Madonna Tackles Her Critics Head On [Times of London]
Madonna Tackles Her Critics Head On [Times of London]
And yet, few can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like the junior senator from Massachusetts. How poetic it would be.
Here's what Kerry said that got the White House all tweaky with anticipatory glee:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
And what he intended to say:
"Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."
And now here's his even muddier non-apology from yesterday: "I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and his broken policy."
In conclusion, Democrats needn't be concerned. In fact, they should be elated. If they could convince 59 million people to vote for this guy in 2004, America is obviously ready for a Democratic tidal wave.
Watch the video. [WP]
Bill Clinton. The more he loves, the more he emotes, the more pain he brings upon himself and those he loves. He's the Otis Redding of not knowing when to put his mouth away.
At an Andrew Cuomo fund-raiser yesterday, the former president called his wife's upstate branch the "de facto governor's office" for economic development in place of the no-account Pataki. This isn't quite as bad as losing your cool during a wits-matching battle with a Fox News anchor who's a trillionth as smart as you are, but it did open Clinton up to a pretty decent bow shot from the Pataki office.
"The Clintons moved here to capitalize on lower taxes, a better economy, and an open Senate seat," said David Catalfamo, the governor's spokesman. "When they actually do anything to improve the economy of upstate New York, it will be news."
Is there some island golf resort Hillary can ship Bill off to until about January 2009?
But today, he'll enjoy an afternoon in the aesthetic sweet spot, basking in the super melodic median between rock and roll and easy listening. Clinton is upstate campaigning for John Hall, singer-songwriter, activist, and candidate for the congressional seat in the Nineteenth District, who with his nice-guy hippie band, the Orleans, wrote AM radio chestnuts "Still the One" and "Dance With Me." It isn't too far-fetched to imagine the young Clintons sharing an Arkansas evening back in the seventies with a John Hall tune on the transistor. We all know the Clintons have endured a few stressful moments over the years, but a room with a warm John Hall melody wafting through the air is a nest of forgiveness and sweet lovin', hand-holding and eye-locking and gentle hip-swaying.
Bill Clinton might owe John Hall a little favor these 30-odd years later, and today at 3:15 he'll be at Colonial Terrace, 119 Oregon Road in Cortlandt Manor, New York, to pay him back.
Hall's day is doubly excellent as he also pulled down the endorsement of the local paper, the Journal News, adding to his Times endorsement. The positive press may be positioning Hall to become the first member of the House of Representatives who has an eight-track of Neil Young's On the Beach that smells like resin.
Yesterday, Cheney told USA Today: "I think Hillary Clinton is a formidable candidate. I think she could win. I hope she doesn't. I disagree with her on nearly all the issues, but nobody should underestimate her. She's a very serious candidate for president."
Early and Often has translated this statement for those of you who don't speak Cheney: "Please nominate Hillary Clinton. Oh, God, oh, God, please. We know Democrats are stupid, but just in case you're not that stupid, let me stress again when I say 'she can win,' I really mean 'she has no chance of winning.' So please, pull the trigger on this insanely foolish idea and drive your little hybrid car off the cliffs of destiny."
Republicans long ago received the memo in which it was specified that whenever Hillary comes up, they are always supposed to act scared or deferential or whatever it takes to get her closer to giving an acceptance speech come mid-July 2008. Here in New York, conservative talk-show hosts were early adopters of this trend. Hillary-hate screeds from callers that would have met with barking approval in 1998 were tut-tutted in 2002 with sheepish admissions that although, yes, she is evil incarnate, you gotta admit she has been a decent senator for New York.
Now the trickle-up approach has reached all the way to the Veep. There's one higher-up left to endorse Hillary's candidacy. When will the other cowboy boot drop?
Hillary's Baggage [Houston Chronicle]
Reports from the Spitzer-Faso debate are focusing on Faso's go-for-broke aggro style attacking Spitzer, the grandstanding blowhard; his fear of treating unions the way he treats corporations; his daddy's money; his mother's combat boots, etc. And we applaud both Faso's try at making a little late-in-the-game hay and the news folks' valiant attempt to reconstitute it as something worth sitting through. But sadly, Faso never came through with a rhetorical Hail Mary.
What we instead got was a remix of their first debate, as if chopped and screwed by a cough-syrup-sipping Houston hip-hop D.J. the content didn't change, it was just a little hazier, duller, somewhat meaner, and a lot darker (literally, thanks to Buffalo host station WNED's dyspeptically public-access-worthy lighting).
Faso leavened his feints of rage with flourishes of smarm, adding a get-a-load-of-this-joker smirk to his digs on Spitzer, as if he were debating Barney Fife. His main rip went like this: Alan Hevesi, Alan Hevesi, Alan Hevesi, you totally wanna make out with Alan Hevesi. He repeated the scandal-tweaked yet little-known comptroller's name at least five times. He also twice rewound to an allegation from the first debate that Spitzer got a plane ride from an out-of-state Indian tribe. He trotted out these leftovers with the studied gusto of a summer-stock actor who can't admit he's a night shy of Labor Day. Overripe though they were, the "jabs" got Spitzer spitting tacks. He harrumphed, guffawed, and a couple of times turned a full 90 degrees to give Faso a look of blazing blue-eyed decimation that must reduce folks in the attorney general's office to little puddles of fear. (The quasarlike pulse of that forehead it's so intense!)
Yet, by the hour's end, the event's uneventyness seemed to weigh on both men, especially the hard-charging challenger. Last time out, Faso clamored for more debates, and pundits agreed that Spitzer was adopting a rose-garden strategy before he'd even received a vote. Tonight, when we got to the predictable moment when Faso should have clamored for more holy screen time with Saint Eliot he offered not a peep of protest.
Who can blame him? Short of producing IMs between Spitzer and local Boy Scouts that say "I AM SOOOO HORNY FOR BIG TAX HIKES," there's nothing left Faso can do.
As you can see from the photo that accompanies the article, Hillary has firmly mastered the hand gesture that signifies, "Here, inside this space between my hands, that's where the truth is." One can imagine her and Bill workshopping that one deep into the night "Okay, honey. Yeah, that's about it put those little paws about six inches apart. Now make the Truth Face. Ya got it! Time to watch Cheers."
In meeting with the editorial board, Hillary served up a piping-hot plate of The Way It Is.
"I believe that if President Bush woke up tomorrow and said that he would substitute Jim Baker or Colin Powell or Brent Scowcroft or somebody who actually knows how to do things in the real world for [Donald] Rumsfeld, I think the entire world would say 'OK, you've got another chance, we want to listen to you again.'"
She took the words right out of the world's mouth. All those pro–Jim Baker demonstrators teeming through the streets of Cairo and Paris and Beijing finally, they have a voice. The Scowcroft wing of the German Green Party, they might get a little something out of this too. When nuanced realism replaces blinkered stay-the-course-ism, everybody maybe sorta wins. Hillary's got the whole world in her hands.
Democrats who fear a Hillary run for the White House can hang their burdened heads even lower on this gray day her path to nomination just got a whole lot wider.
After spending a pleasant weekend with his family, former Virginia governor Mark Warner has decided not to run for president in 2008. Though he was only polling in single digits, Warner was heralded as the great-southern-centrist-white hope among Democrats looking for a not-Hillary who could connect with those elusive "folks" who enjoy "NASCAR" and "Wal-Mart."
Warner, a co-founder of Nextel, was also embraced by some tech-savvy liberals. At the end of August, he was the first politician to govern in a virtual world, leading a "town-hall meeting" in Second Life, a 3D online fantasy world. Bloggers who find this act to be the equivalent of King's "I Have a Dream" speech can still purchase "Warner for President" bumper stickers and Mark Warner ringer Ts at Demstore.com. Pour some out.
We wander lonely in this fallen world, a glaucoma of ignorance obscuring knowledge and wisdom. But there are those rare moments when the haze lifts and the light of truth shines through in all its radiant baptismal glory. We have experienced one of those rare moments, and we'd like to share it. There is a book no, it's more than a book, an e-book now available through a society of seers called the Conservative Party of New York State that promises to move us all to a richer understanding of ourselves and our nation. The journey won't be easy, but there's no other choice. Take heed.
The volume in question is called Hillary Clinton: What Every American Should Know.
Some people fear nuclear attacks from third-world countries. Others fear a catastrophic collapse of the U.S. economy. But if you want to feel intense, gut-wrenching fear, consider this fact: There's a good chance that the Clintons will be back in the White House in 2009 … Today, the Second Coming of the Clintons looms large and terrifying, like the crest of a 100-foot tsunami. However, this book demonstrates that such a catastrophe, worldwide in its implications, is by no means inevitable.
Now, you might wonder, How can these people, these Clintons, bring about such a calamity? Apparently, if one of them is named Hillary, it can happen sooner and more terribly than you could ever imagine:
She has been a student protester; a defender of the Black Panthers; an advocate of "children's rights" as defined by radicals; a Watergate prosecutor; a teeth-grinding abortion advocate; an activist First Lady; a senator; a would-be president; and, above all, a militant control freak. In these roles, she's almost cookie-cutter perfect a woman radicalized by the Sixties, who believes American society is inherently evil and wants to transform it for its own good, of course into a Scandinavian-type socialist state.
Scandinavia. The Sixties. Teeth Grindingly Freakish Control. We'll spare you, for now, the convincing chapters recounting the Clintons' many decades of collaborative misdoing: Filegate, Travelgate, Galgate, Whitewater. It's all documented in page upon terrifying page. Let's fast-forward to the present day and The Hillary's current plans:
For the state:
As she has indicated many times, Hillary supports greater and greater government involvement in the lives of Americans. In It Takes a Village, her book on child-rearing, she equates African tribes with American cities and argues that the state should assume a primary role in raising our children.
For the family:
When gay rights activists and sympathetic Leftists began to pressure the United Way, private firms, and schools to de-fund the Boy Scouts of America because they refused to permit open homosexuals to be Scoutmasters, Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) proposed a bill that would allow federal funds to be withheld from public schools that bar the Boy Scouts from using their facilities, Hillary voted for the homosexuals and against the Boy Scouts.
For the Democratic process itself:
On February 17, 2005, Hillary Clinton joined with Left-wing Senator Barbara Boxer in introducing the Count Every Vote Act, a hodge-podge of so-called "reforms" backed by extreme liberal groups such as People for the American Way. In a statement posted on her Web site, Senator Clinton said: "Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process." Ensuring that integrity means, among other things, allowing millions of convicted murderers, rapists, armed robbers, and other violent offenders to vote. You can be sure that a vast majority of those currently barred from federal elections would vote for her in the 2008 election. That's why the Count Every Vote Act states that all reforms must be in place by 2006.
And that's only a glimpse. Read this e-book, understand its message, take up its mission to stop The Hillary before it's too late.
As the authors say in their heraldic final passage: "Without a book such as this, few people would ever know what Hillary Clinton is about."
The admirably Hillary Clinton–obsessed blog JustHillary has transcribed an interview of Thursday's World News Tonight with former president George H.W. Bush (or "Badass 41" as they call him whenever he swings by Yale for Skull and Bones waterboarding parties). The chunk of interest regards Hillary's possible presidential bid, a subject that's apparently been bouncing around the former commander in chief's increasingly Grandpa Simpsonian noggin for quite some time.
Charlie Gibson: Do you think she's gonna run?
George H.W. Bush: [Pause] I've felt so up till now, but I'm not positive. But I don't get anything from him [Bill Clinton] on that … I don't know why I have this feeling maybe she won't, but if I had to bet my last buck on it, I'd say she would.
Gibson: She would run.
Gibson: It's, it's going to be a fascinating election in 2008. I was thinking just yesterday, I don't think prior probably to … since Eisenhower-Stevenson, in '52, that we've gone into an election without a sort of natural candidate in one of the two parties. Want to handicap it?
Bush: Well, I see, I wouldn't concede her [Hillary Clinton] the nomination. Again I who am I to sit here talking about Democratic politics when I'm not even in Republican politics.
Gibson: Well, but you've shown a pretty good political acumen in your life.
Bush: Yeah, well, I have … little private opinions that are unsubstantiated by fact. But I think she's going to have a tough fight, and I don't know from who. I don't know Mark Warner. I think Evan Bayh and these are attractive younger guys, maybe not a lot younger than Hillary but young people who are ambitious, and think they'd be good presidents. And so I think the fight's just beginning. And I don't think it's a gimme for me, nor do I think that, that, necessarily that they can beat her.
Gibson: There's a lot of people who think that there's going to be a situation where one Democrat will emerge, and it would be that person v. Hillary.
Bush: Well I I'm I'm not surprised, that in essence is, I guess, what I'm trying to say here, not particularly articulately. Because I think, as the heat gets up, you'll see that happen …
Toward the end of the interview, former President Bush wondered, "You're on the TV, right, son? Do you know Jack Benny?" "Hell on heels, it's gotta be about 3 o'clock, what do ya say we open up the goddamn bar?" "Who's Hillary Clinton?" and "Glug," before slipping off into a deep peaceful slumber.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg just produced 70,000 new New Yorkers after winning a successful appeal of U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. That's 70,000 new people who have no idea who Alan Hevesi is. Quite a feat. But Bloomberg isn't just working his strange magic locally, he's spell-casting throughout the entire region. Crain's Insider (no link it's for insiders) reports that the Gandalf of Fifth Avenue is dispatching an important helper hobbit, Korrine Kubena, a director of government affairs, to the distant kingdom of Connecticut, where she will aid a less able sorcerer, Joe Lieberman.
Bloomberg has been building IndePubliCrat synergy all over the place: in California, where Arnold Schwarzenegger got so gushy he called him "my soul mate," and now with embattled Joe, whom he formally endorsed in August. Bloomberg will hold a fund-raiser for the Connecticut senator at his townhouse on November 1, and he'll appear at a Chicago event with Lieberman's wife, Hadassah, on October 25. Yesterday, Lieberman's opponent, rich-but-not-Bloomberg-rich antiwar candidate and Democratic primary winner Ned Lamont, dumped $500,000 of his own money into his campaign war chest.
The well-funded Lieberman is increasingly drawing support from Republicans, sparking criticism from the left that he's a little more than a cheerful lapdog for Bush-Cheney. On Tuesday, he worked the sidewalks of Fairfield, Connecticut, with former mayor Ed Koch, who while not technically a Republican hasn't been recognizable as a Democrat for about a quarter century. Last Thursday in Washington, Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute and President Bush's college roommate, co-sponsored a Lieberman fund-raising luncheon. Now there is speculation that Lieberman may caucus with the Republicans if he wins reelection. Mayor Mike may be dabbling in the black arts.
Why obsess over baseball playoffs when you can make speculation a year-round sport by assessing Hillary's presidential prospects? Today's WNBC/Marist poll offers the usual Heisenbergian weirdness surrounding Her Hillness. She's exactly where she needs to be and nowhere at all. The new poll puts her at 35 percent among Democrats, beating Al Gore who has 16 percent and isn't running. Former Virginia governor Mark Warner, the conservative southern rich guy some feel can challenge Hillary, is in a 2 percent dead heat with Tom Daschle; Bill Richardson, Wes Clark, and every other living Democrat who isn't James Traficant are polling at 1 percent.
You don't have to be a statistician to get the sense that Democrats are more resigned to Hillary's nomination than hopeful for it. Just over half (51 percent) of voters nationwide would rather she didn't run and only about a quarter think she can win, which conforms to a recent poll of New York voters. So we have an assumed nominee with no expectation of victory. Should Democrats start pricing Spitzer 2012 bumper stickers?
Taking a break from our new favorite woman scorned, let us now turn to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Since her reelection bid is all but assured (sorry, John Spencer, you're only polling 31 percent), Clinton will begin fund-raising for swing-state Democrats in October.
A new Times poll shows 40 percent of New York Republicans approve of her job as senator. Hillary's ability to talk milk subsidies with upstate farmers is often cited as evidence that maybe she can hang with mill workers in Youngstown, too. Hillary's hoping she even made up a funny little line for the Washington Post about her new Republican supporters: "'I've stopped asking them why and you know I have a little ceremony where they can go through absolution,' she laughed."
Ha ha ha. And we laugh with her. All the way to the chopping block the same poll says only 50 percent of New Yorkers want her to run for president.
We all enjoy speculating idly on Rudy Giuliani's presidential prospects. Can this maverick mixture of iron-jawed security hawk, pie-eyed corpo-idealist, and shrug-shouldered values relativist reinvent the moribund notion of the Northeastern Republican as national hopeful? Does a Rudy candidacy mean a coalition-strafing turf war between don't-dread-on-me capitalists and tread-on-you moralists? Or is America's Mayor just the man to assure security moms and the dads who love them that the Republican Party isn't going off a cliff in
Rudy could create a new GOP or destroy the old one. Or like Shiva, perhaps he could do both.
But it's time to get out of idle and shift into speculative overdrive. Giuliani who regularly told audiences that his speeches were only in support of GOP candidates running in 2006 is giving a speech after Election Day. In Pennsylvania. In the same town that George W. Bush and John Kerry ran to after the 2004 conventions.
So it looks like quixotic homeboy George Pataki has some company in his full-on, pretty-much-definite charge for the White House.
George Pataki opened a campaign office in Iowa yesterday; the AP story added that the governor likes Iowans because they remind him of his upstate base. (Offices in New Hampshire and South Carolina are in the works.)
It makes perfect sense coming from a guy who's spent so much time playing the ersatz Midwesterner he's convinced himself he's the real thing. Pataki is the opposite of the farm boy hungry for a glimpse of the bright lights. Kids grow up in the Midwest, hear the Ramones, and dream of the Lower East Side. Pataki grew up in Peekskill, heard Paul Harvey, and longed for Council Bluffs.
But instead of following his imagination's wandering boot heels, he stayed home to punish the locals with his bitter fantasy of flat-soled Babbittry, like the town hipster who doesn't have the guts to try out the big city Pataki vetoed a minimum-wage hike in 2004 and appealed a court order to increase city school funding. Finally, he's taking his first man steps into the promised land, but he does it weighed down with the ideological baggage a "moderate" accrues while governing a non-rectangular state. Pataki hopes to follow the trail of previous caucus winners like George W. Bush and Bob Dole, or even those who made a significant showing like Steve Forbes and Pat Buchanan. But Republican though he is, the pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-gun Pataki may appear to be something else entirely to the people of Iowa: a New Yorker.
What you can expect from New York Magazine's politics daily.