- The Washington Times - Monday, April 3, 2006

A mayoral prediction

A report in the March/April issue of Poverty & Race, a publication of the predominantly black Poverty & Race Research Council, says the “smart money” is on New Orleans voters electing a white mayor in their upcoming election.

The report by editor Chester Hartman identifiesLouisiana Lt. Gov. Mitchell J. Landrieu — brother of Sen. Mary L. Landrieu — as the candidate likely to become the Big Easy’s first white mayor since 1978.

Mayor Ray Nagin hasn’t done himself any favors with his ‘chocolate city’ remark or with his reference to the diety,” Mr. Hartman wrote, adding: “He hasn’t come even close to achieving a Rudy Giuliani-type response to the [hurricane] disaster,” noting that the former New York mayor received “near-universal admiration” for his success in unifying New Yorkers after the September 11 terror attacks.

Mr. Hartman expects most people who vote on April 22 will be white, because New Orleans’ “white population — about one-third of pre-hurricane New Orleans — suffered far less damage and displacement” than blacks and “were in a better position to return quickly,” if they had to leave the city because of the flooding. He also notes that voting rates are higher for whites and for those of higher socioeconomic status.

Given Mr. Landrieu’s family name and connections — he is the son of New Orleans’ last white mayor — and the “new racial makeup of the likely electorate,” Mr. Hartman says, “A white mayor is by far the most likely scenario.”

Triple departure

Rep. Katherine Harris‘ U.S. Senate campaign lost what was left of its core team when a top adviser, campaign manager and communications director resigned this weekend, the Associated Press reports.

Mrs. Harris, a Republican congresswoman challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, said Saturday she would introduce new members of her campaign early in the week.

“We are stronger as a campaign today than we were yesterday,” Mrs. Harris said.

Media turnabout

John McCain has been the darling of the U.S. media since his 2000 slugfest with George W. Bush for the Republican nomination,” John McIntyre writes at www.realclearpolitics.com.

“McCain has studiously courted this media approval, but with the senator’s eyes set on 2008, McCain realizes the coziness with the press is a double-edged sword and an actual impediment to the GOP nomination,” Mr. McIntyre said.

“It’s amusing to watch the slow, yet inevitable shift in the media’s attitude toward their favorite GOP politician these past six years. You always knew that if McCain were to get the Republican nomination in 2008, all of his liberal media pals who had been singing his praises for years as a backdoor way to criticize President Bush and the GOP would find creative ways to suddenly portray McCain as a danger to the Republic.

“What’s interesting is that this shift is occurring now in 2006 and is, ironically, strengthening McCain’s chances for the GOP nomination and actually lessening the chances of Democrats winning back the White House in 2008.”

Falwell turnabout

Potential presidential candidate Sen. John McCain says he no longer considers evangelist Jerry Falwell to be one of the “agents of intolerance” that he criticized during a previous White House run, the Associated Press reports.

The Republican senator from Arizona will be the commencement speaker in May at Liberty University, the Lynchburg, Va., institution that Mr. Falwell founded in 1971.

“We agreed to disagree on certain issues, and we agreed to move forward,” Mr. McCain said yesterday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

In 2000, as he sought the Republican nomination that eventually went to George W. Bush, Mr. McCain said: “Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be LouisFarrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.”

Yesterday, Mr. McCain said that Christian conservatives have a major role to play in the Republican Party, but added, “I don’t have to agree with everything they stand for.”

Bush’s campaign

“What are the odds that President Bush will succeed in his full-blown campaign to recover from a second-term swoon? Not good, if you consider the records of second-term presidents over the past 70 years,” Fred Barnes writes in the Weekly Standard.

“Start with Franklin Roosevelt. He saw a Republican resurgence in 1938, struggled to win re-election in 1940, and was rejuvenated only by World War II. Harry Truman never recovered after the scandals, and the Korean War dragged down his presidency. Democrats staged a revival in Dwight Eisenhower’s second term as he limped out of office. After enormous success in 1965, the remainder of the John Kennedy/Lyndon B. Johnson presidency was a disaster. Watergate short-circuited Richard Nixon’s second term, Iran-contra doomed Ronald Reagan‘s, and impeachment ruined Bill Clinton‘s,” Mr. Barnes said.

“Now Bush is vigorously trying to escape the fate of his predecessors. So, without any ballyhoo or even an announcement, he’s mounted a four-front offensive. He’s begun to overhaul his White House staff and his administration. He’s inviting members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, to meetings at the White House like never before. He’s inaugurated what an aide calls an ‘open-door policy’ that includes schmoozing the press and taking questions from the public. And he intends to change his emphasis on policies and initiatives. At least he’d better.”

Time for censure?

Congressman Jim McDermott, a left-wing Democrat from Washington state, has lost yet another round in his legal battle with House Majority Leader John A. Boehner over whether McDermott broke the law almost a decade ago,” National Review noted Friday in its Window on the Week feature at www.nationalreview.com.

“In 1996, a pair of Democratic activists illegally taped a phone call between Boehner, former speaker Newt Gingrich, and other congressional Republicans. McDermott obtained a copy of the recording and passed it on to reporters for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times. On March 28, a federal appeals court likened McDermott’s behavior to accepting and passing on property that he knew was stolen. Unless the congressman takes his case to the Supreme Court — and he probably will try — he’ll have to fork over more than $700,000 in damages and legal fees to Boehner.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]m.

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