- Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 05:00
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She has the most unusual resume in the history of American politics. She also has had one of the most successful careers in American politics and the betting is that it might not be over yet.
Her background is pretty well known. In 1975 Hillary Rodham married Bill Clinton, an up and coming politician from Arkansas. She followed him into the governor’s mansion and in 1992 into the White House. As First Lady she was easily the most controversial person to ever hold the position. She dabbled in health care, had to explain some dubious investments, and hearkened to a vast right wing conspiracy that was out to get her husband. She was, for many on the right, the person they loved to hate. But she had supporters, lots of them, and they were hoping that once Bill Clinton’s administration was over, she would run for office.
In this regard she got a little ahead of schedule and ran for the Senate when she was still First Lady. A definite “first” (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) in American politics, but in 2000 New York seemed delighted to have her and she routed her Republican opponent Rick Lazio. She even managed to carry several upstate counties that hadn’t voted for a Democrat in years. Her first term in the Senate was successful. She wasn’t a lightweight, as her detractors predicted, and in something that proved a surprise, she was particularly adept at reaching across the aisle and working with Republicans. She swept to reelection in 2006.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 05:00
- Hits: 967
Summertime is often a quiet time for the press. This means reporters have to go farther down the pile of wire service clippings and press releases to find something to write about. Perhaps that’s why the media gave so much attention to National Public Radio’s decision to officially change their name to NPR. I have to admit, since I have referred to them almost exclusively by their initials for years, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. But to some, probably starved for something to fill copy space, this was a
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 16:14
- Published on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 16:14
- Hits: 641
Six months ago, while it was considered a given that Democrats would lose seats in the mid-term House and Senate elections, very few pundits were predicting that their majority was at stake. However, that’s changed and while it’s still early in the campaign, more and more, the question that keeps coming up is will the midterm elections in 2010 be a repeat of the 1994 Republican Revolution that swept the GOP to power in both Houses of Congress? The Republicans are hoping it will be and take every opportunity to look for similarities between their 1994 win and this year’s election. The Democrats on the other hand try to downplay such comparisons. They argue, with some justification, that the circumstances are different, and that they still have a good chance of holding power in both Houses. But, both parties are coming to the conclusion that the House, and quite possibly the Senate, are up for grabs.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 05:00
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Sometimes, when it comes to war and global politics, it seems as if the present and the past have a way of overlapping. Recently, on a trip to Scotland’s Capitol, Edinburgh, I was walking across the North Bridge which links the older part of the city with its new town. In the middle of the bridge there is a memorial to the sacrifices of a Scottish Regiment and all its campaigns. One of the most prominent was the Regiment’s deployment to Afghanistan. However, this wasn’t in the 21st century, but rather, covered their service between 1881 and 1883. For a moment, at least for me, past and present were indeed overlapping.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 05:00
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Governor Bob McDonnell’s office hasn’t been able to offer much good news when it comes to the state budget or the economy. However, that may be changing.
Of course, the Governor’s office is being cautious and isn’t saying much.
But as we wind down the fiscal year, which in the Commonwealth ends the last day of June, it looks like the state, in 2010, might actually have a surplus. Yes, you read that right, a surplus. And while we don’t know for sure just yet, the signs are promising. The state, to make ends meet, needs to collect $1.37 billion in June. That’s a lot of money, but last year, during the height of the recession, we managed $1.5 billion, and so a lot of the fiscal types in Richmond see a surplus as a distinct possibility.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 05:00
- Hits: 704
I’ve been guilty of this myself, but it’s become commonplace among political commentators to dismiss the Tea Party Movement as just a collection of far right fringe activists. “Wing nuts” as one of my Democratic friends called them. Some have been labeled racist, reactionary, and depending on whom you talk to, dangerous. None of which seems remotely fair. I am not a tea partier myself. Not even close. And no one who reads my column would think that. But I do think the Tea Partiers are getting a bad rap. And while it pains me to quote a term Sarah Palin pioneered, it’s coming primarily from “the mainstream media.” OK, yes, the Fox Network likes them, big surprise there, but for the most part, the other major media outlets make no effort to understand them. What’s more, they go out of their way to paint them in the worst light possible. It also misses the point, that like it or not, they are becoming a powerful force in American politics. They can’t be marginalized and they can’t be ignored.
One of the first questions many people ask about the tea party movement is “are they a political party, or a movement?” The answer to that one seems to be the latter. They are, as they like to say, a grassroots movement and a lot of what defines the tea party movement isn’t so much organization as it is ideology. Ironically, borrowing a page from the Obama campaign, they do a lot of their communicating and organizing over the Internet. Notices about meetings, town halls, GOP caucuses, rallies, and meet ups come through an ever growing e-mail list.