- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Pro-life advantage
"Pollster John Zogby's post-election survey of actual voters shows that 41 percent of voters said the abortion issue affected how they voted in the nine closely contested U.S. Senate races where the Republican opposed abortion rights and ran against a Democrat who supported them," United Press International reports in its Capital Comment column.
"The survey of 5,408 voters found that the 'pro-life advantage' for U.S. Senate candidates was 7 percent and that, for candidates in general, it was 12 percent.
"Among those who said that abortion affected their vote, 55 percent of those polled voted 'for the pro-life Republican Senate candidate' 23 percent of all voters while the 'pro-abortion Democratic Senate candidate' got only 39 percent of the vote representing 16 percent of all voters."

Gore vs. Kerry
Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry are running about even among potential voters for the 2004 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, according to an independent poll released yesterday.
The poll, from Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, had Mr. Gore, the party's unsuccessful nominee in 2000, favored by 31 percent of Democrats and independents who say they may vote in the primary, traditionally the first in the nation.
Mr. Kerry, from neighboring Massachusetts, had the support of 28 percent of the potential primary voters.
"It shows this is no cakewalk for Gore," said Lee Miringoff, head of the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based polling institute.
Mr. Miringoff said Mr. Kerry's Massachusetts base provided a boost in the poll. The Marist pollster said that among New Hampshire voters who work in Massachusetts, Mr. Kerry led Mr. Gore 37 percent to 24 percent.
The telephone poll of 425 registered Democrats and independents was conducted from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus five percentage points.
Among other potential Democratic contenders, only Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, Mr. Gore's running mate two years ago, was in double digits in the new poll, with 10 percent.
The poll found Vermont Gov. Howard Dean favored by 6 percent of potential primary voters, Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri at 5 percent, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota at 3 percent, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at 2 percent and the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York at 1 percent.
Fourteen percent of potential voters were undecided.

Lott apologizes
Senate Republican leader Trent Lott apologized last night for remarks made at a 100th birthday party for Sen. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican, that have been called racist.
At the party for the retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond, Mr. Lott said that "the United States would have been better off had Strom Thurmond won his 1948 presidential campaign."
Mr. Thurmond's "Dixiecrat" Party vowed to uphold segregation in the South, and Democrats from Al Gore to Al Sharpton have called the remarks racist.
"A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past," Mr. Lott, Mississippi Republican, said in a statement. "Nothing could be further from the truth, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement."
"This was a lighthearted celebration of the 100th birthday of legendary Senator Strom Thurmond," Mr. Lott said. "My comments were not an endorsement of his positions of over 50 years ago, but of the man and his life."
Kevin L. Martin, government and political affairs director of the African American Republican Leadership Council, said people were overreacting to the remarks.
"By no means was he endorsing segregation or anything like that. It was lighthearted, it was humorous." Mr. Martin noted that Mr. Lott captures 25 percent of the black vote in Mississippi, which he said couldn't happen if Mr. Lott were a racist.
Last night, Mr. Gore, speaking on CNN's "Inside Politics," became the latest Democrat to attack Mr. Lott, saying the Senate should censure him.
"It is not a small thing for one of the half-dozen most prominent political leaders in America to say that our problems are caused by integration and that we should have had a segregationist candidate. That is divisive and it is divisive along racial lines," Mr. Gore said.

Forget free speech
"Liberals who once preened as free speech absolutists sound increasingly like censors," George Neumayr writes at www.americanprowler.org.
"Their customary enthusiasm for diversity of opinion has vanished as their gains in society erode under conservative free speech," Mr. Neumayr said.
"Liberals want the drawbridges to public opinion pulled up before conservatives dislodge them from power completely. Bill Clinton's lament last week about a 'docile establishment press' was essentially a call for the liberal media to stamp out the growing number of conservative voices in it. A week earlier Al Gore had spoken bitterly of the slowness of mainstream journalists to recognize a 'fifth column' in their midst. Gore might as well have said: 'Hey, liberal journalists, get your act together and make sure conservatives don't enter your profession.'
"Clearly liberals are no longer in a Voltairean mood to defend to the death anyone's right to free speech. No, the disciples of Voltaire now prefer the likes of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Witness Tom Daschle accusing Rush Limbaugh of yelling fire in a crowded radio theater."

Proud advertiser
"When it comes to TV political ads, my rule of thumb is that the effectiveness of the ad is directly proportionate to the amount of protests issued by the opponent," Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, writes in National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"So you can see why I'm as proud as a peacock that last week Bill Clinton singled out for criticism the Club for Growth campaign ad that features his wife, Hillary, alongside Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy as goofy bobblehead dolls obstructing President Bush's agenda. (Readers are welcome to go to www.clubforgrowth.org to see the ad.)
"That TV ad was apparently a prime example of the despicable tactics of the Right-wing conspiracy in action during campaign 2002. Clinton lashed out at party leaders and the liberal media for being 'increasingly docile' in retaliating against such slanderous ads. Here's the exact quote from the incredibly shrinking former president: 'I'll never forget the little puppets of Tom Daschle and Hillary in all those ads they got away with it.'
"Oh, Bill. Now you tell us!
"If we had only known how much you were personally offended by the ads, we would have bought twice as much TV time. After all, it takes a Herculean effort to offend Bill Clinton's sensibilities."

Daley to run again
Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley announced yesterday he will run for a fifth term heading the nation's third-largest city, coming closer to challenging the longevity of his legendary father.
Mr. Daley, 60, a Democrat, is considered an overwhelming favorite in the upcoming nonpartisan Feb. 25 municipal elections, filing nominating petitions with six times the required 25,000 signatures.
"Being the mayor of Chicago, at least the way I see it, is not just a job, it's a never-ending commitment to bring new ideas, energy and enthusiasm to solve problems, and seize the opportunity to make our city work for all Chicagoans," he said in announcing his bid for re-election at a South Side senior citizens center.
Mr. Daley faces no serious challengers and appears to head an impregnable multiethnic coalition that draws votes from all segments of the city of 3 million, Reuters news agency reports.
If he wins and serves out his fifth term since gaining office in 1989, Mr. Daley will have been mayor for 18 years edging closer to the 21-year tenure of his father, Richard J. Daley.

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