Senator John McCain has long made his decades of experience in foreign policy and national security the centerpiece of his political identity, and suggests he would bring to the White House a fully formed view of the world.
But now one component of the fractious Republican Party foreign policy establishment — the so-called pragmatists, some of whom have come to view the Iraq war or its execution as a mistake — is expressing concern that Mr. McCain might be coming under increased influence from a competing camp, the neoconservatives, whose thinking dominated President Bush’s first term and played a pivotal role in building the case for war.
The concerns have emerged in the weeks since Mr. McCain became his party’s presumptive nominee and began more formally assembling a list of foreign policy advisers. Among those on the list are several prominent neoconservatives, including Robert Kagan, an author who helped write much of the foreign policy speech that Mr. McCain delivered in Los Angeles on March 26, in which he described himself as “a realistic idealist.” Others include the security analyst Max Boot and a former United Nations ambassador, John R. Bolton.
Prominent members of the pragmatist group, often called realists, say they are also wary of the McCain campaign’s chief foreign policy aide, Randy Scheunemann, who was a foreign policy adviser to former Senators Trent Lott and Bob Dole and who has longtime ties to neoconservatives. In 2002, Mr. Scheunemann was a founder of the hawkish Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraqi exile and Pentagon favorite, Ahmad Chalabi.
The next time you see or hear a Clinton or Obama supporter say they will vote for McCain if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination, please rub their out-of-joint noses in those four paragraphs.
A bitter Sir Elton John thinks America’s sexism may be sinking his friend Hillary Rodham Clinton.
John, a knighted British subject, said that gender discrimination is behind Clinton’s problems in the polls as he addressed 5,000 Clinton supporters at Radio City Musical Hall last night in an event that raised $2.5 million for the cash-strapped campaign.
“I never cease to be amazed by the misogynistic attitudes of some people in this country,” said John, wearing a spangled black evening coat over a vermilion silk shirt. “I say to hell with them. ... I love you, Hillary, I’ll always be there for you.”
Lieberman’s constant presence at McCain’s side fuels speculation that he would join a McCain administration. Yet he already has talked with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about his future in the caucus.
Would Lieberman, 66, a four-term Connecticut senator, be stripped of his committee chairmanship and seniority if Democrats no longer had to rely on a self-described “Independent Democrat” for their one-vote majority?
“I can tell you Sen. Reid had talked to me a few times and said he knows there will be talk if we get more than 51 Democrats next year,” Lieberman said. “As far as he is concerned, I will retain my seniority, etc., no matter how many Democrats there are next year.”
Reid’s spokesman, Jim Manley, confirmed Lieberman’s account.
I’ve been rather indifferent about Reid, but if this is true, he’s gotta go in 2009.
Ambassador Crocker again refuses to engage in hypotheticals with Senator Biden. Unless we hypothetically talk about leaving Iraq, in which case he is absolutely sure that everything would fall apart and the world would end.
A few weeks ago I might’ve felt silly posting this rollicking music video about Obama winning Pennsylvania, but not today. Obama is tied with Clinton in the state in the latest ARG poll. This poll may be an outlier (along with the PPP poll that had Obama up by 2%), but there’s no denying that he’s been trending upwards in PA polling for a little over a week now and could actually pull off a stunning victory. In a addition, the daily national Gallup that was released today has him up by 9% over Clinton.
Does any of that mean that Hillary can’t win the nomination? Absolutely not. Here’s Hillary’s path to victory:
Tibet has been occupied since the Chinese army crossed into eastern Tibet in 1949. A steady effort to transfer Chinese people into Tibet has made Tibetans a minority in cities across their remote Himalayan land.
The destruction of several thousand monasteries followed by decades of strict control of Buddhist practice has eroded the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism such that monasteries in exile are now stronger than those in Tibet.
The Tibetan flag is banned, as are photographs of the Dalai Lama. Three generations of Tibetans have been born and matured under occupation.
Despite all this, China has failed to absorb the Tibetan people, or eliminate their thirst for freedom. And like kids who finally get fed up with being pushed around in the hallway, the bullied are turning on the bully.
More than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen either refused to fight or simply abandoned their posts during the inconclusive assault against Shiite militias in Basra last week, a senior Iraqi government official said Thursday. Iraqi military officials said the group included dozens of officers, including at least two senior field commanders in the battle.
The crisis created by the desertions and other problems with the Basra operation was serious enough that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki hastily began funneling some 10,000 recruits from local Shiite tribes into his armed forces. That move has already generated anger among Sunni tribesmen whom Mr. Maliki has been much less eager to recruit despite their cooperation with the government in its fight against Sunni insurgents and criminal gangs.
Air America has suspended Randi Rhodes for calling Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro “fucking whores” during an Air America event in San Francisco. HuffPo has the details. I have no problems with the decision. Rhodes crossed a line I wouldn’t cross and no one can suspend me from this blog. I don’t see how Air America had any other choice. She had to go.
UPDATE: Let’s contact Air America Radio and tell their top brass that we want Taylor Marsh to replace Randy Rhodes. Taylor tells it like it is, but she has class and dignity. She also has a wicked sense of humor and the lively style needed for AM radio. Taylor would be perfect! Let them know!
I am giving Hillary a sincere pat on the back for this:
Clinton was asked by a questioner in the audience here what she would tell frustrated Democrats who might consider voting for McCain in the general election out of spite.
“Please think through this decision,” Clinton said, laughing and emphasizing the word “please.”
“It is not a wise decision for yourself or your country.”
The crowd applauded loudly.
A Gallup poll released this week indicated that 28 percent of Clinton\‘s supporters would back McCain should the New York senator lose her quest for the Democratic nomination.
That compares to the 19 percent of Obama supporters who say they will favor McCain should Clinton be the party’s nominee.
“First of all, every time you have a vigorous contest like we are having in this primary election people get intense,” she continued. “You know, Sen. Obama has intense support. I have intense support.”
Clinton stressed that there are “significant” differences between her and Obama, but said “those differences pale to the differences between us and Sen. McCain.”
“I intend to do everything I can to make sure we have a unified Democratic party,” she said. “When this contest is over and we have a nominee, we’re going to close ranks, we’re going to be united.”
This is pretty funny. Hillary spokesperson Phil Singer blasted out an email at 11:23 insisting that Obama release his tax returns for back years,
Exactly two minutes later, at 11:25, Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor emailed out word that Obama had posted his tax returns for 2000-2006 on his campaign web site. Turns out the Obama camp has been planning this for some time.
And, yes, it was pretty damn funny. *Thwap!*
I’ll lay off of snipergate (or Tuzlagate or Sinbadgate) because the media has finally picked up the story en masse and the trainwreck that is the Clinton campaign is handling the onslaught so poorly that I don’t (currently) feel the need to rub their noses in it further. Here’s the nutshell version of the Clinton responses to the controversy: She mispoke. She was sleep-deprived. She is human. Rev. Wright. Rev. Wright! Rev. Wright!!! Pathetic.
But the above example from TPM is another reason why I’m totally impressed with how well the Obama campaign has worked the game during this campaign, without appearing underhanded, and how I’m becoming increasingly confident that Obama can handle whatever comes his way during the general election. He’s a solid candidate, he’s picked a great staff and he responded to the Wright controversy magnificently. Hillary and her team of allegedly great political minds, on the other hand, were taken down by fucking Sinbad and have responded like sniveling, dissembling infants.
For their sake, I hope Carrot Top doesn’t have anything on them.
MORE: Just a reminder of how far Obama has come. People tend to forget how far he was behind Hillary when this all started.
“To equate what I said with what this racist bigot has said from the pulpit is unbelievable. He gave a very good speech on race relations, but he did not address the fact that this man is up there spewing hatred.”
One interesting even in Sen. Clinton’s just-released schedules from the 1990s comes on Nov. 10 1993, when the former First Lady was to serve as the closing act during a briefing on NAFTA, the trade agreement she now assails.
PARTICIPANTS: Approx 120 expected to attend
(See briefing book for further info)
- Alexis Herman intros HRC for brief remarks
-HRC concludes program
Two attendees of that closed-door briefing, neither of whom are affiliated with any campaign, describe that event for ABC News. It was a room full of women involved in international trade. David Gergen served as a sort of master of ceremonies as various women members of the Cabinet talked up NAFTA, which had yet to pass Congress.
“It wasn’t a drop-by it was organized around her participation,” said one attendee. “Her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA and what a good thing it would be for the economy. There was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time. Folks were pleased that she came by. If this is a still a question about what Hillary’s position when she was First Lady, she was totally supportive if NAFTA.
Read it all. The additional quotes from the attendees are pretty damning.
Sorry, Ohio, you got punk’d. You may want to let Pennsylvania know how you feel about it.