- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Kerry versus Dean
A spokesman for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign questioned Democratic rival Howard Dean's ability to lead the U.S. military, in a sign of the escalating tension in the party's primary race.
Kerry spokesman Chris Lehane issued a statement in response to Mr. Dean's comments in an article posted yesterday on Time.com. "We have to take a different approach to diplomacy," Mr. Dean, former Vermont governor, was quoted as saying during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. "We won't always have the strongest military."
"Howard Dean's stated belief that the United States won't always have the strongest military raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as commander in chief," Mr. Lehane said. "No serious candidate for the presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy."
Until now, most of the Democrats seeking the presidential nomination have avoided criticizing one another by name on the campaign trail, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Dean has been the exception, singling out Mr. Kerry for what he called an unclear position on the Iraq war. Mr. Kerry refused to respond to Mr. Dean on that issue.
Betting on Hillary
Publisher Simon & Schuster is betting millions of dollars that the reading public will be breaking down the doors of bookstores to buy Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir when it comes out later this spring.
The account of her years in the White House will have a first printing of 1 million copies, her attorney told the Associated Press. The 576-page book, titled "Living History," is scheduled for release June 9. An audio version, read by Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, will be released the same day.
"Only a small handful of books have a 1-million-copy first printing, and I cannot think of another nonfiction book in recent history that has had that large a first printing," Robert Barnett, Mrs. Clinton's attorney, said Sunday.
The first lady turned senator was paid an $8 million advance by Simon & Schuster.
The list price for the book, according to Amazon.com, is $28.
The book, which took two years to write, will be billed as a "complete and candid" accounting of her years in the White House, from the health care debate to her husband's impeachment to the start her own political campaign in 2000.
The latest word
"I should ignore it, but Maureen Dowd wrote a hate piece that deserves some comment," Jay Nordlinger writes in his Impromptus column at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com), referring to the New York Times columnist.
"It is a condemnation of [Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld and his supporters, and a defense of [Secretary of State Colin L.] Powell and his. This 'clash,' she said, is 'epochal because it's beyond ego. It's about whether America will lead by fear, aggression and force of arms or by diplomacy, moderation and example.'
"Let me pass over this, to comment on something smaller but deeply irritating. Impromptus-ites know that this is a longstanding peeve of mine," Mr. Nordlinger said.
"Back in the early '80s, liberals learned the word 'Hezbollah.' They then started referring to Republican conservatives as 'Hezbollah.' Sam Donaldson, on the Brinkley show, rejoiced in speaking of the 'Hezbollah wing of the Republican party.'
"Then, in 2001, liberals learned the world 'Taliban.' They immediately started referring to the 'Republican Talibans,' or the 'Taliban Republicans,' or the 'Talibanic wing of the Republican party.' (Funny, but it was the 'Taliban Republicans' George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld who destroyed the real Taliban. But put that aside.)
"Now liberals have learned the word 'fedayeen.' And here's Maureen Dowd in her column: 'the fedayeen of the Defense Policy Board.' She's not content with using it only once; she goes back to it: 'Mr. Bush has never reined in Rummy's rabid fedayeen.'
"What a rotten thing to say. And who, again, took care of the real fedayeen? Dowd and her like always call us by the names of those we have the courage to stand up to and defeat.
"That's a subject for the psychologists, not me."
Reformers lose
In its first major enforcement decision under the nation's new campaign finance law, the Federal Election Commission has rejected a complaint accusing the Democratic and Republican parties of trying to evade a ban on corporate and union contributions.
The FEC announced yesterday that it would not act on a complaint accusing the two major parties of creating groups to continue collecting "soft money" despite a ban that took effect in November.
Four campaign-finance watchdog groups filed a complaint in November accusing the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic National Committee of trying to skirt the ban on national parties' raising soft money, which took effect Nov. 6.
The complaint by Common Cause and others said the NRCC set up a group called the Leadership Forum and that the Democratic National Committee and its chairman, Terry McAuliffe, established the Democratic State Parties Organization to get around the new law.
All those named in the complaint denied any wrongdoing, including the NRCC and DNC, which said they had no connection to the new groups.
In a 4-1 vote, the FEC ruled earlier this month that the NRCC had violated the new law by transferring $1 million to the Leadership Forum but that the commission should not act beyond a letter of admonishment because the money was returned to its donors. Commissioner Ellen Weintraub did not vote.
In a 4-2 decision, the commission concluded that none of the other groups named in the complaint had broken the law.
Unanswered question
As Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham heads to the cornfields of Iowa this week, he leaves in Florida a bewildered field of candidates for his Senate seat, Cox News Service reports.
These wannabe senators long to hear him speak these words: "I will not run for the Senate."
Mr. Graham is determined to become the nation's 44th president. He acknowledges that getting there will not be easy. He speaks candidly about the difficulty of the campaign ahead, the crowded field, his rusty campaign style and the need to raise $20 million, reporter Brian E. Crowley writes.
But Mr. Graham refuses to give a clear answer to one simple question: "If your campaign for president falters, will you run for a fourth term in the Senate?"
His answers include, "I will be the next president" and saying Democratic candidates should "get organized, start forming a campaign and be ready to go."
But never does Mr. Graham just say "no."
Jamieson leaving
Kathleen Hall Jamieson is stepping down as dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, school officials said yesterday.
Miss Jamieson, a frequent television commentator on politics, has led the communications school for 14 years. She will still lead the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a Penn think tank.
The university said Miss Jamieson stepped down voluntarily. No further explanation was given, the Associated Press reports.
Michael X. Delli Carpini, director of public policy at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia, will replace Miss Jamieson as dean, Penn President Judith Rodin said.
Meanwhile, Roll Call columnist Ed Henry reported yesterday that New York Times reporter Adam Clymer, who drew attention during the 2000 presidential campaign when candidate George W. Bush described him in crude terms, will leave the newspaper at the end of June to join the Annenberg School.

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