Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This past Sunday, David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, had an odd column about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (“Suddenly, a Frontrunner”). You can find it at the following link: http://post-gazette.com/forum.

Some background: in the fall of 2008, the Post-Gazette, a relentlessly liberal publication, will enthusiastically endorse Senator Clinton for the presidency. The chances of that not happening are about the same as the sun persistently failing to rise. The P-G endorses liberal Democrats in much the same way that Pavlov’s dog salivated when the bell rang.

Mr. Shribman’s column indicates that Hillary Clinton has “suddenly” become the Democratic front-runner. Say what? Mrs. Clinton has had a 10-20 point lead for many months over Barack Obama. There’s nothing sudden or unexpected about the fact that Mrs. Clinton – save the arrival of flood or famine – will be the Democratic nominee.

Her main opponents, Barack Obama and John Edwards, aren’t really serious candidates. Neither one of them has any executive experience. Neither one seems to have a clue about Jihadists and the War on Terrorism.

The “poverty” candidate – Edwards – regularly illustrates that he’s filthy rich. He gets a 400-dollar-haircut, although he admittedly plucks his own eyebrows. He builds a 28,000 square-foot house – one that could, but won’t, serve as a residence for 60-70 homeless people.

Senator Obama believes in the “audacity of hope,” whatever that means. He thinks it might not be a bad idea to invade an allied nation, Pakistan. He’s a supposed “contender” who doesn’t lead in a single state. Frankly, if he weren’t Black, he’d be nothing more than a little-known junior Senator from Illinois.

What has Barack Obama done to merit his being a serious candidate for President? Dealing with such inconvenient realities is not Mr. Shribman’s strong suit.

As for Mrs. Clinton, the P-G editor promotes her on the grounds that: (1) she’s endured “a hundred times” every conceivable criticism; (2) she’s battle-tested (a variation on his point #1); (3) she’s disciplined – a point where Shribman sees her as similar to Walter Mondale (who won one state, Minnesota).

On the battle-tested point: Shribman highlights her experience with the Monica Lewinsky affair. He says, “Few presidential candidates are confronted with tests of poise, composure, character, and courage remotely as formidable as what she went through in 1998.”

In fact, in 1998, Mrs. Clinton had been enduring her husband’s serial affairs for approximately 20 years. During her husband’s first campaign for the presidency, she defended him – falsely – against Gennifer Flower’s allegations.

Later, when the Lewinsky matter flared up, Mrs. Clinton went on “The Today Show” and pronounced the new allegations as part of “a vast right-wing conspiracy.” After it became clear that the right-wing had not invented the Lewinsky affair, Mrs. Clinton remained silent on the situation – and has done so right up until the present.

As a charter member of the Vast (?) Right-Wing, I’m still waiting for an apology.

Where exactly were the “poise, composure, character, and courage” Shribman found? They were nowhere to be seen. Frankly, she has acted as if chronic adultery is a (somewhat?) unpleasant fact-of-life when one is running for President, as she has been for many, many years.

Shribman says that Hillary’s journey to the presidency faces some challenges. For example, “She must battle a public story-line (that she is a hard-bitten, cold, calculating careerist with a lust for power) that has not entirely disappeared.”

The problem is that Shribman – and others like him in the liberal journalistic community – never give much thought about whether the “story-line” is true. Is there any real evidence that it isn’t?

In fact, Shribman, a loving husband with two much-valued daughters, sees Mrs. Clinton as a person much like him. However, where exactly is the caring, loving, vulnerable side of Hillary Rodham Clinton? Are there examples of it anywhere in her public or private life?

When Mrs. Clinton was starting the process of re-defining herself, she pronounced that “every abortion is a tragedy.” Gee, what does she intend to do to prevent such tragedies? Because her election to the presidency depends on solid support from the pro-choice crowd, she proposes to do nothing.

Would she nominate strict constructionist judges – those with a primary allegiance to the Constitution – to the Supreme Court? Her husband appointed programmatic liberals, Ginsburg and Breyer, and there’s no doubt Mrs. Clinton would do the same.

Journalists like Shribman will almost never ask hard questions of Mrs. Clinton.

They will not enquire deeply into her “private life,” although they’ll have no hesitancy in doing so with Rudy Giuliani and other Republican candidates. In short, they’ll hold Hillary Clinton to low standards.

In pretending that Senator Clinton has only recently become the “front-runner,” Shribman is helping construct a “story-line” that has little to do with political reality. What’s next? Telling us that she’s now earned the status of “The Comeback Kid?”

Mrs. Clinton wants to become President because, well, she really, really wants to be President. That’s not a good enough reason. Unfortunately, you’ll never hear that from David Shribman.

Stephen R. Maloney -- Ambridge, PA


Note: This blog will continue to focus on several important Republicans who have the capacity to run for -- and to win -- the nation's highest offices. Right now, that groups consists of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, Heather A. Wilson, congresswoman from the Albuquerque area, Diana Lynn Irey, Washington Co. (PA) Commissioner who ran in 2006 against John Murtha, Melissa Hart, who will be running to win back her 4th Congressional District seat (my home district) in PA, and Bobby Jindal, a Louisian congressman who's seeking the governorship of that state. I may add one or two more individuals, and suggestions are welcome. These are Republicans who can help restore the Party's reputation.

Here's some information from Wikipedia about Congressman Jindal: Piyush "Bobby" Jindal (born June 10, 1971, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is a Louisiana politician. Jindal was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives on November 2, 2004, from Louisiana's First Congressional District based in the suburbs of New Orleans. He was re-elected to Congress in the 2006 election with 88 percent of the vote. He is a candidate for Governor in the October 20, 2007 election.

Note: He's a strong favorite to win the election, but he needs your help to ensure a victory.

Melissa A. Hart (born April 4, 1962) is an American politician who is a former member of the United States House of Representatives for the Fourth Congressional District of the state of Pennsylvania. Hart became the first Republican woman in history to represent Pennsylvania at the federal level. Prior to her Congressional tenure, Hart served in the Pennsylvania State Senate, where she chaired the finance committee. She was defeated for reelection to the 4th Congressional District in the November 7, 2006 elections and her term ended January 4, 2007.
Hart is an Italian-American, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[1] She graduated from North Allegheny High School and Washington and Jefferson College before entering law school. After graduating the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and being admitted to the Bar, Hart joined a major Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania law firm.

She is Catholic and opposes abortion. She is also firmly opposed to [federal funding of] embryonic stem cell research. In January 2006, she addressed an anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C., urging young people who oppose abortion to enter public service.

Note: The man who defeated Hart in 2006 is Jason Altmire. He ran as a "pro-life Democrat" (something that turns out to be in a real life an oxymoron). He has voted to fund embryonic stem cell research, proving that he doesn't take the pro-life business very far. During his campaign, Altmire said that John Murtha was his "campaign manager." In his campaign, Altmire indicated that he opposed a "timeline" for withdrawal from Iraq. After he entered Congress, Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha apparently "reasoned" with Altmire, and he voted for a timeline. He votes the "moderate" line only when his vote is not needed for a Democratic majority. In his former life, he served as a lobbyist for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a "non-profit" enterprise that recently declared a surplus (i.e., "profit") of $500 million. UPMC is the largest contributor to John Murtha, providing him with $140,000 in the last campaign.

Recently, Ms. Hart announced that she would run in 2008 to regain her seat, and -- considering the odious nature of her opponent -- she has a good chance to win.

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