- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Politics and war

On the heels of the Democratic Party forcing one of its own — Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett — to drop his spirited campaign for the U.S. Senate, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey has joined the board of advisers of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Political Action Committee.

“Iraq and Afghanistan veterans running for Congress represent the new generation of leadership that this country desperately needs,” says Mr. Kerrey. “As newcomers to politics, however, these candidates need a certain level of support that IAVA PAC will provide.”

Too late, apparently, for Mr. Hackett. The Cincinnati lawyer and Marine reservist, who upon his return from Iraq was sharply critical of President Bush’s policies there, abruptly dropped his Ohio campaign in recent days and declared his political career finished. He said Democrats who first encouraged him to run betrayed him in support of the subsequent Senate candidacy of Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown.

Not another one

So, H. Delano Roosevelt, grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and great nephew of President Theodore Roosevelt, what was it like growing up as namesake to two of America’s great leaders?

“When you are younger, it’s almost an overwhelming sense of responsibility, the bar is set so high,” he tells Inside the Beltway. “If you can imagine folks constantly telling you that you’ll grow up to be president yourself one day — after a few-hundred-thousand times hearing that, it starts to pound on you.”

Not that Mr. Roosevelt, a global business-development leader, hasn’t dabbled in politics.

“I was running for City Council in Long Beach, California, in 1996, and I learned very quickly how black-and-white politics must have been at times for FDR and Theodore,” he says. “Out West, we still walk precincts, knocking on doors asking for votes, and my wife and I turned the corner and a gentleman in his seventies was standing there with a hose watering his yard.

“I introduced myself as Delano Roosevelt, told him I was running for City Council, and he wouldn’t even look up at me. Then, still without glancing up, he said: ‘That’s all we need, another Roosevelt in office.’”

Misery loves company

White House senior adviser Karl Rove isn’t the first big name to headline next month’s annual Abraham Lincoln-Rutherford B. Hayes Banquet at Bowling Green State University, an annual affair thrown by Rep. Paul E. Gillmor, a nine-term Ohio Republican.

After all, or so an aide to Mr. Gillmor reminds the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Vice President Dick Cheney, his wife Lynne Cheney, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert have all addressed the event.

However, the “biggest draw” honors go to Rep. Henry J. Hyde, the Illinois Republican who led the impeachment prosecution of President Clinton.

Clones of Arnold

Easily the most recognized “head-of-state” in Washington for the annual powwow of the National Governors Association is actor-turned-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who by his sheer size alone demands attention.

Yesterday, Mr. Schwarzenegger huddled privately with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, asking no doubt to be alerted beforehand of any terrorism threats to his state — at least before President Bush surprises everybody with word of foiled plots to bomb Hollywood.

Otherwise, the body-building Republican brings word to Washington that people in the land of fruit and nuts, including children, are eating more than their share, to the point there’s an obesity “epidemic” in California.

One in three children in his state is overweight and 40 percent are unfit, says the governor, who last year ordered sodas and junk food removed from public schools. His latest budget requests $85 million to purchase more jump-ropes and other school gymnastics equipment.

Quote of the week

“Japan’s Environment Ministry turned off its heating this week, leaving staff unable to even make a cup of tea, in an effort to spur the country to meet its target for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions,” an official said Thursday.

— the Associated Press, Feb. 23

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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