One observation is that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are giving foreign policy issues extremely short shrift in their campaign. Instead of discussing them, both are making reference to the idea that the Bush administration hasn’t done enough in terms of providing services for veterans. It’s true, I think they haven’t done enough, but I also think it’s a dangerous trap for Democrats to think that talking about this issue is a substitute for talking about the substance of national security policy.
Yesterday, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton announced on Fox News his belief that “the use of military force” against Iranian training camps “is really the most prudent thing to do.” Responding to a Telegraph report on his comments today, American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Ledeen declared that Bolton is “right.” Adding that he’s “been proposing this for years,” Ledeen also said that “we should do the same thing to the Syrian camps as well.”
As we wait to hear from Indiana, it’s always worth recalling that there’s no real substantial difference between a narrow win in Indiana and a narrow loss in Indiana. A lot of our primary punditry has proceeded as if this is the electoral college and there’s a huge difference, but the Democrats’ rules for delegate allocation assures at this point that Indiana’s going to be a push while Obama picks up a nice parcel of delegates out of North Carolina.
Fox News rolled out its political analyst Karl Rove tonight to comment on the Democratic primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. Instead of disclosing Rove’s ties to, and support for, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign, Fox News put up a large screen with his nickname:
The Rove Watch clock continues…
I’m seeing Harold Ford, Jr. on television talking about how maybe an Obama-Clinton ticket would be the best way for Obama to appeal to white working class voters. I think there’s no doubt that enhancing his appeal to white working class voters should be an important considering in thinking about a VP choice. But when you consider all the possibilities, does anyone seriously think that Clinton is the politician with the most appeal to white working class voters? I think the evidence is clear that she has more appeal to them than Barack Obama does but she hardly seems like the best possible choice.
While discussing the primary returns tonight, the “Fox News All Stars” — including Brit Hume, Fred Barnes, and Mort Kondracke — discussed what constitutes a “downscale voter.” Hume opened the segment by asking Barnes to elaborate on his view that many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters are “downscale.” Barnes could hardly contain his laughter as he explained that the term “working class” is a euphemism because “it’s kind of mean to say ‘lower class.’ It’s as simple as that.” He explained that the “lower class” are people of low “social class.” Watch it:
Kondracke attacked Barnes for “dissing” the “lower class.” Hume concluded the segment by assuring the Fox viewers, “We’re all for working families particularly, and those of you who are working families out there, we appeal to you to bear with us.”
David Kurtz has more.
Gore: It Is ‘Obscene’ That Bush Has Dismissed ‘George Washington’s 200-Plus Year Prohibition On Torture’
On April 9, ABC News reported that in 2002, President Bush’s most senior advisers approved the use of harsh interrogation tactics. Days later, Bush confirmed to ABC he “approved” of the tactics. Since the ABC report, the media have largely ignored the story. Morever, it took 14 days for a reporter to raise the issue in a White House press briefing.
During an interview this morning on NPR, former Vice President Al Gore criticized Bush for approving the techniques, calling it “obscene,” adding that his use of signing statements is “a raw assertion of authority outside the boundaries of the law”:
GORE: Ultimately the guarantor of our freedoms are the people. And these kinds of outrages, a president saying that he has the right turn George Washington’s 200-plus year prohibition against torture and torture anyone he wants with his assistants gathering in the basement of the White House — according to recent revelations — personally reviewing the kinds of torture techniques being used prisoner by prisoner, its obscene.
Highlighting Bush’s “arrogation of authority,” Gore also noted that the Bush administration has “refused to comply with the Supreme Court decision” requiring it to regulate “global warming pollution” under the Clean Air Act.
While Gore called Bush’s abuses of power “outrages,” the media does not seem to be as concerned. However, the House Judiciary Committee provided a bright spot today, voting to subpoena David Addington, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, to compel him to testify about the administration’s interrogation programs.
Transcript: Read more
Called instantly for Obama, must be a big win.
UPDATE: Obama wins men and Obama wins women. And look at this –
For comparison, George Allen got 15 percent of the black vote in 2006.
I’m calling this one for Clinton, the official exit polls have her winning women and narrowly winning men. That means Clinton wins.
On his radio show yesterday, CNN’s Glenn Beck devoted a 15-minute segment to making fun of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and wife Michelle, referring to them as “elitist” for running for president and talking about “just how tough it is in America today for black people.”
In the segment, Beck brought on a fictional caller by the name of “Honky Whitesville,” who alleged that he was “working with the Obama campaign.” Beck billed the apparently humorous skit as a way to “make the Obama’s seem a little more relatable to the average person”:
WHITESVILLE: I’m working with the Obama campaign and I’m very white. And I’m white. Ever see toothpaste? You know the tube with toothpaste out? That’s sort of my color. … I was looking in the mirror yesterday after I looked up and I was like, oh, no, I have toothpaste all over my face but actually I just had face all over my face because my face is white, and just so everyone knows, I work at the Obama campaign and I’m white but my first name’s Honky.
But Beck did not dismiss this “caller.” Instead, he used “Honky” to go on a tirade against Michelle Obama. “She is an elitist and she is one of the most angry people,” Beck declared. At one point, they attacked her for attending Princeton and Harvard, claiming her test scores were “too low.” Beck even tossed in a suggestion of alcoholism:
BECK: And there she is. As always, they are trying to raise the bar a little higher like they did when she went to Princeton and then Harvard and now possibly the first lady.
WHITESVILLE: Is it possible she was holding onto the bar as they were raising it?
BECK: No, I think she might have made a trip to the bar. I’m not sure.
Listen to it:
Beck has a history of making racially-charged comments on his shows. In 2007, he commented that Sen. Obama is “very white in many ways.” Beck also claimed that “to be consistent,” Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) should give Sen. Obama “five percentage points” because of affirmative action.