Steven Jonas (211)
Everyone (well, lots of people) have been complaining about the 45 "Gotcha minutes" that Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos ran in the ABC "debate" April 16. Much too much, is the general opinion, with some folks holding out for none. As for me, I take a contrary view. Not enough, I say. Of those 45 minutes, a majority were devoted to bringing up "stuff" about Senator Obama. I guess Gibson and Stephanopoulos just were feeling the pressure to get on to "the issues" so they just didn't have the time to ask Sen. Clinton some similar-type questions that they surely had prepared. Now I don't have access to the ABC prep desks for that "debate," but surely such questions would have included the following, don't you think?
It is not widely known that Senator Gentleman Johnny McCain, the maverick, the straight shooter, the straight-talker, has been outspoken on matters religious, concerning our country.
For example (courtesy of The National Jewish Democratic Council, January 8, 2008) he has said that: "a candidate's Christian faith is ‘an important characteristic for a President,' that he would prefer a Christian president, that the ‘Constitution established The United States of America as a Christian nation,' and that ‘America is a Christian nation, and it (sic) is hardly a controversial claim' (The New York Sun, October 1, 2007)." He has also declared that he did not regard non-Christians as qualified to govern in the United States (The Progress Report, "Blackout and Brownout," Oct. 1, 2007). If the party-less Sen. Joe Lieberman ever picks up on that one, one would suppose that it would come as a surprise to him, especially if he actually is angling for the Vice-Presidential nod on the McCain ticket. But hey, you never know.
Last week, in supporting their campaign's decision to "stay in it until the end," former President Clinton said words to the effect of "real Democrats want every vote to count," and also, it could be implied, "want to count every vote." Thus, he said there would be no pulling back, pulling out of the remaining primary contests. Those voters who had not yet had a chance to vote in a Democratic primary had every right to have their votes counted, for their candidates of choice.
Recently both BuzzFlash Editor/Publisher Mark Karlin and I have written only slightly tongue-in-cheek columns suggesting that Hillary Clinton would make a good vice presidential candidate -- on the McCain ticket. After all, McCain could well be looking for a Democrat and his good friend and alter ego Joe Lieberman just won't do: McCain said last fall that non-Christians are not qualified to govern (The Progress Report, "Blackout and Brownout," Oct. 1, 2007).
So how is Hillary sucking up to McCain? Quoting from Mark Karlin's article: "It is the one inviolable rule of party politics; don't promote the other party's candidate at the expense of your own. . . . In the past couple of weeks, Senator Hillary Clinton has violated that cardinal rule again and again as she personally vouched for the readiness of John McCain to assume the presidency, while belittling Barack Obama as nothing more than a speech. . . . ‘[Y]ou'll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,' she said. . . . Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a "distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,' Clinton said."
On Jan. 18, 2008, I reported on a "come-clean" speech that John McCain would never actually give about the true costs of his "50-100 Years in Iraq" policy. (Of course if he were truly a "Straight-Talker," he would have given that speech, but he isn't so he didn't and never would.) In this column, we report on a "come-clean" speech that President Bush would give to the American people in support of his veto of the ban-torture bill passed by the Congress, were he not such an abject liar, such an expert in hiding his true policies and his reasoning for them from the American people, and truly concerned that his "legacy" be something other than being both the most successful (in terms of his own real agenda) and the worst President the United States has ever had (see my columns Nos. 155-57 at The Political Junkies.net).
So a talented Obama staffer called Hillary Clinton a "monster" and off the campaign she went. The Clinton camp must have breathed a huge sigh of relief not to have to deal with the brilliance of Harvard Professor Samantha Power, an unpaid aide, any more. Well I guess it's a good thing I don't work for the Obama campaign -- for what I am about to say about Hillary in this Commentary would surely have me bumped as well. No, not monster, but Vice President. How could saying that get an Obama staffer bumped? Read on.
John Bolton. You remember him, don't you? He was the man who partially built his career by promoting U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations, if not the total destruction of that body, and then received a recess appointment from George W. Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Then, Bolton being considered totally unqualified for the job regardless of his politics, one year later, Bush couldn't get him confirmed for the job even by his rubber-stamp Republican Congress.
There was a very nice puff piece on the Senator from AIPAC, Joe Lieberman, in The New York Times recently. It didn't mention one odd fact about the McCain-Lieberman link. It is well known that when McCain picked up the endorsement of the party-less Sen. Joe Lieberman in December, McCain seemed to be totally out of it. But that's not what was odd. It was surmised in some quarters that Lieberman was angling for the Vice Presidential nod on a ticket headed by McCain.
On "Morning Joe" on MSNBC today, without referring to the specific texts that he quoted, Howard Wolfson, media director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, continued to call out Sen. Barack Obama as a plagiarist. He noted that Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, a political supporter and long-time friend and colleague of Sen. Obama, had used the same quotes in a speech that Sen. Obama did. "This amounts to a major crack in the Sen. Obama's credibility," Mr.