- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2007

Ahead in Nevada

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who is expected to enter the presidential race soon, leads all Republican hopefuls in Nevada, according to a survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Mr. Thompson garnered 25 percent in the poll. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was second with 20 percent, followed by ex-New York MayorRudolph W. Giuliani at 17 percent and Arizona Sen. John McCain at 8 percent.

On the Democratic side,New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton led Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 39 percent to 17 percent, followed by former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards at 12 percent andNew Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at 7 percent.

The survey was conducted Wednesday through Friday among 400 likely Republican caucus-goers and 400 likely Democratic caucus-goers. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Obama’s sermon

Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some conservative evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.

“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in remarks prepared for delivery in Hartford, Conn., before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

“Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” the Illinois senator said.

“At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design,” according to an advance copy of his speech.

“There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its No. 1 legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t know what Bible they’re reading, but it doesn’t jibe with my version.”

Mr. Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ, a church of about 1.2 million members that is considered one the most liberal of the mainline Protestant groups.

In 1972, the church was the first to ordain an openly homosexual man, the Associated Press reports. Two years ago, the church endorsed same-sex “marriage” and was the largest Christian denomination to do so. Mr. Obama believes that states should decide whether to allow homosexual “marriage,” and he opposes a constitutional amendment against it.

Likability problem

Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to prove she’s a man. She has to prove she’s a woman,” Peggy Noonan writes at www. OpinionJournal.com.

“She doesn’t have to prove to people that she’s tough enough or aggressive enough to be commander in chief. She doesn’t have to show she could and would wage a war. She has to prove she has normal human warmth, a normal amount of give, of good nature, that she is not, at bottom, grimly combative and rather dark,” Miss Noonan said.

“This is the woman credited with starting and naming the War Room. Her staff has nicknamed her ‘The Warrior.’ Get in her way and she’d squish you like a bug. This has been her reputation for 20 years. And it is her big problem. People want a president to be strong but not hard.

“A longtime supporter of Mrs. Clinton’s spoke with candor some months back of her friend’s predicament. ‘We’re back where we were in ‘92 — likability. Nothing has changed.’

“Back then, when the Clintons were newly famous, their consultants were alarmed to find the American people did not believe Hillary was a mother. They thought she was a person with breasts in a suit. She had a briefcase and a latte and was late for the meeting, but no way did she have a child.

“So the Clintons began to include their daughter, Chelsea, then 12, in campaign appearances. Which helped.

“Where is Chelsea now? She’s trying to parallel park.

“The Sopranos video the Clintons made and released this [past] week was smart and well done. It was witty and it was, quite literally, daring. It addressed yet again the likability problem, but from a new angle.”


“The definition of ‘post-partisanship,’ according to the media is a Republican who acts like a Democrat,” the editors of National Review write at www.nationalreview.com.

“We haven’t noticed much press adulation for Sen. Joe Lieberman who stood by his support for the Iraq war even as Democrats went the other way and who actually won an election last year as an independent. Apparently there can be no such thing as a ‘post-partisan’ supporter of the Iraq war,” the magazine said.

“It’sNew York Mayor Mike Bloomberg who is the ‘post-partisan’ media darling of the hour, thanks to speculation about a possible independent presidential run fueled by his dropping of his Republican Party affiliation. That affiliation was never anything more than a convenience. Bloomberg became a Republican in advance of the 2001 mayoral election solely so he could buy the GOP nomination that year. Now, the party is no longer useful to him.

“There are certainly positions that enjoy widespread support among the public but don’t become policy because of political timorousness in Washington or other checks on popular sentiment: Ending corporate welfare, prohibiting second- and third-term abortions, and enforcing immigration laws to name a few. A candidate championing those causes, needless to say, wouldn’t strike the media as an appealing vehicle for public discontent with Washington.

“Bloomberg does so strike them because he mouths mind-numbing anti-partisan cliches while keeping himself on safe ideological ground.”

Dream on

“It’s the Grand Illusion of activists and the Fool’s Gold of candidates all wrapped in one. The belief that masses of Americans will rise up with righteous indignation and demand radical political change ranks up there with faith in the Tooth Fairy. Michael Bloomberg and his billions have met their match,” New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin writes.

“The New York mayor’s resignation from the Republican Party was a clear sign he’s running for president as a third-party independent. His blasting Washington as ‘hooked on partisanship’ and saying, ‘we do not have to settle for the same old politics’ were straight out of the populist playbook,” Mr. Goodwin said.

“And that’s the problem. No matter what the issues are or how much money the latest dreamer has, third- and fourth-party candidates inevitably become road kill. Even if their ideas catch on — think daffy Ross Perot in 1992 and the budget deficit — they end up with no place to go on Inauguration Day.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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