- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Fear of Rudman

"John McCain has been pleading with fellow Republicans not to 'fear' his campaign but to 'join it.' We know more than a few Republicans who might heed that plea if only the insurgent candidate would promise not to make Warren Rudman his attorney general," the Wall Street Journal says.
"Republicans this year are dying to find a winner, not least because the next president may replace as many as three Supreme Court justices. One of those could be a new chief justice, since William Rehnquist is 75 years old. So it alarms conservatives when they hear that Mr. McCain would delegate his judge-picking to Mr. Rudman, the man who helped put liberal jurist David Souter on the high court," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"… With the Supreme Court hanging in 5-4 balance on issues ranging from racial preferences to federalism to property rights to church-state relations, Republicans can't afford any more Souters, much less three more.
"This is the fear Mr. McCain needs to do more to alleviate if he wants to win more Republican votes. One way to do this would be to declare that while he loves Mr. Rudman, the former senator wouldn't be his attorney general."

Bauer explains

Gary Bauer yesterday denied that his choice for president, John McCain, was abandoning conservative Christians.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," Mr. Bauer, a prominent conservative Christian, wrote in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.
"In his speech [Monday], Senator McCain was hardly jettisoning the religious right. He went out of his way to praise evangelical leaders like Chuck Colson, who works with prison inmates, and James Dobson, who devoted his life to rebuilding American's families. He was careful to make a clear distinction between certain organizational leaders and the vast grass roots of religious conservatives with whom he shares a great concern for traditional values," Mr. Bauer said.
Mr. McCain on Monday attacked Pat Robertson a longtime rival of Mr. Bauer's and Jerry Falwell, calling them "agents of intolerance." Conversely, Mr. Dobson and Mr. Bauer have had strong institutional links.

Targeting McCain

The Democratic National Committee yesterday targeted Republican presidential candidate John McCain as an agent of intolerance, citing his opposition to adding homosexuals to the list of groups covered by employment anti-discrimination laws.
"It's clear that gay and lesbian Americans are not part of McCain's 'majority,' " DNC Chairman Joe Andrew said. "McCain's 'straight talk' is not straight on the fact that, in most states, gays and lesbians in the work force can be fired simply because of their sexual orientation."
During an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week," the Arizona senator said, "I don't believe that [homosexuals] belong in a special category… . I think that enforcement of existing law could work rather than passing special laws for special categories of people."
Said Mr. Andrew: "Underneath his 'real reformer' package, McCain is like George W. Bush, Trent Lott and the rest of the Republican leadership. His toleration for anti-gay discrimination is overwhelming evidence of McCain's true conservative colors."

Gays for Gore

Al Gore's presidential campaign yesterday announced the formation of Gay and Lesbian Americans for Gore.
"The group will work over the Internet and in local communities to mobilize volunteers and organize support for Gore," the campaign said in a press release.

Swing voters

"Although the Bush campaign has spotlighted McCain's large independent and Democratic vote in Michigan, in pushing this point Republicans have to be careful not to make it seem that those voters would be unwelcome in November," John Gizzi writes in Human Events.
"The GOP has historically been unable to carry Michigan and other Northern states without winning many crossover votes, and without Michigan or some other large Northern state, it is difficult for a Republican to win the White House particularly running against a Southern Democrat such as Al Gore. If Bush wins the GOP nomination, he may have to return to Michigan seeking support from many of the same swing voters who went for McCain in this primary," Mr. Gizzi said.

'The outer reaches'

The New York Post, which on Sunday endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential bid, yesterday praised his attack on Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and what he termed "the outer reaches of American politics."
"McCain's remarks may or may not resonate with Virginia voters [in yesterday's primary]. But they go directly to the theme animating the senator's campaign. This man stands by what he believes," the newspaper said in an editorial that compared Mr. McCain to Ronald Reagan.

Wrong candidate

Presidential candidate John McCain's "Catholic Voter Alert" phone calls in Michigan "shot wide of their target," Kate O'Beirne writes in the Wall Street Journal.
"The entire Republican Party is damaged when toxic charges of religious bigotry are leveled against one of its standard bearers," she said, noting that rival candidate George W. Bush eventually felt it necessary to apologize to New York's Cardinal John O'Connor for causing "needless offense" by not condemning anti-Catholic bigotry at Bob Jones University.
"Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit criticized the [McCain] calls for using voters' religious faith to score political points. It seems the wrong cardinal received an apology from the wrong candidate."

Sharpton's choice

Matt Labash, a staff writer for the Weekly Standard, somehow got the Rev. Al Sharpton to go on line at selectsmart.com, the Internet candidate selector, after last week's Democratic presidential debate in Harlem.
"After answering a series of position questions, the machine spits out the candidate that most closely adheres to Sharpton's worldview. Coming in third is Gore, just ahead of Bradley. Both finish behind Ralph Nader, who's in second place. But the big winner is David McReynolds, the Socialist Party's nominee for president," Mr. Labash writes.
" 'Who's McReynolds?' a puzzled Sharpton asks. 'He's the man you should be endorsing,' I offer. Sharpton permits a slight grin, while staying fixated on the screen. 'Maybe we should have him down to the House of Justice.' McReynolds will probably come. But he'll have to take a number."

Money talks

If you ever wondered how much House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts Jr. means to the party, his office will tell you: $2.4 million.
That's how much was raised at fund-raisers the Oklahoma Republican attended in 1999.
Mr. Watts has traveled the country raising money for everyone from Virginia state Rep. Paul Harris to presidential hopeful Texas Gov. George W. Bush. However, he has shown a decided bias toward California, Illinois and Florida, making a total of 17 appearances in those three states.
Earlier this year, there had been talk of unseating Mr. Watts from his position as official spokesman for House Republicans, but while message may be important, money talks.

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