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Flotsam and Jetsam

The NY Post observes: “It’s déjà vu all over again for Team Clinton – and America. And it’s already prompting reminders of all the sordid affairs that attended that era. On Tuesday, for instance, it was reported that Holder would be Obama’s attorney general. As deputy AG under then-President Bill Clinton, Holder played a key role in a Clinton-era scandal: the pardoning of fugitive financier Marc Rich.” One would hope that the President-elect would know to take only the best members of the Clinton administration. But apparently all of them are coming aboard.

The Washington Post is properly concerned — calling the Rich matter a “blot” on Holder’s record. (They don’t even mention the part about Holder’s steering Rich to attorney Jack Quinn, from whom Holder was seeking a job.)

Even Arlen Specter is concerned.

Another reason to root for Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State: the striped-pants set at State doesn’t like the idea. If CIA comes out against it, we know it is a fabulous idea.

Some question why Clinton is the best the GOP could hope for at State. Given that the President-elect had been advised by the likes of John Kerry, Bill Richardson, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Robert Malley, Tony McPeak, Chuck Hagel, and a few others, Clinton is a darn good pick. Nominating someone who sees eye-to-eye with them on Law of the Sea Treaty  isn’t happening, so they should happily settle for someone who voted for Kyl-Lieberman and thinks direct negotiations with Ahmadinejad is a stupid idea

In the internal GOP wars, one prediction: “My guess is that the winning side in these Republican debates will be tough on illegal immigration, federal spending and Obama.” Perhaps. But in the primary, the first didn’t carry the day, and in the general election the last two were rejected, while the first was utterly ignored. I think we err by focusing on policies and platforms without context and candidates. In 2004, no one would have imagined that the next election would be won by a candidate advocating direct presidential meetings with Iran, nationalized health care, and massive new spending.

Rick Moran doesn’t much care for John McCain’s ex-pollster’s nasty words: “People who don’t take responsibility for their own failures aren’t worth spit. And there seems to be a lot of them in the McCain campaign.” I think, despite many Republican fights on many topics, there is universal agreement on that sentiment.

Al Franken is trying to “raise public doubt about an ‘undervote’ — suggesting that only machine error can explain why he received 12.2 percentage points fewer votes than did Barack Obama.” Aside from an extra candidate in the race, isn’t the explanation that Franken is an obnoxious comedian who did not pay taxes or his workers’ compensation bills and would turn the Senate into more of a circus than it already is? Really, give the good people of Minnesota some credit.

Mary Katherine Ham gets the prize for the best Mike Huckabee zinger: “Wow, this guy’s so petty, you could put him in the 43 car and call him the King.”

President Obama will need more than John McCain to maneuver around Mitch McConnell. Anyone who knows anything about the Senate knows that, when it comes to building coalitions or upending bad deals, there is no one better than the Minority Leader. And McCain’s influence with Republicans — which is his sole utility to the new President (who already has the Democrats) — has likely never been weaker. He didn’t exactly endear himself to his party in the last campaign.


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