Oprah has given Obama a powerful boost, and that provoked a memory. In September 2000, Governor Bush was trailing Vice President Gore, pretty significantly. A prominent political analyst declared Bush “toast.” And then Bush went on Oprah and Regis — had very good appearances. And his numbers rose. The Oprah appearance, in particular, was thought to be a real boost.
A second prominent political analyst, in a private remark, said, “What a stupid country.” I’ve never forgotten that.
You might have heard the statement that Bill Shaheen made, in resigning from the Hillary Clinton campaign. He had brought up Obama’s drug use. He said, “I would like to reiterate that I deeply regret my comments yesterday and say again that they were in no way authorized by Senator Clinton or the Clinton campaign. Senator Clinton has been running a positive campaign focused on the issues that matter to America’s families.”
The issues that matter to America’s families. Is there not something slightly Orwellian about Shaheen’s statement, overall? Something programmed, rote, forced — almost comical? It reminded me a little of a Maoist self-criticism. Have I mentioned lately that I don’t care for the Clintons and their operations — never have, never will?
This article was sort of interesting — and sort of weird. The AP asked the presidential candidates to name their “most prized possession.” Huckabee was folksy, of course, and he also might have helped himself with the Second Amendment crowd (which, of course, includes me): “Probably my Tobias bass guitar or maybe, I’ve got a handmade musket rifle that was made by a guy in Eureka Springs, Ark. I’ve hunted turkey with it. It’s really an amazing firearm. Probably one of those two as far as just real heirlooms.”
And what did Fred Thompson say? “Trophy wife.”
According to the article, he really did (“tongue in cheek”).
You may enjoy this: The ABA Journal — which is to say, the journal of the American Bar Association — named former attorney general Alberto Gonzales Lawyer of the Year. It also named the new attorney general, Michael Mukasey, the “top lawyer for 2008.” Those words come from the AP — and here’s some more of that article:
The monthly magazine gave the awards to lawyers who made the most news, said editor and publisher Edward A. Adams. “Think about Time magazine’s Person of the Year,” Adams said in an interview. “In years past they’ve named people like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin. So we’re not suggesting by these awards that these are the best lawyers in any sense of the word.”
Hitler and Stalin, in a discussion of Bush’s attorneys general. They’re all class, the ABA — all class.
Years ago, when I was fairly young — 1987, the Bork nomination — I learned to despise the ABA. And, maybe worse than despising it, to have no respect for it. I wish something could change my mind, as the years roll on.
I thought of something, when reading this article on Bjorn Lomborg and other environmental scientists who aren’t squarely on the global-warming bandwagon. First, let me do a little quoting of the article:
As Al Gore shows off his Nobel Peace Prize and world policy-makers hammer out a new strategy for saving the planet, climate change contrarians say they have been elbowed out of the debate. They say mainstream scientists have stifled healthy intellectual discourse by demonizing dissenters as oil industry lobbyists or lunatics.
“I really think it reflects entirely on them,” said Lomborg, a mild-mannered Danish statistician who says global warming isn’t a big threat and that international treaties requiring sharp and immediate cuts in carbon emissions would cost a lot but do little good.
Angry words and table-pounding, he said, only show “that your argument is not that strong.”
And what I thought of is a story I learned from Tony Daniels. Sometime in the 1930s (I believe), 100 “Aryan” scientists signed a letter against Albert Einstein, declaring his Theory of Relativity to be a Jewish hoax (or something like that). Asked to respond to the letter, Einstein said, “If what they are saying were true, one signature would have been enough.”
Yes, truth is no respecter of majorities. And truth-seekers do not take comfort in, and are not overly impressed by, numbers.
Unwelcome Headline of the Week — or Month: “Iran Lauds Talks with UN Watchdog.” (The headline is over this article.)
Yeah, it would, wouldn’t it? And I cherish a term I learned from John Bolton’s book: The IAEA is not so much a “watchdog” as a “watchpuppy.”
I realize there’s nothing funny about the Iranian nuclear situation, but . . .
As longtime Impromptus readers know, Álvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia, is one of my favorite world leaders. He is certainly one of the most impressive statesmen I have ever met or interviewed. I started at this headline from last week: “Alleged Plot to Take Uribe’s Kids Foiled.” And the first sentence: “Colombia’s police chief said Thursday that his forces have foiled an alleged plot to kidnap President Alvaro Uribe’s two adult children after monitoring the cell phone calls of jailed guerrillas.” (For the article, go here.)