- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 1, 2007


An emotional White House press secretary Tony Snow returned to the podium yesterday for the first time since late March, when cancer was found to have spread to his liver. Talk about not being cut any slack.

Reporter: “Tony, are we winning the war?”

Mr. Snow: “Are we winning the war?”

Reporter: “Welcome back.”

Pretty princess

If you haven’t heard, Queen Elizabeth II is coming to town.

To help celebrate the four-day royal visit starting this weekend, the National Archives today through May 31 will display several fascinating documents, including Rose Kennedy’s 1938 diary account of her encounter with a charming then-Princess Elizabeth, age 11. Mrs. Kennedy and her husband, Joseph Kennedy, who at the time was U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, were weekend guests of the king and queen at Windsor Castle.

Foe week

What a memorable week, politically speaking, it will be for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, starting with last Saturday’s appearance by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and culminating with the first Republican presidential debate of the 2008 campaign this Thursday.

“As an occasional visitor, a donor to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and as a great admirer of President Ronald Reagan, I must voice my extreme displeasure over the planned Reagan Forum on Saturday,” Rick Reiss wrote to library officials in advance of Mr. Kennedy’s lecture, the letter posted by the Conservative Revolution blog. “To put it simply, Senator Kennedy is an unsuitable and inappropriate figure to be given the privilege of lecturing at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.”

Such protests didn’t prevent the lecture by the Massachusetts Democrat, nor did it stop Nancy Reagan from escorting the senator — arm-in-arm — to the stage to address the 600 in attendance. Mr. Kennedy, according to the Ventura County Star, lectured for one hour on the need for a “diplomatic surge” if the United States is to be successful in Iraq. Otherwise, he opined, the war cannot be won unilaterally.

“We have learned again, as President Reagan told us, that might alone cannot make America right,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Ending it is essential to our security and to regaining the respect of the world.”

Meanwhile, the library will set the stage Thursday for the Republican presidential debate between Sam Brownback, James S. Gilmore III, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Tommy G. Thompson. Debate time: 8 to 9:30 p.m., moderated by MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews.

Carter, et al?

Speaking of the 2008 presidential debates, is John Edwards “channeling” Jimmy Carter?

Washington book researcher Sean Kennedy, a University of California at Berkeley graduate and nephew of Democratic political strategist Bob Shrum, forwards to Inside the Beltway several comparisons he’s drawn between Mr. Carter’s infamous “Malaise” speech in 1979, and Mr. Edwards’ comments during last week’s first Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina.

Take the category of “energy warriors”:

Mr. Carter: “Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense — I tell you it is an act of patriotism.”

Mr. Edwards: “We ought to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. To be willing to conserve.”

And in the “moral leader” arena:

Mr. Carter: “This kind of summarized a lot of other statements: ‘Mr. President, we are confronted with a moral and a spiritual crisis.’ ”

Mr. Edwards: “I don’t think I could identify one person that I consider to be my moral leader.”

There were other comparisons where these came from. Of course, this isn’t the first examination of similarities surrounding this pair of southern politicians, albeit of two different generations and worlds.

“This John, with his winning smile and aw-shucks manner, looked like the latest version of the Southern savior,” Gerard Baker, the U.S. editor of the Times of London, opined in February.

However, the “channeling” we referred to doesn’t stop with Mr. Carter, or so Mr. Baker pointed out: “The man who was catapulted from obscurity to the front line of American politics because he sounded like Jimmy Carter and seemed to think like Bill Clinton is hoping to win the presidency on a platform borrowed from George McGovern.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin @washingtontimes.com.

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