Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A new report says Bill Clinton was not supposed to spend nearly as much time as he did campaigning for his wife in South Carolina — prior to that state's primary. Hillary Clinton lost to Barack Obama by a two-to-one margin —- in what most political analysts believe was a disastrous week for the candidate.
The Los Angeles Times reports Mr. Clinton overruled his wife's campaign strategists — who did not believe they could win South Carolina — and had wanted to him to move on quickly and concentrate on other southern states. But campaign aides tell the Times Mr. Clinton decided to stay several days — during which time he got into a series of angry confrontations with the press and others — and hurt his wife's standing with many African Americans.
Mr. Clinton, among other things, called Obama's version of his stance on the Iraq war a "fairy tale" — then compared Obama's win in South Carolina to that of Jesse Jackson 20 years earlier.
Some feminists are becoming increasingly frustrated that other feminists are supporting Obama — and not Hillary Clinton. What the L.A. Times refers to as "old school feminists" are lined up against each other. Some Clinton supporters say their sisters' abandonment of a female candidate is indicative of a society in which an older, more experienced woman is often pushed aside for a younger male colleague.
Clinton supporter Gloria Steinem says women have tougher times in both public and private life than African-American men.
She writes in The New York Times — "Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. . . . Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot and generally have ascended to positions of power . . . before any women."
The counterpoint comes from liberal columnist Katha Pollitt — an Obama supporter — "Even if it were true that white women were more oppressed than black men ... that still doesn't mean you should vote for Hillary Clinton."
Steinem has taken a slap at presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. The New York Observer reports she discussed McCain's capture and imprisonment by the Viet Cong during a Hillary Clinton campaign event in Texas.
"This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don't think so."
"Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years... Reporters would ask, what did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years? "
The New York Post reports the Clinton campaign quickly distanced itself from the remarks — saying the comments "do not represent Senator Clinton's thinking in any way."
A Better Idea?
The idea that congressional Democrats have no plan to end the Iraq war and bring the troops home is being underscored in remarks by none other than House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey.
Congressional Quarterly reports that even though Democrats have been totally unsuccessful in pushing the president their way in war policy — Obey says challenging Mr. Bush now is not a matter of strategy, but necessity — "I don't have a strategy on the war. I'm against it. I hate it. That's not a strategy, it's a conviction."
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.