- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It ain’t Hillary

Wow, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, tell us how you really feel.

“Good evening. I’m Chris Matthews. Hillary [Clinton] is out front on the Democratic side, but with half the country not liking her and her getting only a quarter of the independent voters, her winning the nomination could simply set up the Democrats for a loss in ‘08 that should be a win.”

Beats a coup

Rep. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican, was on hand to bid Godspeed to the class of 70 young House pages who have served in the U.S. Congress for the past half-year or so.

As Mr. Wicker noted, he had been a page in 1967.

“It was a life-changing experience for a young boy from Pontotoc, Mississippi,” he said.

And Mr. Wicker observed that this class of 2007 similarly experienced momentous events, not the least being the Democratic takeover of Congress.

“Sometimes, we are delighted with that orderly transfer of power,” the Republican said. “Sometimes, as occurred last November and this past January, I was not particularly overly delighted. But it is profound, nonetheless, that we make those changes in government at the ballot box and not at the point of a gun.”

The door is open

Tancredo’s Tall Tale” is the headline of an intriguing item in the latest issue of the Weekly Standard, which recalls a story that Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado has been repeating for several years, most recently during the Republican presidential debate on CNN last week.

“Some time ago,” said Mr. Tancredo, “2003 I think it was, I got a call from Karl Rove who told me that because of my criticism of the president, I should never darken the doorstep of the White House.”

In fact, Mr. Tancredo had told The Washington Times during an interview in April 2002 that because of the “open-door” policy President Bush favored on immigration, terrorists could be “waltzing across the border” thirsty for American “blood,” which the congressman warned would be on the administration’s “hands.”

Mr. Rove was not happy to read the remarks, and he personally called Mr. Tancredo to complain. (The White House denies that the phrase “darken the doorstep” was ever used by Mr. Rove.)

Ever since, continues the magazine, Mr. Tancredo has had people believing that in light of his public disagreement with Mr. Bush, he has been banned from the White House for the life of the presidency. But that’s not the case.

Mr. Tancredo has been invited to the White House twice each year in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and once so far in 2007 with another invitation on its way.

“And, lo and behold, he accepted and showed up on most, if not all, of those occasions,” the magazine concludes.

Doctor again

When we caught up with him at the recent Larry King Cardiac Foundation dinner, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist recalled how happy he was to have helped a 7-year-old boy from Afghanistan receive open-heart surgery last year at Children’s National Medical Center in the District.

It was a U.S. Army surgeon stationed in Afghanistan, Maj. T. Sloane Guy, who sought assistance from the senator — a fellow heart surgeon with whom the major had operated in the past — after the boy, Umer Mohammed, nicknamed “Blue” because of his skin color, and his father, Fateh, were twice denied visas to enter the United States.

“I believe that providing humanitarian relief is not only an act of compassion, but can also serve as a currency for peace,” said Dr. Frist, noting that Mr. King’s cardiac foundation covered medical costs for the boy’s surgery.

Now we see that Dr. Frist this week has been appointed to the board of directors of Africare, which provides more than 150 development programs, including medical assistance, to 22 nations in Africa. As it stands, Dr. Frist already travels each year to Africa on medical missions.

Quite frankly

“I should not have purchased decaf this morning.”

Or so read a statement issued yesterday by Jeffrey Wrase, chief economist on the Joint Economic Committee, who had issued an earlier statement referring toRep. H. James Saxton of New Jersey as the committee’s ranking Republican “senator” instead of “member.”

c John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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