Tags: Pirro | Can't | Possibly | Beat | Hillary

Pirro Can't Possibly Beat Hillary

Wednesday, 10 August 2005 12:00 AM

When you don't have the perfect solution – when, let's face it, you don't have any answer at all – you do a stunt instead.

So goes the Republican Party in its effort to slow down Hillary Clinton.

The stunt isn't Jeanine Pirro, the smart, tough former district attorney from Westchester who made the mistake of marrying a real crook – and, I must add, drove around with him in the Jaguar and the Ferrari that showed up in the tax returns that she signed and that landed him in prison. OK, nobody's perfect. But she was just the wife there. Just kidding.

The stunt is her husband, Al, and the cheap thrills it gives true Clinton-haters to get to compare the ex-con and the ex-president.

Of course, only a true Clinton-hater could fail to see the folly of this comparison. The president's popularity has only grown, as he seems to put his health on the line to follow plagues and tsunamis around the world, between hanging out with W's folks.

Pirro, on the other hand, continues to mount up problems, which may have also played a role in his wife's decision not to seek another term as district attorney. At the time, her husband's name had been mentioned on a wiretap as a source of information about an investigation into a crooked cop then being conducted in her office.

Pirro had denied that her husband had any involvement in the case. But after being released from prison, her husband opened a lobbying firm that featured prominently on its website among its clients one of the senior members of the Gotti organization, identified as such in recent indictments, making him continuously vulnerable to the very sort of accusations raised this year. A separate investigation was ongoing of another man who was being charged with trying to bribe Pirro.

How do you give a high-level security clearance to a woman with a husband like that? Sorry, but you have to ask the question. Can you see Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff giving sensitive national security information to anyone connected with this guy? I know Michael Chertoff, and I can't.

This wasn't the first time Al Pirro got in trouble. He'd forced his wife to pull out of an earlier contest for lieutenant governor because of questions about his ties to a carting company. And yet he goes out and starts advertising his mob connections as soon as he gets out of prison, leading himself to be the object of conversation among gangsters, at least.

Homeland security, anyone? Somebody go ask Rudy Giuliani if he would hire a prosecutor who was married to a guy like Al Pirro – even if she promised she'd never tell him anything. Does he promise never to read her e-mail? Go through her briefcase?

On their own terms, Jeanine Pirro cannot match Hillary Clinton when it comes to national and international issues, which is the real reason why Republicans aren't worrying about security clearances. They don't expect her to win, just to serve as the Trojan horse for attacking Bill and, among the more rational, taking a shot at Hillary for being so ambitious that she might actually consider a run for the presidency rather than finishing a second term.

The big problem Republicans face right now, in addition to bankruptcy in their ranks in New York, is that people in New York have clearly forgotten the caricature they used to dislike of a young, aggressive, ambitious woman with a headband, wielding a health care plan in one hand and a cookie sheet in the other, and singing "Stand By Your Man."

Confronted by a mature, middle-aged moderate running for her second term as senator, wearing the black suit and short, bright hairdo that is the new definition of the Hillary look, she's headed for re-election with approval ratings as much as 30 points higher than they were six years ago. What happened to that ambitious witch? Can you get her back by challenging her to serve a full term?

Bill Clinton, campaign manager, suggested the answer a few weeks ago, when he advised that Hillary could simply do what his new friend's son had done. He faced this same issue in Texas, back in 1998. He'd only served four years at the time. He smiled and didn't make any promises. Funny, I don't remember anyone calling him ambitious ...

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When you don't have the perfect solution - when, let's face it, you don't have any answer at all - you do a stunt instead. So goes the Republican Party in its effort to slow down Hillary Clinton. The stunt isn't Jeanine Pirro, the smart, tough former district attorney...
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2005-00-10
Wednesday, 10 August 2005 12:00 AM
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