Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Question of Accountability
The Washington Post reports, based on an interview with the president, that Mr. Bush believes, as The Post put it that there’s no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgment in prewar planning in Iraq (search), or managing the violent aftermath there. But according to the transcript Mr. Bush said no such thing.
The Post did ask him why he held no one accountable for what some considered mistakes in Iraq. Mr. Bush did not answer, saying only, "We had an accountability moment and that’s called the 2004 election. And the American people listened to assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me, for which I am grateful."
Harvard University President Larry Summers (search) has stirred up another controversy in Cambridge. After angering liberal activists by chastising popular Black Studies Professor Cornell West (search) for his political activities, Summers has now provoked outrage at a conference on women in science last week, when he said that their lack of innate scientific ability may explain the scarcity of women in scientific careers.
Biologist Nancy Hopkins told The Boston Globe that if she hadn’t walked out on Summers, "I would have either blacked out or thrown up." But Summers says he was only putting forward a theory not stating his own views. And that the conference organizer had said he was specifically asked to be provocative.
John Kerry continues to say he won’t challenge the results of November’s presidential election. But he told an annual Martin Luther King Day (search) celebration that "Thousands of people were suppressed in the effort to vote." He complained, "In Democratic districts it took people four, five, eleven hours to vote, while Republicans went through in ten minutes." Adding, "In a nation which wiling to spend several hundred millions of dollars in Iraq to bring them democracy, we cannot tolerate that too many people here in America were denied that democracy."
MLK Day Protest
And the conservative Black Organization of A New Destiny (search) has protested Jesse Jackson on every Martin Luther King Day for the last five years. But the group’s leader Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson says they won’t hold a National Day of Repudiation this year, because he says Jackson is fading away on his own.
Peterson has called Jackson “wicked” and said his moral shortcomings and outrageous statements have taken a toll on black America. But Peterson now says that Jackson’s stock has dropped so far that he feels no need to protest this year.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report