Inside Pol­i­tics

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - Com­piled by Jen­nifer Harper

Kerry’s words

Pres­i­dent Bush said on Oct. 31 that Sen. John Kerry, Mas­sachusetts Demo­crat, should apol­o­gize to troops serv­ing in Iraq for a joke that sug­gested those troops are un­e­d­u­cated.

Mr. Kerry re­fused to apol­o­gize, say­ing his harsh ridicule had been meant­forMr.Bush,not­themil­i­tary.

“You know, ed­u­ca­tion, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your home­work and you make an ef­fort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq,” Mr. Kerry said on Oct. 30 dur­ing a cam­paign rally for Cal­i­for­nia Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date Phil An­gelides.

Ata­cam­paign­ral­ly­inGe­or­giaon Oct. 31, Mr. Bush in­jected the is­sue straight into the midterm elec­tions, de­mand­ing an apol­ogy.

“The sen­a­tor’s sug­ges­tion that the men and women of our mil­i­tary are some­how un­e­d­u­cated is in­sult­ing, and it is shame­ful. The mem­bers of the United States mil­i­tary are plenty smart, and they are plenty brave, and the sen­a­tor from Mas­sachusetts owes them an apol­ogy,” he said.

Mr. Kerry first is­sued an un­apolo­getic press re­lease on Oct. 31 in re­sponse to re­marks ear­lier in the day by White House spokesman TonySnow,who­calledthe­quote“an ab­so­lute in­sult” that “fits a pat­tern” ofneg­a­tivere­marks­fromMr.Kerry about U.S. troops.

The Demo­crat then held a press con­fer­ence in which he an­grily said his com­ments were a “botched joke” about Mr. Bush and his ad­min­is­tra­tion. Mr. Kerry said he didn’t mean that U.S. troops joined the mil­i­tary be­cause they couldn’t get a de­cent job or ed­u­ca­tion, but rather that Mr. Bush wasn’t smart enough to avoid get­ting the coun­try stuck in a quag­mire.

Mr.Ker­ry­saidthep­res­i­den­tis­the onewhoowesU.S.troop­sanapol­ogy be­cause he “mis­led Amer­ica into warand[has]givenusaKa­tri­nafor­eign pol­icy that has be­trayed our ideals, killed and maimed our sol­diers, and widened the ter­ror­ist threat in­stead of de­feat­ing it.”

McCain’s re­buke

Sen. John McCain on Oct. 31 chas­tised Sen. John Kerry, Mas­sachusetts Demo­crat, for say­ing that those who are not well-ed­u­cated end up fight­ing in Iraq.

“Sen­a­tor Kerry owes an apol­ogy to the many thou­sands of Amer­i­cans serv­ing in Iraq, who an­swered their coun­try’s call be­cause they are pa­tri­ots and not be­cause of any de­fi­cien­cies in their ed­u­ca­tion,” said Mr. McCain, Ari­zona Repub­li­can.

“Amer­i­cans from all back­grounds, well-off and less for­tu­nate, with high-school diplo­mas and grad­u­ate de­grees, take se­ri­ously their duty to our coun­try and risk their lives to­day to de­fend the rest of us in Iraq, Afghanistan and else­where.

“The sug­ges­tion that only the least-ed­u­cated Amer­i­cans would agree to serve in the mil­i­tary and fight in Iraq is an in­sult to ev­ery sol­dier serv­ing in com­bat, and should deeply­of­fen­danyAmer­i­can­withan ounce of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what they suf­fer and risk [. . . ] With­out them, we wouldn’t live in a coun­try where peo­ple se­curely pos­sess all their God-given rights, in­clud­ing the right to ex­press in­sen­si­tive, ill-con-

sidered and un­in­formed re­marks.”

‘Nut jobs’

Blog­gers re­acted with glee on Oct. 31 to Sen. John Kerry’s an­gry de­nun­ci­a­tion of his crit­ics, in­clud­ing his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of con­ser­va­tives as “right-wing nut jobs.”

AtRedS­tate.com,MoeLane­sug­gested, “Here’s a hint to Kerry’s han­dlers: it’s bad when the right wing nut-jobs have a quick fight over who gets the by­line of pub­lish­ing your press re­lease.”

“Kerry’s sug­ges­tion that the troops in Iraq are dumb fail­ures is not only rep­re­hen­si­ble, but false on the facts,” Glenn Reynolds said at In­stapun­dit.com. “In other words, a typ­i­cal Kerry per­for­mance, just in time for the elec­tions. Democrats must be won­der­ing what they were think­ing to nom­i­nate him in 2004, and why he won’t go away now.”

Ace of Spades HQ (http://ace.mu.nu) ob­served: “Hmmm [. . . ] he presents us all with a dilemma. If we don’t join the mil­i­tary, we’re fat (‘doughy’ like Rush Lim­baugh) cow­ardly chick­en­hawk nutjobs. If we do join it, we’re just drool­ing mo­rons.”

At Town­Hall.com, Mary KatharineHamwrote:“Ifhe­wants to make the case that he mis­spoke, fine. Make it. Don’t call the rest of us­liars­for­hearingex­act­ly­whatyou said.”

“We­haveour­selvesamelt­down,” Al­lah­pun­dit said at Ho­tAir.com. “Score­onemore­forLurch’sfa­mous po­lit­i­cal acu­men.”

No Repub­li­cans

“For the first time since be­fore Water­gate, the New York Times en­dorsed no Repub­li­cans for elec­tion to Congress this year,” the New York Daily News’ Ben Smith writes.

“It’s a sign of a few things: The po­lar­ized coun­try, the end of a mean­ing­ful mod­er­ate wing of the GOP, and the Times’ own move left,” Mr. Smith said.

“A look back at the Times archives through 1972 finds that the pa­per’s pow­er­ful edi­to­rial page en­dorsed at least one Repub­li­can for the House or Se­nate ev­ery year. Some of th­ese were well-known lo­cal moder­ates like Hamil­ton Fish and Bill Green. Oth­ers in­clude a young Con­necti­cut can­di­date named John Row­land in 1986.”

Elec­tion month

“This year more vot­ers than ever will cast bal­lots early. The re­sult may be that we get the fi­nal elec­tion re­sults late,” John Fund writes at www.Opin­ionJour­nal.com.

“It’s pos­si­ble we won’t know which­par­ty­con­trol­sei­ther­houseof Con­gress­for­daysoreven­weeks­be­cause of all the dis­putes and de­lays caused by ab­sen­tee bal­lots,” Mr. Fund said.

“Thir­tys­tates­nowal­lowany­body to cast an ab­sen­tee bal­lot with­out hav­ing to give an ex­cuse for miss­ing Elec­tion Day. That’s up from just 20 states six years ago. Sev­eral other states also al­low early vot­ing at gov­ern­ment build­ings or even gro­cery stores. This year, it’s ex­pected that over one in four Amer­i­cans will vote be­fore Elec­tion Day.

“In states such as Wash­ing­ton, Cal­i­for­nia and Ari­zona, more than half the bal­lots are likely to be ab­sen­tee. In Cal­i­for­nia, more than 1 in 5 vot­ers have signed up to re­ceive ab­sen­tee bal­lots for ev­ery elec­tion. Ore­gon has gone even fur­ther. In 2000, it abol­ished polling places, and ev­ery­one votes by mail.

“If con­trol of Congress hinges on a few close races, don’t ex­pect to know the fi­nal out­come on Elec­tion Night. While early votes cast on elec­tronic ma­chines are eas­ily in­te­grated into the to­tals from tra­di­tional polling places, pa­per ab­sen­tee bal­lots are typ­i­cally counted only af­ter the oth­ers.

“In Florida, Penn­syl­va­nia and some other states, bal­lots will come in for days be­cause they are le­gal if post­marked on or be­fore Elec­tion Day. Pro­vi­sional votes, which are cast when a voter doesn’t show up on reg­is­tra­tion rolls, can also slow down the process. Gen­er­ally, of­fi­cials have up to 14 days to de­ter­mine if a vote is valid. Mary­land of­fi­cials barely met that dead­line af­ter [prob­lems] with elec­tronic vot­ing ma­chines dra­mat­i­cally in­creased the num­ber of pro­vi­sional votes cast in its pri­mary [in Septem­ber].

“In­some­su­per­tigh­traces,aflood of ab­sen­tee bal­lots could de­lay the re­sults for weeks.”

Seek­ing pres­i­dency

Rep.Dun­canHunter,aCal­i­for­nia Repub­li­can and chair­man of the House Arms Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, on Oct. 30 an­nounced plans to run for pres­i­dent in 2008.

“As I fin­ish my fi­nal two years as chair­man of the Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee­and­ser­veyou,Ia­malso go­ing to be pre­par­ing for a run for pres­i­dent of the United States,” Mr. Hun­ter­sai­dat­a­press­con­fer­en­cein San Diego.

Mr. Hunter, 58, raised his profile among con­ser­va­tives as co-au­thor of leg­is­la­tion to con­struct a 700mile fence along the U.S.-Mex­ico border.

The an­nounce­ment al­lows Mr. Hunter, who was first elected to Congress in 1980 and is run­ning for re-elec­tion on Nov. 7, to be­gin rais­ing money for his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, Reuters news agency

re­ports.

Sale price

Amer­ica’s lib­eral elite turned up their noses at the $500,000 price tag to cel­e­brate Bill Clin­ton’s 60th birth­day, Bri­tain’s Daily Mail re­ports.

The week­end of ac­tiv­i­ties in­cluded pho­to­graphs taken with Mr. Clin­ton dur­ing a round of golf and three days of cock­tail, brunch and din­ner par­ties. The Rolling Stones per­formed a con­cert for the for­mer pres­i­dent on Oct. 29 at the Bea­con Theater in New York.

“I’d like to wel­come Pres­i­dent Clin­ton,” singer Mick Jag­ger told the cheer­ing crowd. “And I see she’s brought her hus­band.”

“Wife Hil­lary and daugh­ter Chelsea sent out about 10,000 in­vi­ta­tions to Hol­ly­wood ty­coons, movie stars, cap­tains of in­dus­try and Wall Street — with all pro­ceeds to go to the for­mer pres­i­dent’s char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion,” the Daily Mail re­ported.

The min­i­mum price, with in­fe­rior con­cert seats and no brunch, was set at $60,000, but many rich Democrats sent their re­grets and prices were dras­ti­cally slashed to $12,500 for one re­cep­tion and the con­cert, or $5,000 for just the Stones. Tick­ets even­tu­ally dropped to $1,700 — about four times what the Stones nor­mally charge for the best seats.

“It is all highly em­bar­rass­ing for Bill and Hil­lary,” a friend of the cou­ple told the Daily Mail. “When they cre­ated the idea, they thought it would go like wild­fire. What’s not go­ing to please some who did come up with $500,000 is find­ing reg­u­lar Stones fans there who got last­minute tick­ets on the In­ter­net.”

Those “last-minute tick­ets,” The Wash­ing­ton Times has learned, went to a cou­ple dozen die-hard Rolling Stones fans who were se­lected from a fan club to play ex­tras in a doc­u­men­tary Martin Scors­ese is film­ing about the band.

Seems Mr. Scors­ese was look­ing tofil­may­ounger,hip­per­crowdthan that of­fered by the friends of Bill and Hil­lary.

AP

Sen. John Kerry is draw­ing in­tense fire from Repub­li­cans af­ter his quote about U.S. troops in Iraq.

AP

Bill Clin­ton’s 60th birth­day bash turned into some­thing of a bust, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tain’s Daily Mail, which re­ported that pro­mot­ers had to slash the $500,000 fee to boost at­ten­dance.

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