- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kerry, the movie

“I hear that John Kerry loyalists are kicking themselves for cooperating last year with filmmaker Steve Rosenbaum on ‘Inside the Bubble,’ a potentially devastating behind-the-scenes look at the Massachusetts senator’s failed presidential campaign,” Lloyd Grove writes in his Lowdown gossip column in the New York Daily News.

“I’m also told that Hillary Clinton partisans are licking their chops to see the film, which ‘could end up being the silver bullet that kills Kerry’s presidential chances for 2008,’ says a Lowdown spy.

“Kerry spinmeister David Wade — one of the senior staffers who allowed Rosenbaum to film his private moments — tried to dismiss Rosenbaum’s effort as ‘a childish home movie destined to be forgotten.’ …

“But people who’ve screened the documentary say it’s compelling and revealing,” Mr. Grove said.

“It features, among other not-ready-for-prime-time moments, Clinton scowling and rolling her eyes over an apparent Kerry gaffe during a presidential debate; Kerry pretending to interview himself and babbling in Italian while waiting for a real interview to begin; Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) cursing at reporters during a campaign stop, and Kerry message guru Robert Shrum confidently declaring a few days before the 2004 election: ‘Zogby [a prominent pollster] just announced who’s gonna win. Us!’ …

A press release claims the movie — which won’t be shown publicly until Thursday — ‘turns a harsh but deeply revealing mirror on the campaign … a disorganized, contentious, self-absorbed team that thought they could win by “not making mistakes,” and keeping their candidate in the public eye without clarifying a position on anything.’

“Director Rosenbaum, meanwhile, told me: “I’m a lifelong Democrat and I supported Kerry. I think people will see the film as fair, and maybe searing.’”

A pitch for Ehrlich

With Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley on the verge of announcing he will run for governor, the Baltimore Orioles ran a full-page color advertisement in the Baltimore Sun yesterday with a large photograph of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, wearing an Orioles jacket.

An orange headline above a photograph read: “Thank you! Governor Ehrlich.”

Democrats questioned the reasons for the advertisement and the tribute to Mr. Ehrlich that the Orioles have planned before today’s game with the New York Yankees.

“It’s a thinly disguised campaign ad,” said Derek Walker, spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party. “It certainly amounts to a significant in-kind contribution to the governor’s campaign.”

But Bill Stetka, spokesman for the Orioles, said the purpose is to thank Mr. Ehrlich for standing behind the Orioles “when no one else would, with regard to putting a team in Washington and the impact it would have on Baltimore and the ball club.”

“It’s strictly to thank the governor for taking a stand when no one else would, including the mayor of Baltimore city,” he said.

Mr. Stetka said Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos will host a pre-game reception for the governor today. He said Mr. Ehrlich also will be honored in a pre-game ceremonies and will take batting practice and throw out the first ball, the Associated Press reports.

Bayh’s ‘posturing’

Evan Bayh has erased any doubt that he’s running for president in 2008,” the Indianapolis Star said yesterday in an editorial.

“Indiana’s junior senator announced Friday that he will vote against Indiana’s John Roberts to be the next chief justice of the United States,” the newspaper noted.

“Roberts was sharp and insightful during four days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this month. His intellect, command of the law and steady temperament won widespread praise, including from several Democratic senators. The committee’s 13-5 vote to recommend approval of Roberts as the next chief justice was in the end a formality. His approval for the post this week on the Senate floor also appears all but certain.

“So why did Bayh decide to oppose such a highly qualified nominee? His official statement gave a vague answer about Roberts’ supposed vagueness before the Judiciary Committee.

“The real answer, however, is political posturing. Bayh, who has been training for a presidential run for years, knows that Democratic primary voters tend to be well to the left of most Americans. He doesn’t want a vote for Roberts to be used against him by hyperventilating political action committees come time of the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary. On a purely political level, Bayh’s vote makes sense.

“Voters back home in Indiana, however, have every right to be outraged. Bayh went to Washington talking about Hoosier values. He clearly lost them along the way.”

Forrester’s ‘quandary’

For Doug Forrester, the Republican candidate for governor of New Jersey, “the question of the moment is how to undo a double-digit deficit in a state that has only voted for two Republicans since Spiro Agnew was vice-president,” Steve Kornacki writes at PoliticsNJ.com.

“It’s actually the same question he faced the night he claimed the Republican nomination in June, when he portrayed the fall campaign as a referendum on the ethical conduct of the ruling Democratic Party,” Mr. Kornacki said.

“That Forrester’s quandary hasn’t changed in the 15 weeks since suggests the all-bad-things-spring-from-Democratic-corruption approach hasn’t caught on with the public.

“This apparent futility might have something to do with the neutralizing effect of the opposition research Democrats unloaded this summer. Or maybe voters just aren’t buying Forrester’s attempts to link Jon Corzine, who’s been in Washington for five years, to his partisan allies in Trenton.”

Union label

Flight attendants are calling for a boycott of Jodie Foster’s new movie “Flightplan.”

As this column reported Friday, columnist Debbie Schlussel has denounced the movie because flight attendants and a federal air marshal are villains in the film, which grossed $24.6 million in its opening weekend.

“Now the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), one of two unions of America’s flight attendants, is boycotting ‘Flightplan,’” Miss Schlussel notes.

APFA spokeswoman Lori Bassani told Miss Schlussel: “The portrayal of flight attendants in this movie demonstrates an insensitive and flagrant disregard for the very real challenges facing the front line of defense (the flight attendants) on any aircraft in an emergency situation. Should there be another 9/11, it would be critical for the cabin crew to have the support of their passengers, not the distrust that this movie may engender. Our fellow crew members who perished in the line of duty deserve more respect.”

The union’s Web site (www.apfa.org) told its members: “Schlussel calls for a boycott of this movie. We couldn’t agree more — boycott this film.”

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

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