Who Should Lead the Democrats?

And now the most interesting two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:

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Boycott or Backoff?
A former New York Times media columnist, who still sometimes writes for the paper, says the Times decision to spike two sports page columns that disagreed with the paper's editorial page was "a mistake in judgment." Alex Jones, who now heads the Shorenstein Media Center at Harvard, told the Washington Post the decisions to spike the two columns were "appalling." The columns disagreed with Times editorials calling on Tiger Woods to boycott the Masters Golf Tournament because the Augusta National Club does not admit women members. Times Managing Editor Gerald Boyd, meanwhile, has explained to the staff in a memo that "part of our strict separation between the news and editorial pages entails not attacking each other. Intramural quarreling of that kind is unseemly and self-absorbed."

Dems Disagree on Future Leader
Speaking of intramural squabbling, prominent Democrats are disagreeing over the 2002 election and over who should now lead the party. Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, a leading House liberal, says Al Gore should not run for president because “Gore would lose...his negatives are too high." Frank is backing fellow Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry. He told the Boston Herald that "Gore was the leading opponent of Bush. Then 9/11 happened. That made Bush a popular president. Al's been wounded. It's unfair and it's not his fault, but it's reality."

Al Takes on Bill...
And the Rev. Al Sharpton is taking on fellow New York Democrat Bill Clinton for his contention this week that Democrats lost the midterm election for lack of a strong message. Sharpton told the Washington Times, "He was the messenger. He was the one out there and helped run the campaign, him and Terry McAuliffe. So how can he give an objective opinion." Sharpton also disagreed with the designation of Clinton by the black writer Toni Morrison as the first black president. Clinton, he said, "was the first beige president. If I run, I will be the first black president." Sharpton says, however, his appeal would not be narrow, " I can get white voters. I got white voters when I ran for Senate. I got dairy farmers. I got all kinds of people."