Great Society, Part Deux

More news from the Clinton campaign:

Poverty Czar: Today in her speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis, TN, paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in remembrance of the 40th anniversary of his assassination, Hillary announces a cabinet level position that will be solely and fully devoted to ending poverty as we know it in America.

Is this a desperate play for a John Edwards endorsement?

One If By Recession, Two If By Depression…

Hillary Clinton tests out a new analogy regarding the economy:

For more than a year I have been like Paulette Revere, calling for action to keep the problems from our housing market from spilling over into our economy. After a year of denial and half-measures it is time for this Administration to put ideology aside and get serious about stemming this crisis. Perhaps this jobs report will also help John McCain recognize that doing nothing is not an economic strategy in times of urgent need.

Ferraro Hits Obama Campaign For Playing Race Card

I wasn’t taking notes because I was writing the post below, but Geraldine Ferraro just appeared on Hannity and Colmes and absolutely blasted the Obama campaign for playing the race card, which she said was a concerted effort led by Obama strategist David Axelrod. She also accused the campaign of “coordinating” a flood of calls to her firm in an effort to get her fired. I’ll post a transcript when I get it.

Rudy: I’m Not A Candidate For VP

Rudy Giuliani, in an interview tonight on Hannity & Colmes, said he would consider becoming John McCain’s running mate if asked, but it wasn’t something he was seeking.

Pressed by Sean Hannity several times about whether he would accept the VP slot, Giuliani said he wasn’t thinking about it, that it isn’t a relevant issue until June or July. Obviously, he said, if the potential president asks you to do something you seriously consider it, but “I am not a candidate for it.”

He also brushed aside rumors that he would run for governor in New York, by laughing and joking “I’m not running, I’m walking,” a reference to the fact that he’s taking things easier now that he’s no longer running for president.

Looking forward to the general election, he said it doesn’t matter whether the nominee is Hillary Clinton–both want to raise taxes, raise tarriffs, and neglect the fight against terrorism–while McCain has more experience and supports free trade, keeping taxes low, and staying on offense against terrorists.

Overall, Giuliani seemed pretty relaxed not to be running himself.

Just to give my two cents, I think it would be a huge mistake for McCain to choose Giuliani to be his running mate. Having another moderate on the ticket would virtually assure a mass exodus from the party by conservatives. While I thought Giuliani’s leadership skills, accomplishments, and executive experience could have made him a strong president, those talents would be much less relevant in the number two slot. Plus, his disastrous presidential campaign eroded much of his crossover appeal.

Barr Expected To Launch Libertarian Bid Saturday

Reason‘s Dave Weigel reports:

When former Rep. Bob Barr arrives in Kansas City on Saturday for the Heartland Libertarian Conference, organizers expect him to launch an exploratory committee for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. Barr is meeting with his political team on Friday to firm up plans. Right now, he’s expected to fly into the city at about noon Saturday and address the conference in the early afternoon.

The Barr launch is getting to be an open secret among conference-goers. Advocacy Ink, the firm that handles Barr’s public relations, is advertising the speech to local and national reporters. Mike Ferguson, the de jure organizer of the conference, is scrambling to deal with a crush of new media requests.

“It doesn’t take much to put two and two together,” said Ferguson. “You don’t do this unless you’re making the announcement.”

Re: McCain-Coburn

It’s really hard to think of any one move that could help McCain out among conservatives than picking Coburn as his running mate. In addition to all of the points Jeremy made, one interesting wrinkle is Coburn’s relationship with Barack Obama. The two worked together on earmark transparency, they are friends with one another, as are their wives. Coburn has had a lot of nice things to say about Obama publicly. Were he McCain’s running mate, he’d be in a strong position to say. “Look, I’ve worked with Sen. Obama, I like and respect him, and think he’s a good man. But I McCain is more prepared to be president, and has better policies.” That’s the kind of tone I think Republicans will need to beat Obama.

Of course, this may be a moot discussion, because, based on his past statements, it would surprise me if Coburn wanted to take the job of vice president. Also, he’s of more use to conservatives in the Senate.

It’s Electability, Stupid

The Clinton campaign, in a conference call with reporters this morning, pounded the theme that Hillary Clinton was more electable in November than Barack Obama.

The political world is buzzing about an ABC report that Hillary Clinton herself privately told Bill Richardson that Obama couldn’t win in the general election, but the Clinton campaign was not willing to go that far publicly.

“She’s a better bet to win against John McCain,” chief strategst Mark Penn said of Clinton’s chances, while declining to say that Obama was unelectable.

Penn cited Clinton’s strength with among the working and middle classes, Catholics, women, and Latino voters.

He also noted that, “It’s hard to get to the presidency without Ohio and Florida,” and that polls show her doing a lot better against McCain in those states.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson pointed to the First Read analysis of the electoral map, and argued that not only is she slightly ahead of Obama in electoral votes of states either firmly in her pocket or leaning her way, but she’s much stronger in the toss-up states.

Reagan vs. Hillary

We all know that Ronald Reagan was “The Great Communicator” and that Hillary Clinton is one of the most painful-to-watch speakers in contemporary politics. Now, via HotAir, I find this video intercutting Reagan and Clinton telling the same joke, and it’s amazing to see the stark difference. Is it any wonder that one politician changed the trajectory of history, and the other is headed for history’s dustbin?

The International Jew

I agree with much of what Jim wrote below. I should emphasize that I don’t have problems with an open and honest debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, what makes me uneasy is that whatever their motivations, many of today’s critics of Israel invariably turn to arguments that are hauntingly similar to arguments made by yesterday’s anti-Semites against Jews in general.

A good example of old style anti-Semitism is Henry Ford’s The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem and other writings in his Dearborn Independent from the early 1920s.

Today, the argument is that wealthy Jewish donors from New York City influence politicians in both parties, and no politician is willing to challenge them on Israel. Back then it was, “the Jews have been strong in all parties, so that whichever way the election went, the Jews would win. In New York it is always the Jewish party that wins.”

Today, we have complaints about the “Israel Lobby,” but back then it was the “Jewish Lobby.”

Today, critics of Israel lament that honest debate is being stifled in the media, and people are afraid to speak up out of fear of being labeled anti-Semitic. Those who wanted to discuss the “Jewish Question” in Ford’s day had the same beef:

Anyone who essays to discuss the Jewish Question in the United States or anywhere else must be fully prepared to be regarded as an Anti-Semite, in high-brow language, or in low-brow language, a Jew-baiter. Nor need encouragement be looked for from people or from press. The people who are awake to the subject at all prefer to wait and see how it all turns out; while there is probably not a newspaper in America, and certainly none of the advertising mediums which are called magazines, which would have the temerity even to breathe seriously the fact that such a Question exists. The press in general is open at this time to fulsome editorials in favor of everything Jewish (specimens of the same being obtainable almost anywhere), while the Jewish press, which is fairly numerous in the United States, takes care of the vituperative end.

Of course, the only acceptable explanation of any public discussion at present of the Jewish Question is that some one-writer, or publisher, or a related interest-is a Jew-hater. That idea seems to be fixed; it is fixed in the Jew by inheritance; it is sought to be fixed in the Gentile by propaganda, that any writing which does not simply cloy and drip in syrupy sweetness toward things Jewish is born of prejudice and hatred. It is, therefore, full of lies, insult, insinuation, and constitutes an instigation to massacre.

I fear that the pushback by Israel’s critics is slowly but surely creating an environment in which anti-Semitic views are becoming acceptable as long as they are framed within a discussion of Israel and are said to arise from sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians.