- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 15, 2005

The McCain movie

“If it were anybody but Sen. John McCain admired far and wide for sticking to his military family’s code of honor as a Navy POW in Hanoi — you’d laugh at his guilelessness. What other White House hopeful could say that a new movie about his storied, pre-Senate life has nothing to do with pumping up his chances for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination?” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“‘I would hate,’ he says of the new A&E; movie version of his book ‘Faith of My Fathers,’‘[for it] to be thought of as some kind of vehicle for my political ambitions.’ Aye, aye, sir. The two-hour flick, which debuts May 30, ‘is not just a story of me being beaten up and coming home,’ says the Arizona senator and former Navy pilot, who was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and tortured in prison for over five years. ‘It’s got a lot to do with the basis of my faith and my father’s, the standards of honor and integrity, principles that were imbued in me by my father and grandfather,’ he adds.

“This isn’t just any TV movie. It’s a gripping tale featuring Scott Glenn of ‘The Right Stuff’ and ‘Backdraft,’playing his father and a youthful-looking Shawn Hatosy as McCain. ‘I used to look young for my age,’ McCain tells us.

“It’s sure to spike his celebrity and draw fresh calls for a White House bid. But McCain shrugs. ‘It’s all transient,’ he says.”

Lugar’s remarks

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday he thinks John R. Bolton will be confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but that President Bush could have picked a less contentious candidate to push for reforms at the world body.

“I believe he’ll be confirmed. I think [vote counts] indicate that a majority of senators are in favor of confirming John Bolton,” Mr. Lugar said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

But Mr. Lugar added, “I agree with my colleague George Voinovich, there were many who might serve, who might be good for reform.”

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the Foreign Relations Committee’s top Democrat, said, “If you had a secret ballot on the floor of the Senate, I would think you would have an overwhelming ‘no’ vote.”

But Mr. Biden also told CNN it was too early for Democrats to plan to use Senate procedures to block the nomination.

“It’s much too premature to talk about filibustering Mr. Bolton, in my view,” he said. “I think the president should listen to the Congress.”

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, said Democrats have yet to settle on a strategy for the Bolton nomination. “When we finally get the proposal from the Foreign Relations Committee, we can see what the tactics would be,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

A foe for Hillary

“Hillary Clinton’s re-election campaign for the United States Senate in 2006 may be tougher than expected,” Michael R. Potts writes at the Weekly Standard’s Web site (www.weeklystandard.com).

“On Monday, May 2, the New York Observer reported that Clinton might face a challenge from Richard Nixon’s son-in-law Ed Cox,” Mr. Potts said.

“Cox, who has declined to make a statement on his intentions, has made steps toward running for Clinton’s New York Senate seat, including launching an exploratory committee. Associates to Cox believe that he will win the endorsement of New York Gov. George Pataki.

“By the time Hillary Rodham married future president Bill Clinton in 1975, Ed Cox had been married to the daughter of then current president Richard Nixon for four years and had been making valuable inroads within the Republican Party. He became a loyal intimate to his father-in-law, standing by him through Watergate and regularly traveling abroad with the former president.

“While Cox’s Rose Garden wedding to Tricia Nixon brought him into the Nixon family, and in some ways the administration, Hillary was trying to bring it down. While on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee, she helped to write articles of impeachment against the president.

“Those close to Cox are certain that he will embrace the Nixon legacy if he decides to run. But Cox has more to offer than that. Besides traveling to more than 30 countries with Nixon, Cox has traveled extensively on his own. He is chairman of the State University Construction Fund, trustee of the State University of New York, chair of the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and commissioner of the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination. In addition, Cox has written pieces for theNew Republic and the New York Post.

“Cox supporters realize that defeating Clinton is a long shot, but they also recognize that a Cox candidacy may be the only shot at stopping Clinton’s re-election.”

Checks and balances

“The misinformation being spread about the current abuse of the filibuster to block U.S. judicial nominations is awesome. Given the importance of the fight, however, it is not surprising,” the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader said yesterday in an editorial.

“The idea that the Senate Democrats are merely employing the ‘checks and balances’ built into our system of government is hogwash and insulting to the intelligence of the American people,” the newspaper said.

“It is our three distinct branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — that hold each other in check and balance. What the Democratic Party is doing is to misuse the filibuster rule so that a minority in the Senate can frustrate that branch from its constitutional duty of providing ‘advice and consent’ to the president on appointments.

“How can the Senate advise the president if it cannot even be allowed to vote on his nominations?”

Bill and Louis

Former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s planned follow-up on the 1995 Million Man March has saddened former New York Mayor Ed Koch.

Mr. Koch told independent reporter Evan Gahr that Mr. Clinton had done a “terrible” thing and he would have preferred the Bill Clinton who publicly denounced the anti-white entertainer Sister Souljah in front of Jesse Jackson.

Prayer breakfast

President Bush will speak to the second annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Friday at the Hilton Washington.

“We are honored and delighted that the president of the United States is joining with our Catholic community as we bring action to our faith and commit ourselves to prayer for our nation and the world,” said Joseph Cella, president of the prayer breakfast.

In addition to the president, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver will speak to an expected 2,000 attendees.

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

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