- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2008

Joe at the ready

Sen. Joe Lieberman seems to be positioning himself as a tenable running mate for Sen. John McCain.

Barack Obama, who, contrary to his rhetorical invocations of bipartisan change, has not been willing to stand up to his party’s left wing on a single significant national security or international economic issue in this campaign,” the Connecticut independent wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

Obama stands in stark contrast to John McCain, who has shown the political courage throughout his career to do what he thinks is right — regardless of its popularity in his party or outside it. John also understands something else that too many Democrats seem to have become confused about lately — the difference between America’s friends and America’s enemies.

“There are of course times when it makes sense to engage in tough diplomacy with hostile governments. Yet what Mr. Obama has proposed is not selective engagement, but a blanket policy of meeting personally as president, without preconditions, in his first year in office, with the leaders of the most vicious, anti-American regimes on the planet.

Mr. Obama has said that in proposing this, he is following in the footsteps of Reagan and JFK. But Kennedy never met with Castro, and Reagan never met with Khomeini. And can anyone imagine Presidents Kennedy or Reagansitting down unconditionally with Ahmadinejad or Chavez? I certainly cannot.”

The uh-s have it

“As political rituals go, the phony denial of interest in the VP nomination is among the most annoying. So credit Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for unequivocally stating their willingness to serve as McCain’s running mate,” observed Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters yesterday.

“But please, politicians out there, spare us the feeble non-denial denials such as the one Jim Webb offered up on today’s ‘Morning Joe.’ Isn’t Webb supposed to be Mr. No-Nonsense Macho Man? After all, he was on the show to tout his new book, ‘A Time to Fight,’ and to talk up his rough ‘n tumble Scots-Irish roots,” Mr. Finkelstein noted.

What did Mr. Webb say — or not say — when asked if he was interested in an Obama/Webb ticket?

“I, uh, that’s just not something that’s basically been discussed, and uh, something I haven’t really thought about,” Mr. Webb told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski.

Courtroom drama

What really gets to Republicans? When it comes to how they will vote come November, GOPers say “that the type of Supreme Court justices a candidate would appoint is more important than the war in Iraq,” according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released yesterday.

It found that 44 percent pick the economy as the top voting issue, 30 percent name judicial appointments, and just 19 percent pick the war in Iraq.

Among all voters, 52 percent cite the economy, more than a quarter name Iraq, and 17 percent say judicial appointments are the key. Among Democrats, 7 percent name judicial appointments as the most important of those issues.

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