Bob Franken


July 10, 2007
A No-Win Situation (Bob Franken)
@ 11:23 am

We have one word for you, say the pollsters, when people are asked to describe the George W. Bush presidency: “Incompetent.” And there is nothing more damning than that.

Forget, for the moment, whether the United States should have gotten into this shooting war in Iraq. The widespread feeling is that his administration is “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” — bumblers who were adept at only one skill: Getting reelected.

So what does that say about the Democrats? Actually, I think it says a lot about high-level politics, and this is seriously going to antagonize all those slick consultants and pollsters whose greatest skill is really self-promotion: These days, national elections are not won, they are lost.

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July 9, 2007
Shared Values (Bob Franken)
@ 9:05 am

Well, apparently, Sunni and Shiite leaders in Iraq can sometimes agree.

We know, for instance, that they hold the same contempt for the American troops who are there to save them.

Now The Washington Post tells us that thanks to the fine job of country-saving thus far, leaders of both factions are demanding that their government make it easier for individuals to arm themselves — to lower impediments against gun ownership.

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July 6, 2007
The Soft-Spoken Revolution (Bob Franken)
@ 11:24 am

This is a big deal, people. No one, not the most ardent supporter of the war, not even John McCain, would consider Pete Domenici out on the fringes somewhere. In fact, Domenici has been as mainstream Republican as one could get over a long Senate career — just like John Warner and George Voinovich and Richard Lugar. These are not crazed, radical “cut-and-runners” by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact they are tiptoeing very carefully as they suggest the United States needs to escape from Iraq. But these very, very cagey politicians are well aware that their tiptoeing amounts to a hard stomping on the president’s argument that staying the course will ultimately result in success.

They are respectfully saying that’s baloney (as I said, “respectfully”) — concluding that the United States is on a course to disaster, and that getting the Iraqis to cooperate may be too much to hope for since they don’t even seem to like their occupiers.

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July 5, 2007
Mom, Pop and Apple Pieowa (Bob Franken)
@ 10:41 am

Hillary and Bill and Mitt and Ann. Omigod: Talk about a meeting of the platitudinous TITANS! There they were, “Spouse of” Bill Clinton, showing he still has that ability to talk while biting his lower lip, and Mitt Romney, with wife, showing he can move his lips and say very little. Meanwhile, candidate Hillary as usual was no slouch either with the cliches, both in the chance encounter with the Romneys and everywhere else.

Oh yeah, she has a new slogan: “Ready for change, ready to lead.” I think that replaces “More taste, less filling.”

For the most part, the candidates were serving up that native dish in Iowa: white bread. It was almost refreshing to hear also-running Joe Biden show his dark side by calling the president of the United States “brain dead.”

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July 3, 2007
D.C. Commuting (Bob Franken)
@ 10:32 am

I’ve been taught by the master, my fellow Pundits Blogger and old friend Lanny Davis, in the art of the “Friday Night Dump.” Those of us covering all the public relations disasters of the Clinton presidency, finessed so often by Lanny, never made plans for Friday night.

So I was surprised the White House made this a MONDAY night dump instead of waiting one day to make sure EVERYONE was somewhere else for the Fourth.

But that should be the only surprise. Forget the political analysis that President Bush needs to keep intact what little support he has left. There are actually some arguments for his commuting Scooter Libby, based on the merits, of all things.

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