- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Reid ready

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada yesterday made his first public appearance since suffering a mini-stroke, joking with reporters and saying he’s eager for Congress to reconvene next month.

“I feel like I could go a couple of rounds with all of you,” the former boxer said as he arrived at a community forum in North Las Vegas. “I’m anxious to get to work.”

Mr. Reid, 65, canceled several public appearances in Nevada last week and spent the weekend with family and friends after experiencing dizziness Aug. 16 at his home in Searchlight, about an hour south of Las Vegas.



Danger to Democrats

The summer’s polls show that one-third of Americans favor an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and nearly two-thirds support withdrawal within the next year, Kevin Drum writes in the Los Angeles Times.

“In the face of such numbers, the conventional wisdom predicts disaster at the polls for Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. As conservative insider Grover Norquist put it recently: ‘If Iraq is in the rearview mirror in the ‘06 elections, the Republicans will do fine. But if it’s still in the windshield, there are problems.’

“Is this good news for Democrats? Maybe, but a growing disconnect between the party’s establishment hawks and an increasingly anti-war base could foretell an even bigger crackup on the Democratic than the Republican side,” said Mr. Drum, a writer for the Washington Monthly.

“So far, none of the best-known faces of the Democratic Party — Hillary Clinton, say, or Joe Biden, or John Kerry, all of whom supported the war — have joined those clamoring for an end to the fighting. In fact, the foreign-policy establishment of the Democratic Party is lined up with President Bush in favor of ‘staying the course.’

“Needless to say, an internecine war between its hawks and doves is the last thing the beleaguered Democratic Party needs. You can be sure that Karl Rove would do his best to hammer such a wedge straight through the heart of the party come election time. So both Democratic factions would be well-advised to do some serious thinking before their disagreements get out of hand.”

Glickman’s progress

“When the Motion Picture Association of America hired Dan Glickman, an 18-year Democratic congressman from Kansas and a former member of the Clinton Cabinet, as president and chief executive, it was viewed by many lawmakers [in Washington] as the movie industry thumbing its nose at Republican leaders,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“But in his first year, Mr. Glickman has staged an impressive role reversal: He has hired Republicans close to the congressional leadership. He has made campaign donations, from his own pocket and Hollywood coffers, to the conservatives who ousted him from Congress a decade ago. And he volunteered to help President Bush twist arms on a White House priority, the free-trade pact with Central America, that passed the House last month by just two votes,” reporters Brody Mullins and Kate Kelly write.

“The 60-year-old Mr. Glickman, who plays down his political affiliation and says that he was never much into partisan warfare, is an example of how to survive as a Democrat in a Republican-run town these days. ‘His Democratic credentials obviously caused some heartburn in the beginning, but I think he has been able to overcome that,’ says Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican.”

Media brouhaha

“Despite Pat Robertson’s waning role in national politics, the broadcast and cable networks on Tuesday evening jumped on his Monday suggestion that Venezuela’s leftist President Hugo Chavez should be assassinated now in order to avoid a costly war later,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker writes at www.mediaresearch.org.

“All three broadcast network evening newscasts featured full stories, with ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ making it the lead story. Anchor Charles Gibson snidely forwarded: ‘A popular Christian broadcaster says assassination is the way to deal with one world leader who criticizes the U.S. Some ask, is this Pat Robertson’s definition of Christian love?’

“CBS played a clip of Donald Rumsfeld dismissing Robertson as just another example of how ‘private citizens say all kinds of things all the time,’ and Gloria Borger then countered by touting Robertson’s prominence: ‘But Robertson is not just any private citizen. He’s a former Republican presidential candidate with a large evangelical following.’

“‘NBC Nightly News’ anchor Brian Williams declared that Robertson ‘has created something of an international firestorm.’ Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume noted CNN’s all-day obsession, which continued into prime time.”

‘Misinterpreted’

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said yesterday he was misinterpreted and there were a number of ways to “take him out,” including kidnapping.

“I said our special forces could take him out. Take him out could be a number of things, including kidnapping,” Mr. Robertson said on his “The 700 Club” television program, Reuters reports.

“There are a number of ways of taking out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted,” Mr. Robertson said.

Mr. Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a presidential candidate in 1988, said on Monday of Mr. Chavez, one of President Bush’s most vocal critics: “If he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.

“We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.” He made those comments as well on “The 700 Club.”

Potential match

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, who dropped out of next year’s gubernatorial race because of a blood disorder, has found a potential match for a bone-marrow transplant, health care officials said.

Mr. Rockefeller has “a pretty good match” from a possible donor, but more tests are needed, said Steve Brawner, spokesman for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Mr. Rockefeller has said he expects to be at the center for four months after having the transplant, but that he intends to remain lieutenant governor, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Rockefeller, son of a two-term governor, quit the governor’s race in July, saying he had a blood disorder that eventually could turn into leukemia.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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