- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Humiliating prospect

"Former President Bill Clinton has been bluntly warned that New York Democrats face 'national humiliation' because of Carl McCall's poorly run campaign for governor," the New York Post's Fredric U. Dicker writes.

"Clinton was grimly told a few days ago that McCall may finish an embarrassing third in the Nov. 5 balloting behind [Republican] Gov. [George E.] Pataki and Independence Party candidate Tom Golisano, who has been surging in recent polls," Mr. Dicker said.

"A third-place finish by McCall would plunge state Democrats who outnumber Republicans by 2 million voters to Row C on the ballot for the next four years, after the Republican and Independence parties.

"Such a setback would have serious implications for all Democrats, especially potential presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton."


AFL-CIO quits ads

"With just 15 days until Election Day, the AFL-CIO is no longer running TV ads aimed at influencing House and Senate races anywhere in the country," Roll Call reports.

"The move has surprised Republicans, and union officials say they have no plans, at the moment, to resume advertising before Nov. 5, even as individual candidates and both parties pour tens of millions of dollars into last-minute buys," reporter John Bresnahan writes.

"Instead, the powerful labor organization is focusing all its attention on a 'ground war' to turn out union and Democratic voters, gambling that this get-out-the-vote campaign will pay far greater dividends than a TV ad blitz."


Uncharitable response

"It's one thing for an aging celebrity leftist like Harry Belafonte to go on national television (twice) and call President Bush a slave master and two black senior members of his administration Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell 'house slaves.' But it's another thing entirely to have a respected charity organization countenance this buffoonery," the Wall Street Journal says.

"We learned recently that Africare, an African-aid group based in Washington, D.C., disinvited Ms. Rice to its annual fund-raising dinner, which will pay tribute to Mr. Belafonte's humanitarian efforts. She had agreed to give the keynote address, but Mr. Belafonte, who has compared the national security adviser to a 'Jew' who was 'doing things that were anti-Semitic and against the best interests of her people,' told Africare that he could not abide Ms. Rice's presence. So the organizers rescinded the invitation to Ms. Rice," the newspaper said in an editorial.

Although Julius Coles, who runs Africare, disputes this account, "Mr. Belafonte tells a different story," the newspaper said.

"He boasted to Phil Donahue last week that he was responsible for Ms. Rice's 'scheduling conflict.' 'I protested by telling [Africare] that if Condoleezza Rice became the keynote speaker at the event I would not be able to be there,' said Mr. Belafonte. 'I told them I would not come.'

"Our sources confirm Harry's account," the newspaper said, adding: "We'd say Africare disinvited the wrong person."


Giuliani aids Forrester

The campaign of Doug Forrester, the Republican candidate for a Senate seat from New Jersey, began running a television ad yesterday featuring former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

"Doug Forrester shares my commitment that nothing's more important than protecting our families and our country," Mr. Giuliani says in the 30-second spot. "Doug's got the drive and the courage to make tough calls and hard decisions. He'll provide real leadership."

Polls show Mr. Forrester trailing Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg, the former senator who entered the race earlier this month when incumbent Democratic Sen. Robert G. Torricelli withdrew in the face of near-certain defeat. The latest survey a Star Ledger/Eagleton Rutgers poll conducted Oct. 13-17 shows Mr. Lautenberg leading Mr. Forrester 47 to 39 percent among potential voters and 47 to 42 percent among very likely voters.

Mr. Forrester's campaign yesterday also raised questions about potential illegal coordination between the Lautenberg campaign and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In a press release, the Forrester camp cites a Press of Atlantic City story in which Lautenberg spokesman Tom Shea said the Lautenberg campaign is expecting about $6 million from the DSCC.

"Federal election law states specifically that the campaign and the DSCC may not have 'substantial discussion or negotiation' about campaign communications," said Forrester campaign manager Bill Pascoe. "The fact that Mr. Shea knows the amount of the DSCC's contribution to continue the negative and false campaign ads on Mr. Lautenberg's behalf proves that there are 'substantial' negotiations and discussions going on between their campaign and the DSCC."

A DSSC spokeswoman denied the charge.


Processed 'peace'

"Poor Bill Clinton. He tried so hard to be a peacemaker, and until recently it appeared that he had at least partially succeeded," Max Boot writes in the Weekly Standard.

"Sure, Middle East peace didn't emerge from the frenzied negotiations at Camp David in July 2000. But at least he had succeeded in brokering deals to bring 'peace' to Northern Ireland and the Korean Peninsula. Then oops it all unraveled last week," said Mr. Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of "The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power."

Mr. Boot, after noting the Irish Republican Army's refusal to lay down its arms and North Korea's admission of a nuclear-weapons program in violation of a deal with the Clinton administration, added:

"You might think that these events would tend to discredit the Clinton presidency. But it's too late for that. Two years after the Marc Rich pardon, one year after September 11, the Clinton administration cannot be discredited any further. The real question is whether these events will discredit the idea that peace comes from a 'process.' I rather think not, for like all true faiths, it is impervious to empirical refutation."


Daschle's explanation

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, interviewed on "Fox News Sunday," was asked to clarify comments he made last week when he said, "I don't know if we've ever seen a more precipitous drop in international stature and public opinion with regard to this country as we have in the last two years.

"It's this unilateral approach to foreign policy, dictating on a unilateral basis what the United States' position is going to be and expecting all these countries in a very autocratic or very authoritarian way to comply," the South Dakota Democrat said on the Fox program.

Mr. Daschle says this approach doesn't work, and he believes the Bush administration now realizes that, because it has turned to a "multilateral" approach in the last few months.

"We've got to be humble in our foreign policy. We've got to work with others and be empathetic with the situation other countries are facing," the Democratic leader said.


Forget the partying

"If you hate attorneys, then stay away from places like Florida, Arkansas, and Missouri the day after the elections," Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

"That's because both the Democratic and Republican parties are planning for legal challenges in the expected tight races in those states. The Democrats are already training lawyers in how to file or fight suits. The Republicans are making plans to fly teams out of Washington after the balloting. 'Election night,' moans one GOP-er, 'used to be for parties.'"

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