- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bill’s strategy

“The Oval Office love fest between Bill Clinton and President Bush showed Clinton masterfully doing his trademark triangulating — in a manner that could boost his wife, the presumptive 2008 presidential contender,” the New York Post’s Deborah Orin writes.

“When Bill Clinton snuggles up to Bush, he makes himself look like a centrist at the expense of fellow Democrats — who look more extremist by comparison in a new spin on the strategy known as triangulation when Clinton was president. That automatically and conveniently makes Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) look more centrist too,” Miss Orin said.

“So there was Bill Clinton at Bush’s side, volunteering that Iraq’s elections ‘went better than anyone could have imagined’ and warning against any demand that Bush set an exit timetable for Iraq — points sure to enrage liberal Dems.

“Given Bill Clinton’s political savvy, it’s hard to imagine this was accidental.”

“And it nicely meshes with Hillary Clinton’s sashays toward the center on issues like abortion, Iraq and even teaming up with Republican conservative Sens. Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback to seek a study of how electronic media impacts kids.”

Janklow and Daschle

Former Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle was devoted to public service and did many important things for his home state of South Dakota, a former Republican governor and congressman said in a lengthy newspaper ad.

Bill Janklow, who resigned from Congress in his first term last year after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter, did not say what prompted him to place the ad in newspapers statewide last week. However, he and Mr. Daschle are longtime friends, the Associated Press reports.

“If we remember Tom Daschle the public servant for just one thing, it should be his ability to get things done for our state,” Mr. Janklow wrote in the ad. “In a calling increasingly characterized by self-congratulatory press releases and photo opportunities, he cared only for results.”

Mr. Daschle was ousted from the Senate by Republican John Thune in a bitterly contested race last year. Mr. Daschle had served four terms in the U.S. House and followed that with three terms in the Senate, where he was minority leader.

Mr. Janklow was first elected governor in 1978, the year Mr. Daschle won his first term in Congress. Mr. Janklow served four terms in office.

Mr. Daschle said he was flattered by Mr. Janklow’s praise.

“I’m very grateful for his kind words,” Mr. Daschle said in a telephone interview, adding that Mr. Janklow did not tell him ahead of time about the ad.

Crazed Bush hater

A man apparently enraged by a Bush-Cheney sticker on a woman’s sport utility vehicle chased her for miles and tried to run her off the road while holding up an anti-Bush sign, said police in Tampa, Fla.

“He told our officers that he just got mad at her, so he went after her,” said police spokesman Joe Durkin.

Nathan Alan Winkler, 31, was freed on $2,000 bail early Wednesday on a charge of aggravated stalking, which carries up to five years in prison.

No one answered the telephone yesterday at Mr. Winkler’s home, the Associated Press reports, but his father, John Winkler, said: “I know that he’s very anti-Bush. But I don’t see him doing anything like that. He’s the least aggressive person I know.”

Nathan Winkler told police he got upset with the woman, Michelle Fernandez, 35, after she made an obscene gesture, Mr. Durkin said. Mrs. Fernandez was taking her 10-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter to a ball field Tuesday when the incident occurred.

“Whatever gestures I made, I made them because I was trying to figure out why he was honking at me and pointing at his sign,” Mrs. Fernandez said.

Police said that as Mr. Winkler chased the woman’s vehicle, he held up a small sign that read: “Never Forget Bush’s Illegal War Murdered Thousands in Iraq.”

Mrs. Fernandez found a police officer and described the car and license number. Within an hour, police arrested Mr. Winkler at his home. Mrs. Fernandez said she is a registered Democrat who voted for President Bush last year.

‘Minor fatigue’

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was sent to the hospital yesterday after suffering from fatigue, and his office said it was the result of a long-standing heart arrhythmia.

Medical staff at the Capitol sent the Texas Republican to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda after he experienced “minor fatigue,” Mr. DeLay’s office said yesterday afternoon.

“Mr. DeLay has a pre-existing common arrhythmia — a condition which many Americans have,” said Capt. Michael Curran, the head of cardiology at the hospital, adding that the condition was known and being monitored by Mr. DeLay’s doctor in Texas.

“After completing a series of tests and successful treatment of the arrhythmia, I discharged Mr. DeLay so he could return to his residence and rest in comfort for the remainder of the day.”

Mr. DeLay’s office said he would keep his weekend fund-raising schedule, and folks close to the office were quick to emphasize that the condition is not related to stress. Mr. DeLay has been the subject of a series of press reports about his fund-raising activities in Texas and trips he has taken that were paid for by others.

But one staffer on Capitol Hill said Mr. DeLay’s ordeal should at least put to rest some of the rumors about the majority leader: “And they said he had no heart,” he said.

Dan’s apologists

“Marking Dan Rather’s departure from the ‘CBS Evening News,’ on Wednesday some reporters and reviewers delivered rather sycophantic praise,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker writes at www.mediaresearch.org.

” ‘The fact is, for my money,’ ‘Early Show’ quad-host Harry Smith effused, ‘he’s the best television reporter who’s ever lived.’ ABC’s Peter Jennings cautioned that ‘I think you measure a man by his whole career and not by one incident’ and ABC’s Charlie Gibson asserted: ‘His critics have tried to make it about him, but he’s always made it about the work and his work has been distinguished over 24 years.’ On CNN, Bruce Morton rejected the idea that Rather displayed liberal bias: ‘I think what Dan always wanted most was a good story.’

“Nationally syndicated Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales fretted about how ‘sad’ it was that ‘ultra-conservatives’ benefited from memogate: ‘One of the sad things about it is that it gave the right wing, which has had its sights on Rather for years now, something to cheer and dance in the streets about.’ ”

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

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