, never attended white house political strategy meetings. At first, he wasn’t invited. And then, he said he didn’t want to know what he couldn’t talk about. Finally, Clinton insisted that he attend.
Published in the New York Post on May 28, 2008.
In its final days, Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign has come to echo George Wallace’s 1968 run.
Like Clinton, Wallace as a candidate stalked the Northeast exploiting white anger. Like her, he bypassed the nation’s more educated and liberal parts to focus squarely on those who felt left behind, rallying animosity against elites.
But behind the mask of populism, it was race that fueled Wallace’s campaign from the start. And it is race that has brought new life to Clinton’s campaign in its final days.
Hillary’s new ad in South Dakota begins by saying “We are $9 trillion in debt.” She goes on to pledge fiscal responsibility and to stop spending money “America does not have.”
I am confused, understandably, about whether she is referring to the US or to her own campaign in her opening line. She is, in fact at least $30 million in debt but I hadn’t realized it had grown to quite so large a sum. In any case, her campaign debt is not the best argument for her fiscal responsibility.
Everybody who has thought seriously about the Obama candidacy, including me and probably including the Senator himself, have reflected on the horrible possibility that he would be assassinated. One cannot think about Obama, the Kennedy-esque candidate without worrying about his safety. But we all observe the discipline of not raising the issue in public. We all worry that to do so would be to encourage some maniac to take a shot. Now Hillary has violated this unstated but heretofore universal taboo and brought up the possibility. That is not to say that she is hoping for a murder. But it is to say that the possibility is uppermost in her mind and a significant part of her rationale for staying in the race. And, by raising it, she has made it more possible.
Published on FOXNews.com on May 23, 2008.
There is a growing effort by the Clintons – led by Bill – to convey a sense of entitlement for Hillary’s newly minted vice presidential ambitions. The theory seems to say that she has earned the designation by her strong showing in primaries throughout the nation, particularly by her recent victories in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. Her supporters are demanding a place on the ticket as their right after a bruising primary season.
But ever since Aaron Burr rose from a vice presidential candidacy to contest Thomas Jefferson for the presidency in the House of Representatives, the person who came in second in the balloting for president lost his entitlement to anything. There are no more rewards for second place. No silver medals in the presidential race.
Published on TheHill.com on May 20, 2008.
While Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hangs in there, locked in a tough race with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the Republican undercard is facing obliteration in the 2008 general elections for the Senate. Polling suggests that a massacre may be in the offing – and one that’s possibly even greater than the worst of previous GOP years: 1958, 1964, 1974, 1986 and 2006.
Scott Rasmussen, whose site, www.rasmussenreports.com, follows these races closely, is producing truly hair-raising polling data.
Published in The Washington Post on May 18, 2008.
John McCain is America’s favorite kind of candidate. With his record of extraordinary patriotism and his distinctive Senate tenure, McCain is a nominee whom voters from both parties — and independents, too — could easily support.
But he has been dealt a terrible hand: a tanking economy, an unpopular war, a Republican incumbent whose approval ratings are at their all-time low and a gloomy national mood, with 82 percent of Americans saying in a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week that the country is on the wrong track. Political scientists add all that up and predict that the Democrats are destined to win the White House. But I don’t do political science; I do politics, and I’m convinced that McCain can still win — if he’s willing to follow the road map below.