Man Without Qualities

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XVII: Fresh, Rested And Tan From The Slopes

Fresh from having called one of his Secret Service protectors a "son-of-a-bitch" for making the Honorable Senator fall in the snow, John Kerry has been heard loudly on the side of Richard Clarke, decrying his "character assassination" by the administration. How astute is that, where Mr. Clarke is viewed with suspicion by most of the electorate? Where's the pay off for Kerry in doing that? Only 17 percent of poll respondents said Clarke's testimony made their view of Mr. Bush less favorable and 10 percent said Clarke's testimony made their view of Mr. Bush more favorable.

More favorable?

In any event, on Clarke, Kerry said: "Every time somebody comes up and says something that this White House doesn't like, they don't answer the questions about it or show you the truth about it. They go into character assassination mode." ... "It is entirely inappropriate and almost hysterical of the White House to engage in this massive character assassination," Kerry said later in an interview with Kansas City television station KMBC.

But most voters seem to think that Mr. Clarke has already assassinated his own character - and this before the real response to his testimony has been presented, including release of his prior. alegedly inconsistent, Congressional testimony. As Newsweek reports:

[O]nly a quarter of those who have been following the story say they see Clarke as a selfless public servant. Fifty percent suspect Clarke has some personal or political agenda, while another 25 percent don’t know what to make of his accusations. By a margin of 61 percent to 34 percent, Americans feel that, overall, the Bush administration has taken the terror threat seriously. The numbers are the reverse for Bush’s predecessor: 65 percent are critical of how seriously they believe the Clinton administration took the threat.

This is a bandwagon Senator Kerry wants to hop on?

Senator Kerry has hitched his wagon to a book=selling star apparently set to make over One Million Dollars from his "whistleblowing" - more if he can keep it on the best seller list, and who is now being criticized by the families of 9-11 victims as "divisive and mean-spirited" and a "profiteer" from the terror that killed their relatives. As the New York Post reports:

Retired FDNY firefighter Jim Boyle, who lent his name to the letter, ripped into Clarke, who served as a counterterrorism adviser to the past four presidents. "Richard Clarke is doing all of this to sell his book," said Boyle, whose Bravest son, Michael Boyle, died in the WTC. "What he's doing isn't right. He's trying to make money off our pain. This was all orchestrated to benefit him," Boyle told The Post. Retired FDNY Capt. John Vigiano Sr. said he's "incensed" with Clarke. "He's all about promoting his book, plain and simple," said Vigiano Sr., whose sons John, a firefighter, and Joseph, a police officer, died in the WTC attacks. "It's all about greed. He shouldn't be doing this. He's showing a lack of loyalty to the president. It's awful." The blistering letter, signed by more than 36 people who lost loved ones in the WTC, came a day after the Senate's top Republican, Bill Frist, accused Clark of an "appalling act of profiteering." Meanwhile, a Newsweek poll released yesterday found that 65 percent of Americans say Clarke's testimony hasn't affected their opinion of the president.

Senator Kerry complains of the Administration's "character assassination" of Mr. Clarke. But it's beginning to look as though the NYFD is more than willing to throttle Mr. Clarke's character right through to the election.

Couldn't the Senator have waited until things shook out a bit? Who told the Senator to do that now? Mr. Schrum? Did the Senator think this up on his own? Don't any of this people remember the "booing" at Hillary Clinton's pretentions?

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