- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2002

'L' is for 'liberal'
In the wake of last week's election losses, even most Democrats apparently think their party is too liberal, according to the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll published yesterday.
The poll of 1,014 adults taken Friday through Sunday, with a 3 percentage point margin of error asked Democrats whether Democratic leaders in Congress should promote policies that are more liberal or more moderate.
A majority of the Democrats surveyed 54 percent said "more moderate," while 39 percent said "more liberal."

'L' is for 'losers'
As recently as Oct. 22, according to the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans reported a favorable view of the Democratic Party. Now that number has slumped to 48 percent, while the party's unfavorable rating has increased from 30 percent to 42 percent.
"Before last week's election, the public's view of the Democratic Party was nearly two to one favorable. Then electoral disaster," said CNN analyst Bill Schneider. "No question here, Democrats look like the losers."

Scaring grandma, not
House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat, "was prescient about one thing this election year," says the Wall Street Journal in an editorial. "In September, he predicted that last week's results would be 'a referendum on Social Security.' It was, and the reformers won.
"For the second straight election. Running on personal retirement accounts didn't hurt George W. Bush in 2000, and this year it didn't hurt those stalwart congressional candidates willing to campaign on the idea despite economic anxiety and corporate scandals. Maybe it's time for Democrats to realize they aren't going to win back their majorities by recycling their scare-Grandma campaigns from 1964. That's what they and their labor allies tried this year, to little avail."

Holy war?
Evangelist Pat Robertson says Muslims are a greater threat to Jews than was Adolf Hitler.
"Somehow I wish the Jews in America would wake up, open their eyes and read what is being said about them," Mr. Robertson told viewers of his Christian Broadcasting Network news program late Monday.
"This is worse than the Nazis," Mr. Robertson said, according to Agence France-Presse. "Adolf Hitler was bad, but what the Muslims want to do to the Jews is worse."
Mr. Robertson, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1988 and later founded the Christian Coalition, said Muslims support their anti-Jewish views by citing passages in the Koran calling Jews pigs and monkeys.
"You just want to say: 'When are you going to open your eyes and see who your enemy is?' Those people want to destroy Jews," Mr. Robertson said.
He criticized efforts to broker a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians: "The idea that you're going to make peace with the Muslim world by giving them territory is an absolute illusion."

Dimpled chads, y'all?
Democrats in Alabama are worried that Gov. Donald Siegelman might be about to pull an Al Gore.
Mr. Siegelman has made noises about going to court to dispute the results of the Nov. 5 election, which he lost by 3,117 votes to Republican challenger Rep. Bob Riley.
A Siegelman bid to overturn the election might go all the way to the state legislature, which "would be disastrous," state Rep. Demetrius Newton, Democratic leader in the state House, told the Associated Press.
State Sen. Bobby Denton agreed. "We don't need to drag this out," said Mr. Denton, the longest-serving Democrat in the state Senate. "There's a slim chance he would ever get that many more votes than Riley."
Also agreeing was former Gov. Guy Hunt who in 1986 became Alabama's first Republican governor after Democrats tangled in a disputed primary battle.
"Being a gracious loser is the most important part of politics. They remember how you lose a whole lot longer than they remember how you win," Mr. Hunt said.

Rick Kahn's legacy
Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale and top Minnesota Democrats were "slow to grasp just how big a deal" the public made of the partisan cheerleading at the Oct. 29 memorial service for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone.
In an extensive account of the final days of the Minnesota Senate campaign, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the Mondale team recognized that some remarks especially those of Wellstone campaign treasurer Rick Kahn at the nationally televised memorial service were too political.
Mr. Kahn's impassioned plea that even Republicans should honor Mr. Wellstone's memory by voting Democratic "crossed the line of what was appropriate at a memorial service but what could anyone possibly do?" the Mondale team reasoned, according to the Star-Tribune's Eric Black.
The next day, the Mondale team was still "not fully aware of the strength of the backlash" against the partisan rally. Even after talk radio was "burning up about it all day" on Oct. 30, the Democrats' replacement candidate was "still almost clueless about how big a deal Tuesday night was."
But pollster Paul Harstad knew. The Democrat's overnight survey of Minnesotans found that "73 percent of those interviewed agree that the memorial service went overboard and 52 percent agree strongly."
In fact, the Harstad poll found the three-hour memorial rally had wiped out Mr. Mondale's lead over Republican Norm Coleman. "Mondale, who led Coleman by 52-39 percent in Harstad's Sunday night poll, [was] tied 43-43 on Wednesday night."

Over 1 billion served
He was first to report President Clinton's dalliance with a certain White House intern, and his Web site is a daily must-see for about 4 million people including many top Washington reporters.
After Voter News Service announced last week that computers had scrambled its exit-poll data, election night found many journalists "reduced to logging onto the Web site of the gossip columnist Matt Drudge" to get results, according to the New York Times.
Though the Wall Street Journal has called him "a born loser," Mr. Drudge keeps succeeding. His Web site, www.drudgereport.com, crossed a landmark yesterday by racking up its 1 billionth that's billion with a "b" visitor this year.
"In every state and nearly every civilized nation in the developed world, readers know where to go for action and reaction of news at least one day ahead," Mr. Drudge announced yesterday. "Those in power have everything to lose by individuals who march to their own rules."
A 1984 graduate of Montgomery Blair High School, Mr. Drudge got his start in the news business delivering the old Washington Star. He moved to California, and later began his Web site with a $1,500 Packard Bell computer his father had bought him. He got national attention in 1996, when he was the first to report that Jack Kemp would be Republican Bob Dole's vice presidential running mate.

Roy's rout
Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes says his political career is over, and blames his historic defeat on a nationwide Republican surge and his decision last year to change the state's flag.
Republican Sonny Perdue soundly defeated Mr. Barnes last week. The flag change which shrank a large Confederate emblem to a tiny spot "became a symbol for everything that anybody didn't like," Mr. Barnes told Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporters Jim Galloway and Duane D. Stanford. "About Atlanta, about any change that had occurred. It energized and helped the surge."
The governor "said he's done with politics for good," according to the Atlanta reporters.
Mr. Barnes had been touted as a possible Democratic presidential or vice presidential candidate in 2004, but after the Nov. 5 defeat, former Clinton aide John Podesta tells the Christian Science Monitor: "I'd say Roy Barnes's chances are fading."

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