Tags: Insider | Report: | Hillary | May | Pull | Out | Coulter

Insider Report: Hillary May Pull Out, Coulter on Couric

Sunday, 10 September 2006 12:00 AM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Hillary May Pull Out of Presidential Race
2. Controversial Historian in McCain Camp
3. Katie Couric Doesn't Perk Up Conservatives
4. Mag ‘Pink' Eyes Seven Other Women Possibles for President
5. Opposition Research Torpedoes Campaigns
6. We Heard: Ann Coulter on Katie Couric, More

 

1. Hillary May Pull Out of Presidential Race

While most political observers fully expect Sen. Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2008, some insiders believe she might pull out of the race and seek to lead the Democrats in the Senate instead. "I would not be surprised if she were to decide that the best contribution she can make to her country is to forget about being president and become a consensus-maker in the Senate," a leading Democratic Party insider said in remarks reported by the Sunday Times of London.

"She believes there is no trust between the two political sides and that we can't function as a democracy without it."

But sources in Washington told NewsMax that Clinton could decide that Democrats stand the best chance of regaining the White House if she seeks the vice presidential slot in 2008.

A recent poll for Time magazine showed that while 53 percent of respondents said they viewed Clinton favorably, 53 percent of independent voters said they would not vote for her.

"The prospect of a Hillary for president campaign has put much of the Democratic establishment in a bind," Time concluded. "The early line is that Hillary would be unstoppable in a Democratic primary but unelectable in a general election."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada privately told Clinton that his job was hers if she gave up her expected run for the White House, according to the respected blog The Washington Note.

Reid's office denied that. But the claim made its way into the Los Angeles Times, which suggested Clinton would make a "superlative Senate leader" while keeping her options open for the 2012 presidential race.

One close friend of the Clintons said: "There is no way she won't run for president."

But others are not so sure, according to the Times.

Clinton has raised $33 million for her Senate re-election campaign in New York, and leftover funds can be used in a presidential bid.

If she balks at the presidency, another close source said, "she can win a huge amount of goodwill by donating her money to colleagues in the Senate."

2. Controversial Historian in McCain Camp

As Sen. John McCain looks down the road toward a potential run for president in 2008, he counts among his unofficial advisers British historian Niall Ferguson – a man best known for creating controversy in his home country.

Although he is a professor of history at Harvard University and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford, Ferguson is relatively unknown in the U.S.

In Britain, however, he has attracted critics as well as admirers with his books, particularly his 2003 work "Empire" and its companion TV series.

In "Empire," Ferguson argued that the British Empire, reviled by many in Britain for its perceived crimes against humanity, "might actually have been of some global merit in that it helped spread democratic values around the world," according to ABC News.

He has even expressed regret that the U.S. is not more like the British Empire in the 19th century.

Some have gone so far as to call Ferguson an "apologist for mass murder."

In his 2004 book "Colossus – The Rise and Fall of the American Empire," Ferguson urged the U.S. to become an "effective liberal empire" that learned "humility from the mistakes of its British forbear."

Ferguson has called on the U.S. to stay the course in Iraq and commit more resources to the effort, and encouraged the U.S. to "maintain its democratic credentials through its actions around the world," ABC News reports.

During the debate last year about American policy on torture, Ferguson got the attention of McCain when he wrote that the White House should back the Arizona Republican's bill banning all torture by American military or intelligence personnel.

Ferguson's closeness with McCain has some observers worried. One of them is London-based columnist Johann Hari, who wrote that Ferguson has been setting himself up to become "court historian to the imperial American hard right."

3. Katie Couric Doesn't Perk Up Conservatives

Conservatives and liberals – and even men and women – have sharply differing views of Katie Couric, the new anchor of the "CBS Evening News," a poll reveals.

The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that nearly half of women, 47 percent, have a favorable view of Couric, and only 13 view her negatively, while just 31 percent of the men polled described her favorably and 16 percent had a negative view.

The rest were neutral or had no response.

Somewhat surprisingly, moderate and liberal Republicans like Couric the most – 55 percent have a positive view of the news anchor, while about 45 percent of Democrats feel that way.

But only 30 percent of conservative Republicans said they view her favorably.

Opinions about network news anchors Brian Williams and Charlie Gibson do not differ according to gender or politics, the poll found.

When respondents were asked to select words they associated with Couric, popular choices included "liberal," "perky," "cute," and "alright."

4. ‘Pink' Eyes Seven Other Women Possibles for President

Sen. Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have generated the most talk about a possible woman candidate for president in 2008, but now seven other women are being discussed for that role.

In its latest issue, the magazine Pink declares that the seven women have a "good shot at the presidency."

They are Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.; Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M.; and Democratic Governors Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

While Pink – which focuses on a range of women's issues – "may not be the first place people turn to for political analysis," the Washington D.C.-based publication The Hill notes, "that could change as more Americans become comfortable with powerful women."

A recent CBS/New York Times poll cited by Pink showed that 92 percent of respondents would vote for a female presidential candidate from their party.

5. Opposition Research Torpedoes Campaigns

When Republican researchers turned up troubling details about John Kerry's real exploits in the Vietnam War, it wasn't the first time political staffers succeeded in digging up dirt about an opponent that threatened to scuttle a campaign.

Sometimes the revelations have succeeded in destroying a campaign – and sometimes they haven't.

Campaigns & Elections magazine took a look at a few examples in American history:

Lee Atwater, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush's campaign manager, is credited with uncovering Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis' support for a weekend furlough program – which turned loose convicted murderer Willie Horton. While out of jail, Horton raped a woman and beat her husband. Republicans featured the Horton embarrassment in a campaign ad that helped derail Dukakis' presidential run in 1988.

During the 1988 primary campaign, a Dukakis aide unearthed the fact that an opponent, Sen. Joe Biden, had failed a law methodology course because of plagiarism. He was also accused of plagiarizing Robert Kennedy and British politician Neil Kinnock in his speeches. Biden was eventually cleared of the charges, but they ended his campaign.

When Grover Cleveland was running for president in 1884, his Republican opponent James Blaine's campaign found that Cleveland was paying child support to a woman in Buffalo. Blaine accused Cleveland of fathering the illegitimate child while he was mayor of Buffalo, and hatched the attack slogan "Ma, ma, where's my pa?"

Cleveland admitted to the affair and the payments, but said he wasn't sure if the child was his. He beat Blaine.

"In one of the first sex scandals ever uncovered by opposition research, Thomas Jefferson had to field accusations that he had fathered children with his slave and mistress, Sally Hemings," Brittney Pescatore writes in Campaigns & Elections. But Jefferson not only beat out his Federalist opponents in 1800, he was re-elected to a second term four years later.

During the 2002 Senate race in Montana, Democrats ran a campaign ad with footage they dug up showing Republican candidate Mike Taylor, when he was a hairdresser, applying beauty cream to a man's face. The scene didn't sit well with many macho Montanans. Taylor dropped out of the race. His name remained on the ballot, but the incumbent Democrat was re-elected.

6. We Heard . . .

THAT the Anti-Defamation League is protesting a string of anti-Semitic comments about

ADL head Abraham Foxman cited several examples from the site's Action Forum, including "media owning Jewish pigs," "Zionazis," and "Why are the Jews so Jew-y?"

"We recognize that Action Forum is an open forum intended to foster the free flow of ideas," Foxman wrote to MoveOn, which supported Lieberman's opponent Ned Lamont, the victor in the Connecticut primary race for the Democratic nomination for the Senate.

"Nevertheless, since such profoundly offensive content is appearing on a board clearly linked to MoveOn.org, we believe you should assume some responsibility to respond to this hateful content."

Eli Pariser, executive director of the MoveOn Political Action Committee, condemned the anti-Semitic remarks in a statement posted on the Web site, the New York Post reported.

"The comments that were posted were abhorrent," he wrote. "We were dismayed to see them, and removed them as soon as they came to our attention."

THAT

Perhaps spurred by terrorist fears – and airport security hassles – worldwide sales of private planes shot up 35 percent in the first half of this year, to a record $9 billion.

At the same time, the number of passengers in the U.S. paying for first-class, business-class and full-price economy airfares has dropped from 18 percent of all airfares to just 9 percent, according to figures cited by Forbes magazine.

Forbes also disclosed this ominous news for the already struggling airlines: Travelers boarding their own private planes now account for one-third of all premium-paying passengers in the U.S.

THAT conservative pundit

When asked by NewsMax if she watched Couric on her first night anchoring the "CBS Evening News," Coulter replied: "No, I'm not over 80."

And when asked if she had any advice for Couric, Coulter said: "Collect now – before the old folks find cable news on the TV and stop watching network news like the rest of us."

THAT legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to name a new federal courthouse in

Limbaugh practiced law for nearly 80 years until his death at the age of 104 in 1996, arguing more than 60 cases before the Missouri Supreme Court. He was also involved in numerous legal and civic organizations, according to the Southeast Missourian.

"It is only fitting that the new federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau be named after this great hero of American jurisprudence," said a statement from Missouri's two Republican Senators, Kit Bond and Jim Talent, who introduced the bill.

Federal judge Stephen N. Limbaugh – Rush Sr.'s son and the talk radio host's uncle – said: "It's not very often that our family is speechless, and I'm pretty close."

The $50 million courthouse is slated to open in 2007.


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Sunday, 10 September 2006 12:00 AM
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