- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ted to the rescue

Republican political wranglers are pushing former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson to run for the Senate seat in Virginia being vacated by Sen. John W. Warner, according to American Spectator’s Prowler.

Another Warner — former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat — is seeking the seat. Mr. Olson, who is in private practice and is serving as a key adviser to former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in his quest for the White House, had no knowledge that his name was being bandied about, or that Republicans were looking to him as a potential candidate.

“Olson is one of those guys who you’d love to see just tee off on Warner during a debate and on the stump,” a conservative Republican operative in Virginia said. “We need guys like him in the race.”

Some Republicans think he could become an ace fundraiser, particularly in Northern Virginia, which has increasingly become a stronghold for Democrats.

“His political background and high profile in conservative circles would actually make him a national candidate from a fundraising perspective,” a New York-based fundraiser said. “He could actually go toe to toe with Warner on the donor front if he were interested in getting into this thing.”

Stats on the race itself? A Rasmussen Reports survey of 500 likely voters released yesterday finds Mr. Warner leading the Republican hopeful, former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, 53 percent to 37 percent.

A matter of faith

As Mitt Romney scours the South for endorsements from evangelical leaders, he is getting distinct advice on how to explain his Mormon faith: Don’t try to be one of us.

“I told him, you cannot equate Mormonism with Christianity; you cannot say, ‘I am a Christian just like you,’ “ Rep.Bob Inglis, South Carolina Republican, told Bloomberg News. “If he does that, every Baptist preacher in the South is going to have to go to the pulpit on Sunday and explain the differences.”

This advice, which reflects the views of many Southern Baptists and other evangelicals, makes Mr. Romney’s co-religionists bristle.

“The fact that we are Christians is nonnegotiable,” said Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In seeking the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney must court churchgoing voters, who make up almost 30 percent of the party’s electorate.

His supporters argue that he doesn’t need to address all of the tenets of Mormonism to appeal to evangelicals.

“Talking about values is a winner, talking about theological stuff is a no-no,” said Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida, a Republican and Romney fan.

Boo

Straight from the calendar section at the New Hampshire Union Leader yesterday, illuminating today’s schedule for one Democratic presidential candidate:

John Edwards will don a Halloween costume for a day of campaigning with stops at 3:15 p.m. at the Peterborough Town Hall, 1 Grove St.; will go trick or treating at 5:05 p.m. in Bedford; and will hold a town hall meeting at Manchester Central High School at 6:30 p.m.”

No word from Mr. Edwards’ campaign headquarters about his disguise of choice.

Bad and worse

President Bush yesterday criticized Congress for dawdling on the job and “wasting time” on nonstop investigations of his administration. How much time have they wasted? Read it and weep: Two decades.

“1987 was the last time Congress failed to send the president a single appropriations bill this late in the year,” the Senate Republican Communications Center pointed out yesterday.

The stopgap measure was passed by the House that year 207-178; the Senate approved it by voice vote and President Reagan signed the bill late in the evening. To emphasize how long it’s been, the committee also reminds us what else was happening on the planet at the time. Michael Jackson topped the pop music charts with “Bad.” The “The Cosby Show” was the top prime-time TV offering. “Three Men and a Baby” was the No. 1 movie.

“Democrats’ historic mismanagement” is just another 1980s flashback, the SRCC said.

Oh, behave

The Democratic hopefuls are getting so rude with one another that one of their own had to step into the fray.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced yesterday that he regrets the “negative tone” that two of his rivals have taken toward Sen.Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, according to the Associated Press. He chided Sen.Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina for claiming Mrs. Clinton was beholden to special interests, and predicted he’ll win the nomination because he’s nice on the campaign trail.

“I think that Senators Obama and Edwards should concentrate on the issues and not on attacking Senator Clinton,” said Mr. Richardson, who officially added his name to the New Hampshire ballot yesterday. “It’s OK to get aggressive on the issues, but to make personal attacks on somebody’s attachments to lobbyists, that’s not the kind of positive tone I want to see.”

Besides, there’s plenty of time to get mean before the general election.

“Now is not the time to start food fights,” Mr. Richardson said.

Hillary Crocker?

More shocking pink tidbits are oozing from “Whitewash: What the Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will,” the upcoming tell-all by Media Research Center guru L. Brent Bozell III and co-author Tim Graham.

“The national media have flagrantly abandoned their duty as independent and dispassionate journalists,” they write. “When Republicans are investigated by the media, it is done with such tenacity, it usually leads to a humiliating resignation or electoral defeat. When there is a hint of impropriety by the Clintons, the media react quite differently.”

The authors are convinced the press, through shameless fawning, “turned Hillary into a presidential contender in the first place, despite her lack of political experience and her repeated scandals.”

“Scandals like fundraiser Norman Hsu’s criminality are ignored or downplayed; but if the story breaks out, reporters turn it into an attack by “mean-spirited” Republicans and their “politics of personal destruction,” they note.

Mrs. Clinton only grants network interviews on the condition they are taped and without debate, they say, adding that supposedly “objective” reporters regularly shower her with praise, claiming she’s a combination of “Betty Crocker, Mother Teresa and Oliver Wendell Holmes.”

The book is due out from Crown Forum on Nov. 13.

Contact Jennifer Harper at 202/636-3085 or jharper @washingtontimes.com

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