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January - March 2007

Hillary, Dillary, Clark

If Nobody Says He's a Crook ...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

   Hillary, Dillary, Clark - Not long ago, Hillary Clinton tossed her hat into the presidential ring, as everyone had expected.  It has caused me to wax speculatively about the upcoming election ...

     Can Hillary win?  Yes.  She seems to be quite smart, and I would say that she must be the odds on favorite.  I have heard many conservatives paint her as the worst of all possible worlds, but I suspect that, if she is elected president, she would be more middle of the road than most think (to the chagrin of liberals).  But, getting there is going to be an interesting saga.  There is much interest in Barack Obama, and, while I don't think he has a serious chance at winning the presidential nomination from his party, I think he would be extremely interested in the vice presidential slot, ala JFK's quest in 1956.  But, I think it would reduce Hillary's chances if she selected Obama, and, like I just mentioned, she is smart.  Who would be the smart choice for her?  Wesley Clark.  I don't especially like the former general, but he did run for the nomination in 2004, and he is considered a Clinton insider/loyalist.  Hillary will have tons of bad mojo working against her, and choosing someone as solid as Clark would go far in helping to alleviate this discontent.  I don't think that having Obama on the ticket would give her the boost she needs to seal the deal for the presidency.  At least, that is my view, as long as she is running against every formal, and potential, Republican candidate, save one.

     To whom is she vulnerable?  Arizona's senior Senator - John McCain.  I can't say that I am a big John McCain fan.  I find his views on political contributions to be patently unsound.  And, he seems to favor increased restrictions on visitor access to the Grand Canyon, which is small potatoes for him, but is an issue I am interested in.  And, while there are plenty of conservatives that don't like him, I think that the nomination is his to lose - none of the other, active, contenders have any chance of really upsetting his bid.  Maybe a real conservative, like Newt Gingrich, could challenge McCain for the nod, and he is my ideal candidate for president, but I don't think he would be able to win the general election.

     I'd say that Hillary & Clark versus McCain is a very competitive race.  If McCain picks a ho-hum veep, he won't be throwing away the election.  But, if he makes a dramatic gesture, that could tilt the contest in his favor.  I have previously opined on the attractiveness of a McCain-Lieberman third party ticket.  But, that was before Joe got the boot in Connecticut and ran as an Independent.  He is still an interesting choice, but I think a better pick would be Maryland's Lieutenant Governor, Michael Steele.  He ran a good campaign for the Senate, in 2006, but lost.  But, I don't think that has tarnished his star.  If McCain were to pick Steele, I would say that he would have the edge in '08.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

   If Nobody Says He's a Crook ... - Tomorrow, Dennis DeConcini, former U.S. Senator from Arizona, will be feted at an event on the campus of Northern Arizona University, where he will sign copies of his "political memoir."  But, in the publicity building up this event, nary a word has been spoken (or, written) of the Keating Five scandal, which had me riveted to the TV during the hearings held by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.  [That is a cartoon of Charles Keating to the right.]  OK, so I'm kind of a dork that way.  I also was an avid viewer of the Watergate hearings (replayed at night on PBS) and the Iran-Contra hearings.  To show my disdain for the local media in this matter, I penned a letter to the editor of the Arizona Daily Sun:

To the editor:

   I note that the Daily Sun has promoted, with a small degree of fanfare, the appearance of Arizona's former U.S. Senator, Dennis DeConcini to the campus of NAU.  He is touted as a member of the Arizona Board of Regents and is characterized as being "best remembered" for his role in the Panama Canal Treaty in the late 1970s.

   Funny stuff.  I best remember the former senator as a corrupt politician who sought to dissuade federal regulators from investigating Lincoln Savings and Loan while he was receiving political contributions from Charles Keating, the owner of Lincoln.  The Senate Ethics Committee did, indeed, conclude that DeConcini, and others, had substantially interfered with enforcement efforts.

   Maybe that was a different Senator DeConcini, and Iím just getting the two confused with one another.

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