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Question of the Day
“Barack Obama found it ‘exciting,’ and Hillary Clinton saw it as ‘a positive sign.’ Others, like Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former U.S. national security adviser, went further and praised it as a ‘vibrant democracy.’ A variety of useful idiots at home and abroad expressed similar illusions about the Iranian presidential election on Friday,” Amir Taheri writes in the London Times.
“Many had hoped the exercise would dislodge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the maverick who has vowed to chase the United States out of the Middle East, wipe Israel off the map and prepare the ground for the hidden imam, Shiite Islams ‘end of times’ figure of retribution. In the event, the election turned out to be a choreographed affair designed to reinforce Ahmadinejads position as the leader of ‘resurgent Islam,’ ” said Mr. Taheri, an Iranian journalist.
“Officially put at 85 percent, voter turnout was the highest in Iran’s history. Ahmadinejad won with 63 percent, collecting more votes than any of his predecessors. The results were arranged to give him a two-thirds majority among all categories of voters - men, women, young and old, poor and middle class, and in all of Irans 30 provinces. Whoever wrote the script also made sure that his three rivals, all veterans of the Khomeinist revolution, were roundly defeated even in their respective hometowns.
Only one candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the former prime minister, has tried to contest the results. Some analysts had tipped Mousavi, a cousin of the ‘supreme guide’ Ali Khamenei, as the likely winner and the ideal partner for President Obama in his quest for unconditional talks with Iran. By midday Saturday, it was clear that Mousavi would not try to rock the boat. Rather than calling his supporters into the streets, he wrote a letter to his cousin, pleading for ‘action to avoid injustice.’ Ahmadinejad’s camp responded by announcing a rally in Tehran [Sunday] to celebrate his victory.”
“Nothing comes easy for the GOP these days,” Fred Barnes writes in the Wall Street Journal.
“For months, Republican Robert McDonnell was the clear favorite to be elected governor of Virginia this fall. And for nearly as long, his Democratic opponent seemed likely to be Terry McAuliffe - a former Democratic national chairman, close pal of Bill Clinton, native New Yorker, and grating personality. None of those things are assets in the Old Dominion,” Mr. Barnes said.
“But on Tuesday, the GOP’s confidence evaporated. In a rout, Democratic primary voters rejected Mr. McAuliffe and nominated a rural state senator, Creigh Deeds, who has the potential to win over Republican voters.
“Many Democrats had resigned themselves to losing the governorship this year, but now they ‘are coming out of the primary in better shape than they ever expected,’ says Democratic pollster Tom Jensen. Mr. Deeds will soon be riding a wave of favorable publicity that could put him even or slightly ahead of Mr. McDonnell, who resigned as the state’s attorney general earlier this year to run for governor. A GOP strategist who didn’t want to be named put it this way: ‘The press loves his story.’
“Nonetheless, in Mr. McDonnell, Republicans have a strong candidate. He beat Mr. Deeds by 323 votes in the election for attorney general in 2005. It was a race that ‘Deeds should have won,’ says Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. ‘There was a tide against Republicans.’ ”
“Don’t be hard on GM’s new chairman, Edward Whitacre, for confessing during an interview last week that he knows nothing about cars,” Jim McTague writes in Barron’s.
“He simply suffered a Joe Biden moment. Texans often tumble over their tongues when taking a stab at humility. In fact, few car companies, let alone their CEOs, know how to build cars, which is why so many of them are conking out. The Obama administration, in my view, picked Whitacre to run General Motors because he has a more important talent: He knows how to play Chicago-style politics,” Mr. McTague said.
“Whitacre predominantly donates money to GOP causes, but he is no party purist. While serving as chairman and chief executive of SBC, the regional Bell that grew under his leadership into AT&T, Whitacre helped a couple of influential Chicago Democrats - both friends of President Barack Obama - enrich themselves between political gigs. He gave former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley a very sweet job and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel a very sweet investment-banking opportunity.”
About the Author
Greg Pierce grew up in Indiana and Illinois, and graduated from Illinois State University, where he was editor of the student newspaper. He worked at newspapers in Indiana, Florida and Connecticut before coming to The Washington Times in 1984. Before compiling “Inside Politics,” he covered federal agencies for the newspaper. Mr. Pierce also compiles “Washington in Five Minutes” and edits ...
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