- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 1, 2005

Kerry vs. Clinton

“With Republicans scrounging around for an able successor to President Bush in the 2008 election, Washington’s focus is fast turning to an escalating battle on the Democratic side between front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and 2004 nominee Sen. John Kerry,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“Whispers learns that Kerry is not just testing the waters: He’s running. ‘His family wants him to run again,’ says one pal. Proof he’s in: Kerry has added names to his e-mail list of 3 million, kept johnkerry.comalive and kicking, raised boatloads of cash for friendly Democrats, and moved to seize control of hot-button issues like kids’ health care, the environment, and support for military families.

“The Kerry clan is also pushing the Clinton electability issue. ‘Donors and organized labor love Bill Clinton,’ says one Kerry friend. ‘But they’re telling everyone they’re terrified that she’d get stomped.’

“Friends of Hillary, meanwhile, are touting her front-runner status and joining in the chorus of Democrats who think Kerry should crawl under a rock and go away. ‘He had his chance,’ mutters a Clinton ally. ‘It’s over.’”

The left’s strategy

“The legal left is dangerously close to winning the political war it has been fighting against the Bush administration over the future direction of the federal courts,” Steven G. Calabresi writes in the Weekly Standard.

“The evidence of this is that whenever rumors are floated of possible Bush Supreme Court nominees, there are some very prominent conservative names that aren’t mentioned, though they should be,” said Mr. Calabresi, the George C. Dix Professor of Constitutional Law at Northwestern University.

“The eminently qualified conservatives Democrats have quashed include Miguel Estrada, who is Hispanic, Janice Rogers Brown, who is African American, Bill Pryor, a brilliant young Catholic, and two white women, Priscilla Owen and Carolyn Kuhl. By keeping these five nominees off the federal courts of appeals, Democrats seem to have blocked Bush from considering them for the Supreme Court.

“When George W. Bush became president in 2001, the legal left and the Democratic Party rallied around the slogan ‘No more Clarence Thomases.’ By that they meant that they would not allow any more conservative African Americans, Hispanics, women, or Catholics to be groomed for nomination to the High Court with court of appeals appointments. The Democrats have done such a good job of this that, today, the only names being floated as serious Supreme Court nominees are those of white men.”

After football

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is considering a post-football career in politics.

Mr. Brady attended the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday and told ABC’s “This Week” that politics could provide him with leadership opportunities, the Associated Press reports.

“The things that I feel are fulfilling for me are beyond, you know, throwing a football,” the two-time Super Bowl MVP said. “It’s making an influence in people’s lives. If that’s politics, that’s politics.”

Mr. Brady, 27, has led the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles in the past four seasons.

“Whatever I’ve chosen to do in my athletic career and, hopefully, in my post-athletic career, I’m going to want to inspire people to do more, to encourage them to be better people, to be better Americans, to be better representatives of this great country,” he said.

He hasn’t publicly discussed his political leanings, but was a guest of President and Laura Bush’s during the 2004 State of the Union speech.

Inapt photo

Rudolph W. Giuliani will be the commencement speaker this year at Middlebury College in Vermont — a choice that has ignited some debate.

Andrea Gissing, editor in chief of the Middlebury Campus, resigned after the college paper ran a retouched photograph that appeared at first glance to be Adolf Hitler giving the Nazi salute but on closer inspection had Mr. Giuliani’s face.

The photo ran next to a column by student Albert “Ben” Gore that claimed much of the drop in crime in New York during Mr. Giuliani’s time as mayor “was due to the overall drop in the use of crack cocaine during the 1990s and not his policies.”

While announcing that Mr. Giuliani would be its commencement speaker May 22 and would receive an honorary degree, the college praised Mr. Giuliani for his leadership after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

College President Ron Liebowitz said likening Mr. Giuliani to Hitler was out of bounds.

“The decision of the Campus’ editorial staff to include such a photo reflects a gross misunderstanding of history, let alone of Mr. Giuliani’s record,” Mr. Liebowitz said. “It also reflects an unacceptable and embarrassing ignorance of the magnitude of Hitler’s crimes against humanity.”

Miss Gissing acknowledged that she and the paper had been in error, the Associated Press reports.

Judicial ‘threat’

Pat Robertson, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” said that liberal judges are a bigger threat to the nation than Islamic terrorists.

“Yes, I really believe that,” Mr. Robertson said. “I think [liberal judges] are destroying the fabric that holds our nation together. There’s an assault on marriage, there’s an assault on human sexuality. As [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia said, they’ve taken sides in the culture war. And on top of that, if we have a democracy, the democratic process should be that we can elect representatives who will share our point of view and vote those things into law.”

When host George Stephanopoulos pressed him about the comparative threat between judges and terrorism, Mr. Robertson replied: “It depends on how you look at culture. If they look over the course of 100 years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that’s held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings.”

Ads back judges

An organization with strong Republican ties intends to spend $1.5 million on TV commercials over the next two weeks to help Senate Republican leaders in a showdown over President Bush’s judicial nominees.

The group, Progress for America, “will also run $350,000 of radio ads on Christian stations,” according to a memo obtained by the Associated Press.

“Senate Democrats have abused the rules and refused to even allow a vote,” says the TV ad produced for Progress for America. “So courtrooms sit empty, while thousands of Americans have their cases delayed.”

Progress for America scheduled a news conference for today to outline its plans.

The ad praises two of Mr. Bush’s seven stalled nominees, Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen. It says it’s the job of a senator to vote, adding, “Urge your senators to vote, up or down.”

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

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