- The Washington Times - Friday, November 2, 2001

Shortsighted?

"The White House has decided the war against terrorism should minimize President Bush's role in partisan politics. So neither he nor Dick Cheney will campaign for GOP gubernatorial nominees Bret Schundler in New Jersey and Mark Earley in Virginia. Such political caution may prove shortsighted," Wall Street Journal editorialist John H. Fund writes.

"If the GOP loses Virginia next week, you can bet the media will note its retiring governor, Jim Gilmore, is Mr. Bush's hand-picked chairman of the Republican National Committee. If Democrats win New Jersey, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe will claim tax cuts have lost potency as an issue. Pundits will note the GOP's 1989 defeat in both states was a sign of the first Bush administration's political weakness, while the GOP victory in both in 1993 was a precursor to the party's capture of Congress the next year," Mr. Fund said.

"If the GOP ends up losing either state narrowly, questions about the White House's hands-off strategy will be raised. Nothing prevented Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon from being political during the Vietnam War, or for that matter George Bush Sr. during the Gulf War buildup."

If Democrats do well on Tuesday, "it will mean a ratification of DNC Chairman McAuliffe's game plan: massively outspend Republicans on get-out-the-vote efforts and national party TV ads, and attack GOP opponents as 'extremists' while Democrats run purposefully vague, centrist-sounding candidates."


Looking for help

"Election Day is drawing near and New York GOP mayoral contender Mike Bloomberg's chief strategist, Bill Cunningham, insists that President Bush will do something to help out, but he's coy about what," the New York Post's Deborah Orin writes.

"But the White House also hints something could be coming perhaps along the lines of the letters and prerecorded phone calls that Bush is doing for Republican governor candidates" in New Jersey and Virginia, Miss Orin said.

"'The president supports Bloomberg. He believes he's a strong candidate. Unfortunately, the president's schedule is subject to quick changes and we've been unable to put a political stop on it,'" said a White House official.

"Bloomberg got a brief moment with Bush at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, after the president threw out the first pitch, Cunningham says."


Bock to New York

Former California State Assemblywoman Audie Bock has brought her campaign to unseat Rep. Barbara Lee to New York City.

Mrs. Lee, a California Democrat, was the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for the September 11 attacks. She also voted against President Bush's anti-terrorism bill.

Ms. Bock hopes to make Mrs. Lee pay for those votes by ousting the congresswoman in next year's Democratic primary.

"Such refusals to adhere to Congresswoman Lee's congressional oath to defend her nation from 'all enemies foreign and domestic' while playing 'Blame America' and 'Blame Israel' politics has resulted in an outpouring of support for the Bock for Congress campaign from many in New York. Area residents have made campaign contributions as well as writing e-mails and letters of support to Bock thanking her for her efforts," the Bock campaign said yesterday in a prepared statement.

Ms. Bock traveled to New York City as a delegate of her church, which is an affiliate of the New York Metropolitan Baptist Church. She will participate in a memorial service for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks tomorrow at the Riverside Church in New York.

In addition to the memorial service, Ms. Bock will be meeting with prominent New York Democratic leaders, activists, firefighters and veterans groups' representatives, her campaign said.


For the children

President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, used to link just about every aspect of their governmental policies foreign and domestic to their unprecedented concern for children. So it seemed like old times yesterday when the following press release from Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, came across our desk:

"Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Children and Families, will hold a hearing on the nation's ability to address the distinct concerns of children in relation to terrorist attacks. In light of the potential for future attacks, it is critical to ensure the availability of medical and mental health services for children, as well as enhancing the readiness of teachers, caretakers, and emergency responders to react to any terrorist or bioterrorist incident."

The press release went on to say that Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge had been invited to testify at today's hearing, which begins at 10 a.m. in Room 106 of the Dirksen Building. It did not say whether Mr. Ridge had accepted.


Clinton clears hurdle

Former President Bill Clinton's planned presidential library overcame a final legal hurdle yesterday when the Arkansas Supreme Court rejected a complaint about the city's acquisition of land for the project, Reuters reports.

The $200 million museum and academic center project had been stalled by a legal case brought by local businessman Eugene Pfeifer III, who challenged the city's right to take his land after he turned down an offer to sell it for $400,000.

Mr. Pfeifer claimed the city had circumvented state law on annexation. He did acknowledge that the price offered for his land was fair but said that he opposed the library location, adjoining a renovated warehouse district in Little Rock.

A state court ruled against Mr. Pfeifer earlier this year, and the state Supreme Court yesterday upheld that ruling by a vote of 6-0 with one abstention.

"We believe that the city's proposal and supporting documentation make it clear that Pfeifer's entire property was properly taken by the city for the presidential park," the Supreme Court said.

The court's decision clears the path for a groundbreaking for the library later this year.

With completion planned for 2004, the Clinton library will be the largest of the nation's 12 presidential libraries and will encompass 28 acres along the Arkansas River in Little Rock's Market District.

Plans for the library include a glass and steel building extending over the river that will house Mr. Clinton's presidential archive, and a second building that will be used as a graduate-level school of public service.


Not newsworthy

"On Sunday, Oct. 28, terrorists massacred 16 Christians at a church in Pakistan but instead of reporting that, ABC's 'World News Tonight' featured a full story of how two people in the Northern Alliance-controlled portion of Afghanistan were accidentally killed by U.S. bombs," the Media Research Center reports.

"'An old woman cried out to God in pain,' correspondent David Wright relayed. 'Her daughter says the jets circled overhead before dropping their bombs,' he reported before stressing: 'The victims included children as young as 4.'

"NBC's 'Nightly News' and CBS's 'Evening News' both reported the story on the first available broadcast (Sunday, Oct. 28, and Monday, Oct. 29, respectively), but 'World News Tonight' has never reported on this massacre of Christians. Would ABC have found more value in the story if they had been killed by American bombs instead of anti-Christian terrorists?" the MRC's Liz Swasey asked.


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