- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2009

PRESIDENCY

Clinton dances around question

There is apparently no such thing as a simple yes or no when it comes to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and questions about another run for the White House.

Mrs. Clinton, 61, seemed to go further Sunday than she had previously in shutting the door to another presidential campaign, following her defeat for the Democratic nomination last year by Barack Obama.

“Well, you know, I say no, never, you know, not at all. I don’t know what, what else to say,” Mrs. Clinton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” after host David Gregory noted that she left some wiggle room in an interview last week in Thailand.

But then Mr. Gregory followed up by asking, “Are you saying you wouldn’t entertain another run?”

Mrs. Clinton’s response was less clear: “I have absolutely no belief in my mind that that is going to happen, that I have any interest in it happening. You know, as I said, I, I am so focused on what I’m doing.”

In the interview on Thai television, Mrs. Clinton said, “I don’t know, but I doubt very much that anything like that will ever be part of my life.”

SENATE

Donors dump Bunning for rival

LOUISVILLE, Ky. | Political contributors who donated thousands to Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning’s past election campaigns have found a new Republican to support for Senate.

Dozens of donors are switching their allegiance to support Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who formed an exploratory committee in May and is considering running for Mr. Bunning’s seat.

Mr. Bunning is widely considered one of the GOP’s most vulnerable senators up for re-election in 2010.

Mr. Grayson is receiving donations from 164 people who gave to Mr. Bunning’s Senate campaigns in 1998 and 2004. Only 47 of them also gave to Mr. Bunning in this election cycle, the Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville reported after a review of campaign-finance records.

Those donations amounted to $201,697 for Mr. Grayson, all within the past three months, and $40,100 for Mr. Bunning since 2005.

Mr. Bunning has blamed party leaders for his lackluster fundraising, and he and Kentucky’s senior senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, barely speak.

WHITE HOUSE

Gates, policeman to meet this week

President Obama will host a prominent black professor at the White House along with the white police officer who the president initially said acted “stupidly” by arresting him, his spokesman said Sunday.

“It’s our hope that as the president said … this can be part of a teachable moment, that we can create a better communication and a dialogue between communities and police and help everyone do their job a little bit better,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The White House meeting is expected “in the next several days,” Mr. Gibbs added.

“It’s our hope that soon professor [Henry Louis] Gates [Jr.] and Sergeant [James] Crowley can sit at the White House and talk about some of these issues and have a beer with the president,” Mr. Gibbs said.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” White House adviser David Axelrod said the president’s words were poorly chosen.

“His comments didn’t push the debate in the right direction,” he said. “There’s a real debate - or not debate, but a discussion - to be had about how we improve police-community relations, and what he was concerned about was that his poor choice of words pushed the debate in the wrong direction, and he wanted to get it back on track.”

HEALTH

Six Hill women on disabled list

Six women of note on Capitol Hill and environs are currently hobbled by fractures or other injuries to one or another of their extremities.

The latest to join the crutch-and-cast club is Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, who broke an ankle in three places when she stumbled walking down her Baltimore church’s steps July 19.

She joins Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Democrat, who broke her left foot June 15 when she fell in a briefing room at the detention facility for terrorism suspects at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, who tore two ligaments and cartilage in her left knee on an Alaska ski slope March 8; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who shattered her right elbow in a June 17 fall at the State Department; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat, who slid into second base at a July 14 congressional women’s softball game and broke her left leg; and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, who fractured her right ankle in a June 8 stumble at La Guardia Airport in New York.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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