Advice for Democrats
“Andrew Cuomo, who has gone off the public radar since he quit the gubernatorial race [in New York], is putting together a book for Random House on what’s gone wrong with the Democratic Party,” the New York Post reports.
“Cuomo is soliciting political heavy hitters including former President Bill Clinton and former Texas Gov. Ann Richards to write essays on how the Dems should regroup,” the newspaper said.
“‘It’s all about networking,’ said one politico. ‘This is basically a suck-up.’ Seeking a bipartisan outlook, Cuomo has also asked GOP strategist Peggy Noonan and departing Rep. J.C. Watts to contribute. The book should be out by next fall.
“Cuomo, who is already weighing another run for governor in four years, also wants essays from presidential hopefuls Sens. John Edwards and John Kerry two men who could surely help Cuomo if he decides to make another try for Albany.”
Matsui’s big job
Incoming House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California this week picked fellow California Democratic Rep. Robert T. Matsui to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“He commands enormous respect for his legislative experience and political acumen,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a statement Monday.
Mr. Matsui, who has been a House member since 1978, said he is “very enthusiastic about the position” and thinks “Democrats have a good chance of taking the House back” in the next election.
As chairman of the DCCC, Mr. Matsui’s job will be to recruit new Democratic candidates, raise money, and help craft the Democrats’ message.
Mrs. Pelosi, in anointing Mr. Matsui, passed over Louisiana Rep. William J. Jefferson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, which had lobbied hard for her to choose one of their own.
Mr. Matsui said Mr. Jefferson will play a major role in the campaign committee’s fund-raising efforts.
“Last year, in the Adarand vs. Mineta case, the administration defended the federal government’s preferences for minority contractors albeit on very narrow grounds, as if embarrassed by its own assertions that such favoritism didn’t offend the principle of strict scrutiny,” Thomas J. Bray writes at www.opinionjournal.com.
“Arguing the case for the government was none other than Solicitor General Theodore Olson, who couldn’t have been very comfortable with his role. He is an outspoken critic of race-based preferences who in the mid-1990s successfully represented plaintiffs against the University of Texas’ law school’s admission quotas,” Mr. Bray noted.
“But neither would it be surprising if Mr. Bush decided to stake out a new path. Post-September 11, and post-Trent Lott, he clearly has earned the moral authority for a fair hearing on America’s most delicate matters. He has carefully cultivated his image as an inclusive politician, and his upper tier of appointments is more seriously diverse even than that of the morally preening Bill Clinton.
“It would be logical for him to follow up the Lott episode with a statement that modern-day Republicans reject racialism in all its forms including the form that our politically correct colleges and universities use to favor some segments of society over others.
“This would, of course, bring a furious reaction from the so-called civil rights establishment, the media and the likes of Hillary Clinton, whose politics of division led her to accuse the entire GOP last week of harboring the same sentiments as Trent Lott. Well, OK, they say, you got rid of Trent Lott, but everybody ‘knows’ that the entire GOP strategy depends on using ‘code words’ as part of a ‘Southern strategy’ to win elections.
“One suspects the public, both black and white, may be getting tired of such arguments. To the racialists on the left, every political disagreement that touches on race is ‘code’ for right-wing racism. At a time when blacks and other minorities are increasingly successful in grass-roots politics, nobody believes that white racism is any longer the chief barrier to success. Besides, solid majorities of both whites and blacks oppose outright racial quotas, which is what the University of Michigan admissions system boils down to.”
A former Florida state lawmaker and Miami-Dade County commissioner was granted refugee status in Australia, ending the possibility of deportation to face a civil contempt charge in the United States.
Joe Gersten, 53, fled to Australia in 1993 after losing a re-election campaign amid a scandal involving sex and drugs. He had sought refugee status ever since, and several Australian courts had rejected him, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Gersten, a Democrat, served in the Florida House during the 1970s and the state Senate in the 1980s before winning a seat on the county commission.
He lost a 1992 re-election bid after he filed a disputed police report, claiming his car was stolen from outside his home. Drug addicts and prostitutes told officers that the car was stolen from outside a crack house.
A judge held Mr. Gersten in contempt for refusing to testify about the theft, and he fled the country.
Mr. Gersten has claimed he would suffer persecution if deported because he had accused one-time political enemies including former Attorney General Janet Reno, then the state’s attorney for Miami-Dade of corruption.
A course in Clinton
Next semester the whole country can get a lesson in Bill Clinton.
The C-SPAN public-affairs cable network will broadcast every class of “The Clinton Presidency,” a new course at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock that will examine the former president’s achievements and scandals, the Associated Press reports.
Guest lecturers will include longtime Clinton attorney David Kendall, Clinton confidant and counsel Bruce Lindsey, former NATO commander Wesley Clark and the former president himself. Mr. Clinton’s critics, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, also have been invited.
The course will be taught by political science professor Margaret Scranton.
An agreement between C-SPAN and the university was reached last week, the professor said.
The course, which begins Jan. 16, will examine Mr. Clinton’s impeachment, his campaign style and his rise from a Southern governor to a political powerhouse, as well as issues such as foreign policy, health care and the economy.
John Corry, writing at www.americanprowler.org, had this to say about the newspaper that he once served as media critic:
“The lead editorial in the New York Times on Sunday began by saying, ‘Now that Trent Lott has reminded the nation that ugly, antiquated racial attitudes still exist in this country, even in the highest ranks of government. ‘ Then it went on to warn the Bush Administration about its judicial nominees. Their ‘views on race,’ it seems, ‘raise troubling questions.’
“But what the nation should be reminded of is the power of the media, and the nastiness of liberals and the sanctimony of fellow-traveling conservatives. Lott was never a distinguished majority leader, but the rush to denounce him was appalling, and now we must live with the consequences. The supposed ugly, antiquated racial attitudes, even in the highest ranks of government, mean that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other race baiters and race hustlers will have a new life.”