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Key to ‘08 — Appealing to Middle; Holding on to Party’s Base

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:50 pm - January 24, 2007.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,National Politics

With Hillary Clinton and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson indicating their intentions to run for president in recent days, I have been thinking a bit about their chances. While noting Mrs. Clinton’s missteps, Dick Morris thinks that if she gets “used to the pace of politics in 2007,” she has a good shot of becoming the nation’s next chief executive. Ed Morrissey thinks that “Richardson could be ’08’s most dangerous candidate” (Via Instapundit).

Noting Richardson’s experience as U.S. Ambassador to the UN as well as a governor of a state, Morrissey believes he’ll be formidable candidate. Not only that. Richardson worked “with President Bill Clinton on bolstering the party’s credibility with centrist voters.” That line made me realize that success in 2008 may well depend on a candidate moving to the middle without losing his party’s base — as Clinton did in 1992.

Given that the past two presidents (either by design or default) have been polarizing figures, I think the American people will opt for a less divisive candidate next year. That attitude could really help Richardson. Whenever I see him on TV (he frequently appears on FoxNews), he comes across as a level-headed man of the center-left, occasionally willing to praise the president, never baiting, always civil in tone. He seems to prefer argument to attacks.

But, will his reasonable attitude sit well with Democratic primary voters?

By the same token, should my man Rudy prevail in the GOP primaries, he’ll be a strong candidate for the general election. A Republican Mayor of one of the nation’s most liberal cities, he has shown the capacity to reach out beyond his partisan base. But, he’s going to have a challenge winning over that base.

Let’s hope that the next president will be better able to unite the nation. And that one party, preferably the GOP, can choose a candidate who can hold on to his party’s base and reach beyond it.

NGLTF on SOTU — once again showing its leftist stripes

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:25 pm - January 24, 2007.
Filed under: Gay Politics,Gays in Other Lands

In his statement criticizing the President’s State of the Union address last night, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Executive Director mentioned only one gay issue, pleased that the president “chose not to lobby for a federal constitutional amendment” defining marriage. Instead, he reserved his vitriol for the president’s continued support for the war in Iraq, saying, “The nightmare in the Middle East continues unabated.

Um, Matt, while things may not now be hunky-dory in Iraq, if we pull out now, that nation will come under the dominance of Iran where things are bad all around, particularly for gay men who are routinely hanged merely for being gay.

Once again, Foreman’s statement shows that NGLTF styles itself more as a leftist organization for gay people, preferring to promote the standard left-wing agenda than to focus on gay issues.

If NGLTF were dedicated to gay issues, its executive director would not have issued such an angry release, instead would have been content to note that the president was no longer advocating a gratuituos constitutional amendment defining marriage, an ammendment which would be out of place in our nation’s founding charter.

State of the Union — Preliminary Thoughts

As I was organizing a dinner for my college alumni association’s entertainment group, I did not get to watch all of the State of the Union Address last night. Before setting out, I did see his very classy introduction, a very warm tribute to an ideological adversary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

She seemed to accept this with grace. It would be nice if this type of respect were to define their relationship for the next two years, much as, in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and then-Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, while differing greatly on policy issues, respected each other as individuals — and even enjoyed each other’s company.

I heard most of the speech while driving from West Hollywood to Sherman Oaks, much of the time caught in horrible traffic on Coldwater Canyon. You see, they had closed Laurel Canyon, the normal route I would take. I was thus not able to concentrate as much as I would like, focusing more on the stop-and-go traffic. I will note that the president sounded more confident than he has in recent media appearances. Indeed, before leaving for the dinner, when I watched his entrance on TV, I thought he looked confident — and determined.

On the whole, I thought it was a good speech. He offered a good, solid defense for the “surge,” the change of strategy in Iraq and his health care plan seems a good first step at reforming a system which works well for most Americans, but whose costs are becoming prohibitive for many. (I may have more to say on this later.)

Listening to the Democratic response from Virginia Senator Jim Webb, I became easily distracted. He did not sound nearly as strong as the president and offered little in the way of alternatives to the president’s plan. MSNBC’s David Shuster pretty much sums up my thoughts, noting that “Webb spoke mostly in platitudes, didn’t offer specifics about Democratic plans, and the way he described the current economic situation in this country was a bit misleading.

On the whole, I agree with Powerline‘s John Hinderaker that the president was “back on his game,” but wonder with him if it will matter. It seems Democrats — and many in the MSM — are intent on opposing him no matter what he proposes. As the Washington Post‘s Ruth Marcus puts it, “If George W. Bush proposes something, it must be bad. Such is the knee-jerk state of partisan suspiciousness that when the president actually endorses a tax increase — a tax increase that would primarily hit the well-off, no less — Democrats still howl” (Via Instapundit).

The President delivered a good speech last night, offering many good ideas to defeat terrorism and improve the lives of Americans. It would be nice if Democrats in Congress showed the same respect for these ideas as he showed for the Democratic Speaker of the House.

UPDATE: Seems I’m not the only one who liked the speech. Glenn Reynolds notes that it polled well. According to CNN, 78 percent had a very — or somewhat — positive reaction to the speech.

Will Sandy Berger Finally Face Real Punishment?

This one man American traitor single-handedly stole and possibly destroyed evidence the 9/11 Commission and posterity needed to ensure the massive failure of intelligence that led to the terror attacks never happens again.   The Justice Department let him slide… Republican lawmakers say “not so fast, Sandy!”

The Justice Department should administer a polygraph test to former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger to find out what documents he took from the National Archives in 2002 and 2003, Rep. Tom Davis wrote in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales dated Monday.

Davis, ranking Republican on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is leading a group of 18 lawmakers who say the Justice Department has been “remarkably incurious” about Berger’s decision to remove documents relating to the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry into his role in helping prevent terror attacks during the Clinton administration.

“It is extraordinarily important that the Justice Department avail itself of its rights under the plea agreement and administer a polygraph examination to Mr. Berger to question him about the extent of his thievery. This may be the only way for anyone to know whether Mr. Berger denied the 9/11 commission and the public the complete account of the Clinton administration’s actions or inactions during the lead up to the terrorist attacks on the United States,” Davis wrote.

The letter was signed by all Republican members of Congress.

In case you forgot the crimes of espionage committed by the former Clintonista…

Berger admitted to taking documents on two of the four occasions he went to the National Archives to bone up on his responses for the Sept. 11 commission on his inquiry into how intelligence and law enforcement communities failed to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States. He said he hid some of them at a construction site near the archives building in Washington.

I’m wondering why no Democrat Members of Congress have signed the letter?  Do they approve of Sticky Fingers Sandy’s actions of treason?

By the way… is it just me or does Scooter Libby’s alleged lying about an already well-known CIA agent pale in comparison to the devastating actions by Clinton’s former National Security Advisor?  Well, you wouldn’t know by the media coverage ratio of both stories.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)