Monthly Archives: March 2008

Ventura/Kennedy `08: Vote For Us, Or We’ll Kick Your Ass

Jesse Ventura 

WHO WOODA THUNK IT?

As we reported back in early January, Jesse Ventura is wrestling with running for President of the United States. And he wants Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his running mate in `08.

The former pro wrestler and enigmatic Minnesota Governor could be just teasing us, of course. Or maybe not.

In the opening of his forthcoming book, “Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me!,”  (due out April 1), Ventura writes: “As I begin to write this book, I’m facing probably the most monumental decision of my 56 years on this planet. Will I run for president of the United States, as an independent, in 2008? Or will I stay as far away from the fray as possible, in a place with no electricity, on a remote beach in Mexico?”

Throughout the book, Ventura seems to go back and forth on the question, pro and con:

Pro: “My outrage knows few bounds. … I can’t live with this apathy. I can’t tell myself it’s not happening.”

Con: “Psychologically, I need to break away from the United States. I also felt it was time in my life to go on an adventure. … And I found that, even in the 21st century, you can still be something of a Kit Carson,” the renowned 19th-century frontiersman.

Pro: He details a conversation he had in Mexico with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about running together on an independent, third-party ticket.

Con: His wife, Terry, says she refuses to be first lady of anything again.

APRIL FOOL’S JOKE?

It could all be some kind of publicity stunt to promote his new book, of course, but Ventura is set to appear on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Tuesday, April 1st. Presumably Ventura will take that opportunity to announce his independent bid for the presidency.

That is – if he’s really running. Thousands have signed the VotersforVentura draft petition, many of them calling for RFK Jr. to be by his side as the Vice Presidential candidate.

Well, I guess that pretty much decides it. It’s not like Bobby would have much of a choice in the matter, really. After all, if Jesse Ventura decides he’s running for president, comes to you and says you’re going to be his running mate, what are you gonna say? No?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

WHY WOULD VENTURA PICK KENNEDY AS HIS VP?

Like readers of this blog need to be told why RFK Jr. should be in the White House, even as Vice President. We know what he stands for and the leadership qualities he posesses. We think he’s already the best man for the top job. 

Obviously Jesse Ventura agrees, or he wouldn’t select Bobby Kennedy Jr. to be the man who is one heartbeat away from the presidency. But is there a bigger reason why Ventura chose Kennedy to be his running mate?

The answer may lie in some of the former Minnesota Governor’s comments about the JFK Assassination. In his now-legendary Playboy interview, Ventura said:

‘Name me one person who can verify that the Warren Commission is factual. You’re talking to an ex-Navy Seal here. Oswald had seven seconds to get three rounds off. He’s got a bolt action weapon, and he’s going to miss the first shot and hit the next two?

If Oswald was indeed who they say he was—a disgruntled little Marine who got angry and became pro-Marxist and decided to shoot the president—please explain why everything would be locked in the archives until 2029 and put under national security? How could he affect national security?”

Ventura even went on to outline who he thought was behind the murder and what the motive was. He believed the actual assassins were hired guns, maybe Cubans, maybe Europeans. Who hired them? Agents of the military-industrial complex. Motive? To prevent Kennedy’s impending withdrawal from Vietnam.

Ventura then went on to explain the reason the media hasn’t told the truth about the case:

That’s because every bit of real evidence is ridiculed. The method is to dismiss it by saying: “Oh that’s just those conspiracy nuts.”

With these outspoken, bare-knuckled remarks on a political murder that will not disappear, as well as his comments made since, Ventura has become the highest-level politician to launch a virulent and sustained attack on the official story.

 

ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY

Ventura’s candid approach and his bravery in taking of the Kennedy case are admirable. His honesty about the events of November of 1963 proves him a serious man and a forthright one. In fact, Ventura may be able to put the questions of that mystery on the political map if he keeps pressing it. Re-opening the JFK case may become a campaign issue (better yet, make that a promise, will you, Jesse?) if he becomes a candidate for the presidency.

With RFK Jr. at his side, Ventura could make things happen in Washington. We might then finally see a real investigation into the murder of our beloved 35th president, and maybe even some justice served before all of the elderly conspirators leave this world.

SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THE JFK ASSASSINATION AND 9/11

Ventura is quite the Kennedy assassination scholar, as it turns out; he spoke in Dealey Plaza on the 40th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination in 2003. Also, the co-author of Ventura’s forthcoming book is Dick Russell, whose list of credits include “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” a much-revered book about the JFK assassination. 

Incidentally, Dick Russell also penned a wonderful article about RFK Jr. a few years back, and the two are said to be very good friends. Outside of his JFK research, the primary focus of Dick Russell’s magazine writing and personal activism has been the environment – particularly the crisis impacting the world’s fisheries and oceans, one of the causes closest to Kennedy’s heart.

In his new book with Russell, Jesse Ventura takes a courageous stand in his remarks about 9/11. He questions the official government version of events which lead us into this ill-advised war on terror. Citing previous history – the Battleship Maine, Operation Northwoods, the Gulf of Tonkin incident – he says that the United States is not above staging an attack as a pretext for war. After all, we’ve done it before.

Ventura said that it was via his 25-year research of the Kennedy assassination that he came to learn about the Gulf of Tonkin and Operation Northwoods.

“It was very disappointing to believe in your country that they would lie to you to get into a war – that they would perpetrate a lie and that the media would go along with it – it’s a real eye opener and you realize that if they would do it in the sixties they’ll do it again – and if it works once it will work again – government very much operates that way,” said Ventura.

Ventura said that shortly after he found out the truth behind the Gulf of Tonkin, Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defense to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson) paid a visit to Harvard where Ventura was teaching and he had to be “locked up in a room” so that he wouldn’t confront McNamara.

ONE MIGHTY TOUGH TICKET

When one tries to imagine Jesse Ventura and Robert Kennedy invading Washington together, images of rats scurrying comes to mind. With these two powerful, equally driven reformers joining their considerable forces, Washington might finally become a corruption-free zone again. And we’d probably see a lot of real estate formerly occupied by corporate lobbyists along K Street up for sale.

Anybody in their right mind would have to think twice about crossing the path of a former professional wrestler, especially if he’s the president. Not to mention a vice president who trains birds of prey and keeps live alligators in his home.

One also tries to imagine these two on the campaign trail, moving like a freight train of truth across the country. And just think of the TV ads showing us Jesse and Bobby in all their pumped-up pectoral glory – what kind of message would that send to any potential enemy of the United States? “Don’t even think about it fool, or we’ll kick your ass!”

rfkjrsailing2.jpgJesse Ventura wrestling

Message for Osama “Slim” bin Laden: You wanna mess with these guys?????

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE

Your thoughts: April Fool’s joke, or is Ventura serious? Would he be the President to re-open the JFK Assassination case and finally declassify all of the documents? What do you think of RFK Jr. on the ticket? Are they compatible on the issues? How much damage would they do to the Democrats, the Green Party, the Ron Paul Republicans and Nader independents?

In this era of political restlessness and revolution, we’re on an unprecedented roller-coaster ride where it feels like literally anything could happen or absolutely nothing could happen.  This election year, there’s no way to predict how the voters will react to such a powerful independent challenge as this. Truth be told, I think a lot of people would love to see it happen. In a presidential election where all conventional wisdom is out the window, could a Ventura/Kennedy ticket actually win?

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your Thoughts: Who Should RFK Jr. Choose As His Running Mate?

bumperstickersm.jpg 

NAME THAT TICKET: KENNEDY/??????

Just for grins (this ain’t no scientific poll!), we’d like to know your thoughts:

If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ran for President of the United States, who would you like to see as his running mate? Who should he pick for VP?

A few names have already been floated over the past year as potential running mates – we’ve heard some great suggestions so far, such as:

  • Al Gore (wouldn’t that be the environmental dream ticket of the century?)
  • Senator Edward Kennedy (a Kennedy/Kennedy ticket? Interesting!)
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich (always thought Kennedy/Kucinich had a great ring to it)
  • Former Senator Mike Gravel (longtime Democrat and 2008 presidential candidate who has now converted to Libertarianism)
  • Ralph Nader (although at age 74, we worry a bit about the “one heartbeat away” thing)
  • Senator Hillary Clinton (yes, it has been suggested that if she loses the Democratic nomination, she might just go renegade! How bad does she want the White House, anyway? And as VP, would she actually be the one to answer the phone at 3 A.M.instead of the President?)
  • Former Minnesota Governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura (who speaks of a possible independent run for the presidency in 2008 with RFK Jr. as his running mate. No jest!)

 

These are just a few ideas that have been suggested – some are flat crazy, some make sense. But we think the readers of this blog probably have some better ideas. Many of you are Bobby’s biggest fans – you know better than anyone who would make a great running mate for him – so let us know your thoughts.

We want to hear from you: imagining not only a winning ticket on the campaign trail, but who would serve him best in a presidential administration. Who would you like to see as Bobby Kennedy Jr.’s Vice President?

 

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Op-Ed: Throw the Bums Out of D.C.

THEY DON’T CALL IT THE “DISTRICT OF CRIMINALS” FOR NUTHIN’ 

By Jack Mosel

Guest Blogger

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:

* 29 have been accused of spousal abuse

* 7 have been arrested for fraud

* 19 have been accused of writing bad checks

* 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

* 3 have done time for assault

* 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

* 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

* 8 have been arrested for shoplifting

* 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits

* 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year…

Can you guess which organization this is?

Give up yet?

It’s the 535 members of the United States Congress.

The same group that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line!

There should be a background check for criminal activity if one is going to be in charge of running our country… oh no – wait – actually, every member of Congress does have to go through an exhaustive background check before taking office. They seem to get themselves in trouble after taking office. Then they stay in office. And get in more trouble.

Think it might be time to throw the bums out yet?

We need a top-to-bottom housecleaning in Washington D.C.

Voting for a new president this year is a start in the right direction, but that alone is not enough. So when the midterms come around in 2010, you know what to do, America!

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the above editorial are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., or the owners of this website. You may contact the author directly at: moseljack@yahoo.com.

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Bobby Brings Daughter Kick Into the Spotlight

Bobby Kennedy Jr. with daughter Kick

RFK Jr. and daughter Kick. Her friend Zander sits between them.

BOBBY AND KICK KENNEDY APPEAR ON “MORNING JOE”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his eldest daughter Kathleen (”Kick”) stopped by “Morning Joe” recently to talk about Kennedy’s new IMAX 3-D film, Grand Canyon Adventure.

The film, narrated by Robert Redford, with a soundtrack by the Dave Matthews Band, features Bobby and his daughter Kick going on a whitewater rafting adventure down the Colorado River. The film opens across the country on March 20 in IMAX theatres.

Kennedy hopes it will help to raise awareness of his decades-long fight to save the nation’s waterways and conserve this most precious natural rescource.

Kick Kennedy, a granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy and Stanford University student, has kept a fairly low profile until now. This new film marks her cinematic debut, bringing her into the public eye for the first time. She seems totally confident and at ease appearing beside her father in media appearances to promote Grand Canyon Adventure.

As you’ll see in the interview, she is lovely young woman brimming with charm and good humor – we look forward to hearing much more from her in the future.

In case you missed the live broadcast last week, here’s the video of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” interview from March 12. The segment is about 10 minutes long. Click the link below to watch it on GoLeft.tv:

WATCH THE VIDEO OF RFK JR. AND KICK KENNEDY HERE

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RFK Jr. IMAX Film Opens At SXSW Festival

NEW RFK JR. FILM, “GRAND CANYON ADVENTURE” OPENS AT AUSTIN’S SXSW FESTIVAL

Grand Canyon Adventure 3D: River at Risk

Opens March 14 at Austin’s only IMAX Theatre, located inside the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Call (512) 936-4649 to reserve your tickets.
Click HERE for IMAX Theatre showtimes.

There is no late seating in the IMAX® Theatre.  Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled show time.

Grand Canyon Adventure 3D poster.Set against the immense backdrop of a natural treasure, Grand Canyon Adventure 3D: River at Risk will take audiences on an exhilarating adventure down the Colorado River in the company of a team of explorers who are committed to bringing awareness to global water issues.

One of the world’s mightiest rivers, the Colorado, no longer reaches the sea. Every drop of river water is allocated to agriculture and populations along the way, many of whom don’t even realize their connection to the river.

Join the free family-friendly opening celebration on Saturday, March 15 from 1-4 pm, sponsored by 3M. You can see a large scale “erosion station,” build your own water cycle generator, learn about water conservation from folks at the Texas Water Development Board, and even hop in a boat for a great photo op!

Narrated by Robert Redford, the river journey is a compelling and emotional personal story for the film’s main characters, two fathers and their 18-year old daughters who soon will be leaving home to make their own way.

The cinematic guides include the renowned Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a leading advocate for water conservation and river restoration, and his daughter Kick.

They are joined by Wade Davis, an ethno-botanist and author who has traveled the world studying other cultures, and his daughter Tara. Shana Watahomigie, who grew up at the Canyon’s edge with her Havasupai family, is their Grand Canyon guide.

As the expedition journeys down river, audiences will learn about the challenges and opportunities that exist for conserving and restoring watersheds. A MacGillivray Freeman Film that combines science and adventure with some of giant screen cinema’s most compelling imagery and locations, Grand Canyon Adventure 3D delivers a message of hope and inspiration.

Image from Grand Canyon Adventure 3D.This is MacGillivray Freeman’s first-ever 3D film for IMAX Theaters and will provide audiences with a unique experience. “A river trip is one of those amazing life events where you’re ripped out of your daily routine and inspired to see the world in new ways. With IMAX 3D images, we’re able to put the audience even more into the action and let them participate in every twist and turn,” says the film’s two-time Academy Award-nominated producer/director Greg MacGillivray.

A stirring score featuring songs and music from the Grammy Award-winning Dave Matthews Band sets the mood for this adventure that explores the spiritual, artistic and life-sustaining powers of water—and makes crystal clear that each of us must do our part to better manage this crucial resource for the future.

Image from Grand Canyon Adventure 3D.Grand Canyon Adventure 3D: River at Risk is produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films and MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation in association with Waterkeeper Alliance and Museum Film Network, presented by Teva and supported by Kohler Co. The film is directed by Greg MacGillivray, produced by Greg MacGillivray, Mark Krenzien, and Shaun MacGillivray, and written by Jack Stephens and Stephen Judson. The score is co-composed by Dave Matthews Band’s Stefan Lessard and Steve Wood.

Check out the official website at www.grandcanyonadventurefilm.com

Grand Canyon Adventure 3D opens at the IMAX Theatre of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum March 14, 2008. Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors/military/students (with college ID) and $5 for youths age 18 and under.

The IMAX Theatre is located in the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum at 1800 N. Congress Avenue at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

 

Article and photos from TheStoryofTexas.com

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NY Gov. Spitzer Caught in a Honey Trap

Mel Brooks in

Mel Brooks in blazing SaddlesEliot Spitzer's press conference today

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer at today’s embarassing press conference. Silda, Spitzer’s wife of 21 years, puts on a brave-but-unamused face and stands by his side. AP photo.

THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES

With the bombshell news breaking late today that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has been implicated in a prostitution ring, the Democratic politician will now forever be known as “Client 9,” one of the johns described in a recently unsealed FBI affidavit detailing the operation of the Emperors Club, an international call girl ring.

The FBI wiretap captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington on Feb. 13, where he had reserved a hotel room, according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan. The person briefed on the case and the law enforcement official identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

Mr. Spitzer, a first term Democrat, today made a brief public appearance during which he apologized for his behavior, and described it as a “private matter.” He did not address his political future.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong,” said Mr. Spitzer, who appeared with his wife Silda at his Manhattan office. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.”

“I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”

Before speaking, Mr. Spitzer stood with his arm around his wife; the two nodded and then strode forward together to face more than 100 reporters. Both had glassy, tear-filled eyes, but they did not cry.

As he went to leave, three reporters called out, “Are you resigning? Are you resigning?”, and Mr. Spitzer charged out of the room, slamming the door.

CLIENT 9 CALLS BUTTERFIELD 8

The man described as Client 9 in the affidavit arranged to meet with a call girl who was part of the ring, Emperors Club VIP. The tryst was scheduled, ironically enough, for the night before Valentine’s Day.

The affidavit says that Client 9 met with the woman in hotel room 871 but does not identify the hotel. Mr. Spitzer stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on Feb. 13, according to a source who was told of his travel arrangements. Room 871 at the Mayflower Hotel that evening was registered under the name George Fox.

The law enforcement official said that several people running the prostitution ring knew Mr. Spitzer by the name of George Fox, though a few of the prostitutes came to realize he was the governor of New York.

Mr. Fox is a friend and donor to Mr. Spitzer. Asked in a telephone interview Monday whether he accompanied Mr. Spitzer to Washington on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, Mr. Fox responded: “Why would you think that? I did not.”

Told that the Room 871 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel was registered in Mr. Fox’s name but with Mr. Spitzer’s Fifth Avenue address, Mr. Fox said, “That is the first I have heard of it. Until I speak to the governor further, I have no comment.”

Elizabeth Taylor in

When asked by Gov. Spitzer to remind him “what she looks like,” Emperor’s Club VIP described his lady of the evening as being “American, about five-foot-five, 105 lbs., a petite, pretty brunette.” Is it just me, or is this story starting to sound like the classic Elizabeth Taylor film “Butterfield 8”?

THE GOVERNOR’S “ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE”

Upon reading the initial reports, you might be inclined to call Governor Spitzer an idiot for being so indiscreet in the first place. Or for using his friend’s name to make arrangements with an escort service without that friend’s apparent knowledge. You could call him a philanderer, since it appears he does regular business with the escort agency in question. You could call him a hypocrite for holding himself up as a crusader for law and order in public while engaging in illegal activity privately.

But there’s one thing you can’t call the man: a cheapskate.

Considering the upscale fees charged by the Emperor’s Club for the pleasure of their model/companion’s “company,” it is clear that the Governor has expensive tastes and prefers champagne to beer. And why not? He can certainly afford it as a rich New York lawyer with oodles of old family money to play with — assuming the funds for this illicit transaction came from his own personal bank account.

That being said, it will be interesting to follow the money trail as the investigation progresses. Then we may just find out how stupid this guy really is.

In he meantime, his defenders can always say he’s doing his part to “stimulate” the “sagging” economy with a “package” designed to help single mothers and beautiful young women in his state.

As described in the FBI document, Client 9 (a repeat customer with an account on file at the agency) apparently went to great lengths to arrange his Washington encounter, choosing to mail money in advance, instead of using a credit card. Client 9, whose conversations were recorded by an FBI wiretap, would not do “traditional wire transferring,” the affidavit quotes one Emperors Club employee remarking.

Documents reveal that Client 9 would be sending cash through the mail in an envelope with no return address, “just like before.” (Nevermind that every state attorney general’s office in the land sternly warns consumers to never send cash in the mail. Apparently, Spitzer forgot he was a former attorney general, but that tends to happen when one is thinking with the wrong head…) The “package,” as the money envelope is referred to in phone conversations and text messages, was delayed in arriving, causing some considerable discontent with the escort agency’s owners.

Representatives from Emperor’s Club had to contact Client 9 several times to ask if he’d sent the “package” yet, basically letting him know he didn’t have enough credit on his account to “cover” the scheduled appointment. Client 9 assured them that the money was en route, and that he would also pay all travel expenses for the young lady, identified by the name “Kristen.”

Only problem was, Client 9 didn’t follow through with the money he had repeatedly promised to the escort service until the day of the scheduled “date” – actually, the money for her services arrived just 30 minutes prior to her scheduled departure on an Amtrak train from New York to Washington – and even then, the amount apparently wasn’t quite correct. (Maybe “Fiscal Responsibility” is not the Governor’s strongest suit?)

This prompted more phone calls back and forth between the agency and Client 9, making arrangements for him to pay the remainder of the call girl’s fee in cash that night, plus a “deposit” towards future engagements with the agency “to avoid payment issues in the future” and “so that we don’t have to go through this again.”

From the recorded conversations, it’s clear that the Emperor’s Club already felt they had a problem client on their hands here. The agency was obviously concerned that “Mr. Fox” was not good for the fee, even if he was a frequent flier. And it is also readily apparent that he had previously been identified by the agency as a “difficult” client. In EscortSpeak, that generally means the client was either rough, abusive, asked for unsafe sex, or didn’t pay up.

Additionally, the affidavit notes that after her appointment with Client-9 ended, “Kristen” spoke with a Emperors Club booker, who said that she had been told that Client-9 “would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe…”

“Kristen” responded by saying, essentially, that she was a professional and knew how to handle guys like that. But “Kristen” reported back to the agency that she “liked him,” didn’t think he was “difficult,” and overall she thought the date had gone “very well.”

She also told the agency booker that she had collected $4,300 in cash from Client 9, more than enough to settle his balance due plus a comfy deposit towards the next visit. (Uh, somehow I rather doubt there will be a “next time”…that’s money he’ll never see again.) 

Mel Brooks and robyn Hilton in blazing Saddles

Mel Brooks as the Governor in “Blazing Saddles”

He rode a blazing saddle
He wore a shining star
His job to offer battle
To bad men near and far
He conquered fear and he conquered hate
He turned our night into day
He made his blazing saddle
A torch to light the way
When outlaws ruled the West
And fear filled the land
A cry went up for a man with guts
To take the West in hand
They needed a man who was brave and true
With justice for all as his aim
Then out of the sun rode a man with a gun
And Bart was his name
Yes Bart was his neme

“Blazing Saddles” theme song. Lyrics by Mel Brooks, vocal by Frankie Laine

HE RODE A BLAZING SADDLE

The real irony of this story, of course, is that Eliot Spitzer was propelled to fame in New York politics through his reputation as a crusading reformer, a “law and order” man who put criminals behind bars. Even before becoming Governor, he had let the bad guys know there was a new Sheriff in town — and they had better watch out.

As Attorney General of New York State, he had successfully prosecuted cases against (wait for it!)…prositution rings, strongly denouncing the world’s oldest profession in his public statements.

Spitzer, 48, served as New York’s attorney general for eight years before being elected governor in a landslide victory (he won 70% of the vote). Time magazine named him “Crusader of the Year” during his two terms as New York attorney general.

Tabloids labeled him “Eliot Ness,” after the hero in the crime drama “The Untouchables,” because of his reputation for rooting out corruption, busting white-collar criminals and tackling organized crime.

He also worked as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and worked for three New York law firms after receiving his law degree from Harvard. The first-term Democratic governor had been considered a rising star among his party, perhaps even presidential material.

But all that began to change last year as one scandal and misstep after another seemed to befall him. Spitzer was accused of using the power of his office to investigate his political opponents (which is illegal as hell). Then came his disastrous plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, one bright idea which didn’t go over too well with the people of New York State – more than 85% opposed the proposal.

Since then, his approval ratings have plummeted – at one point down to only about 36% – and Spitzer has been hard-pressed to find a way to salvage his Governorship, his name, and now…his entire political career. Not to mention his marriage. His wife of 21 years and three teenage daughters will be faced with the embarassing ordeal of constant public scrutiny and media intrusion into their shattered private lives.

ELIOT MESS — THE FALLOUT

“To say this is a shock is an understatement,” said CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who went to law school with Spitzer.

The Republican Governors Association has called on Spitzer to resign to “allow the people of New York to pursue honest leadership.”

“The American people are tired of corrupt and hypocritical politicians. The governor of New York is just another in the long list of politicians that have failed their constituents,” Nick Ayers, RGA executive Director, said in a statement.

Spitzer’s office, the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg all declined to comment on Spitzer. So did presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who is a longtime friend and political ally of the New York Governor. Right now, Mum’s the word…but mark my word, it won’t be for long.

This story’s got more legs than an octopus, and it’s going to walk from New York to Washington. We may even get congressional hearings out of this mess. The aftershocks from this rattler will extend far beyond the boundaries of New York State.

Spitzer’s close proximity to New York Senator Hillary Clinton (whom he has endorsed in the presidential contest) has already caused her trouble during this campaign. His licenses-for-illegals proposal forced Clinton to answer some very delicate questions on immigration which cost her campaign dearly last fall. By extension, this flap damaged the Democratic party overall, but once Spitzer dropped the idea, everyone seemed willing to give him one more chance. And now he’s blown it big time.

Governor Spitzer is also a highly-prized Superdelegate, one who was likely expected to “deliver” some other Superdelegates to Clinton and help her secure the nomination. How that will play out between now and August is anybody’s guess, but if the Governor resigns from office, it will cost Spitzer his Superdelegate status.

Bobby Kennedy, Jr.

DO I HEAR A DOOR OPENING?

Another very interesting aspect of this story is how the fallout will effect Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s political plans. As readers of this blog already know, Bobby has endorsed Senator Clinton for President and makes no secret of the fact that he would love to reclaim his late father’s former Senate seat. Should Senator Clinton vacate that seat upon election to the presidency, the task of appointing her successor would fall to Governor Spitzer.

Up until now, that seemed a very distinct possibility, as Spitzer and Kennedy have always enjoyed a very friendly relationship. Although the two have probably shared a gentleman’s agreement not to run against each other for any public office, RFK Jr. did briefly consider running for Attorney General of New York once Spitzer announced he would run for Governor in 2005.

Kennedy decided against the idea of running for A.G., and later donated a small amount ($200) to Spitzer’s 2006 gubernatorial election campaign. They appeared together at a Clinton Library symposium last fall and Gov. Spitzer also proposed renaming the Triborough Bridge in New York “the RFK Bridge” just two months ago. (RFK Jr., his mother Ethel, and other members of the Robert Kennedy family were in attendance when the announcement was made during Gov. Spitzer’s State of the State address.)

At this point, with Senator Clinton running behind in the presidential race and Governor Spitzer now facing possible impeachment or recall, resignation, maybe even jail time over this sex scandal, Bobby may want to rethink what was seemingly a foolproof plan to be the next Junior Senator from New York State.

Maybe that Senate seat won’t be up for grabs anytime soon. If Hillary doesn’t win the nomination, I rather doubt she will accept a VP slot on Obama’s ticket. Nor do I envision her simply walking away from her hard-won Senate seat. Hillary can likely keep that seat for life, and if the voters of New York want her to stay put, why shouldn’t she?

Bobby is a practical political player. He’s also a realist. He can read the writing on the proverbial wall: “Win or lose, I hope and expect Hillary to remain in public life because she is extremely effective and because that is her passion,” Kennedy informed Page Six in January.

On the other hand, if Eliot Spitzer is impeached or resigns, there will be an election coming up for a Very Important Office — an office which one Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could certainly fill – and where he’d do great things for the people of New York State.

So, Bobby…ever considered running for Governor? (Yes, we know you have.)

Perhaps you should consider it again now.

MAR. 12 UPDATE: New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned today. Lt. Gov. David Patterson will be sworn in on Monday, Mar. 17th.

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

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Filed under election 2008, hillary clinton, media, politics, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

Hillary Clinton: The Comeback Kid Does It Again…and Again…and Again

Senator Hillary Clinton, RFK Jr.'s choice for President

(Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: She takes a licking and keeps on ticking)

CLINTON: THE COMEBACK KID 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

After 11 straight primary losses in a row, there’s only one word (or an old Rolling Stones song, if you prefer) to describe how Hillary Clinton’s supporters must be feeling today: Satisfaction.

Last night, Clinton once again stunned the pundits and savants by pulling off a sweep of three key primary states in what by any standard must be deemed an impressive comeback.

Just a week ago, the press and pollsters were all but declaring her candidacy dead in the water. Again. And so in a command performance of Senator Clinton’s astounding comebacks in New Hampshire and on Super Tuesday, she proved `em all dead wrong. Again.

I DIDN’T MEAN TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO, BUT…

If there is one time-honored rule of modern politics, it is: never count the Clintons out.

No matter how many scandals may befall the Democratic golden couple, no matter how many “Hillary Haters” there are out there, no matter how many attacks Hillary takes for being too-this-or-too-that, she survives it all and somehow seems to take it in stride. Like Elton John, she’s still standing, baby. And she’s still fighting. More than that, she enjoys a good scrap. Which means she’s one hell of a good politician.

Love her or hate her, you’ve got to admit this woman is a master of the political art. With a keen sense of knowing when to pull back on her opponent and when to pounce, Hillary Clinton stayed above the fray earlier in the campaign by letting her husband do the dirty-work.

The former president took the flames for his comments about Barack Obama on the campaign trail while Hillary took the high road. Brilliant good-cop/bad-cop strategy, and unprecedented at that; who ever heard of a former president and first lady tag-teaming her opponent in a presidential race? Who could have been ready for it? Certainly not their unfortunate opponent, who was too blindsided to respond adequately. (“At this point, I’m not exactly sure which Clinton I’m running against,” quipped a baffled Senator Obama.)

Shedding a few perfectly-timed tears on the eve of the Hew Hampshire primary (when she was trailing by as much as 13% in the polls) didn’t hurt a bit, either.

Even when many within the Kennedy family (longtime Clinton allies) split off and endorsed Obama just after the South Carolina primary and all the pundits once again declared this was surely the end for Senator Clinton’s candidacy, she rebounded again on Super Tuesday, claiming the biggest prize of all, California…even with a Kennedy sitting in the Governor’s mansion. (Maria Shriver had just endorsed Obama two days earlier.)

You wanna talk about Shock and Awe? How about Clinton winning Massachusetts, the home state of Democratic darlings Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who also endorsed Obama?

Then there were those 11 straight primary losses. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. The mainstream media could hardly wait to write her political obituary and deem her as insignificant to this race as Mike Huckabee. But then… something happened in the week before the March 4th primaries.

Something turned this thing in Clinton’s favor last night, and now all the pundits scratch their heads in bewilderment and engage in more Wednesday-morning quarterbacking. Particularly amusing was watching the MSNBC gang, who can’t seem to bring Obama enough pillows here lately. (Although Clinton is not my candidate, I’ve got to tell you that I rather enjoyed watching these overpaid geniuses try to figure out what her secret was.) How did she do it, despite their best efforts to effectively kill her campaign?

WAS OBAMA OVERCONFIDENT OR DID CLINTON JUST TRY HARDER?

Here in Austin, Texas, I had a front row seat for the whole process and can easily lay out how Clinton’s victory happened. Simply put, Hillary and her campaign staff worked their asses off. The Clinton campaign did a lot more than just throw a zillion ads on TV. They didn’t just relax and wait for the inevitable votes to come rolling in. They took nothing for granted this time.

From my standpoint on the ground here, not just as a political reporter but as a voting citizen, here is what I personally saw: over the past three weeks, every single candidate (regardless of party affiliation) has called my home to ask for my support. EXCEPT, to my surprise, Barack Obama.

I’ve recieved numerous pieces of direct mail from every candidate running for dog-catcher, let alone the presidency…everyone, that is, except Barack Obama. Campaign volunteers have come to the door pushing their candidate’s literature under my nose so often that I nearly ran out of milk and cookies to offer them all and began to reconsider just how far this whole Southern hospitality thing should really go.

Not that they weren’t pleasant to talk to…all of them were, even the Republicans. (Ron Paul’s people were especially cool to hang out with – hell, I even invited them to stay for lunch.) As a political animal and staunch independent with no dog in this race, I quite often enjoy hearing their sales pitches and of course, engaging them in a bit of friendly debate. So I sparred with campaigners for John McCain (thoroughly enjoyable!) and the Clinton camp, too, of course. Was really looking forward to a tete a’ tete with the Obama people, but unfortunately, they never showed up.

Inexplicable as it seems, it’s true. As longtime readers of this blog know, I’m not supporting any of the current candidates in this race and therefore have no reason to lie. I’m just telling you what I saw – and most importantly, didn’t see. Never once did I get a piece of direct mail from the Obama campaign, not a single phone call, no email, no one knocked on my door. Meanwhile, every other candidate courted me like the belle of the ball.

Voters like that sort of thing, you know. When our state is in the primary spotlight, we enjoy the process of candidate courtship. Most of us do not object to a quick phone call or better yet, a personal visit. We may not wind up voting for you, but we sure like being asked to. Matter of fact, we are far more likely to vote for you if you simply ask for our vote. I know it sounds simple, but you’d be surprised just how well it really works. 

Barack Obama (Stetson and all!) in Texas

(Senator Obama may have learned a valuable lesson from his Lone Star defeat: that it takes a lot more than donning a ten-gallon hat to win the hearts, minds, and votes of Texans.)

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED? WELL…MAYBE NOT JUST YET.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what all those fervent, youthful volunteers over at the Obama camp do all day long -eat pizza, play video games, post Hillary-hatin’ attacks on Democratic Underground, who knows? – but they’re sure as hell not out knocking on doors and ringing phones. At least not in my neighborhood, which is largely comprised of young middle-class, college-educated whites and a mix of Hispanic and African-American families, presumably the target demographic they hope to reach.

Whereas the Obama campaign was conspicuously absent from my doorstep, mailbox and answering machine – hell, I didn’t even get one of the obligatory recorded messages from the candidate himself which are so popular nowadays – Camp Clinton pursued me fervently. Their approach was surprisingly personable, even…dare I say it aloud? – humble.

For example, two Sundays ago, my phone rang all day long with campaign calls – McCain, Huckabee, Ron Paul, Governor Rick Perry endorsing McCain, even Cindy McCain called with a pre-recorded pitch for her hubby (who doesn’t sleep around with attractive lobbyists)…to the point where I just let the answering machine take all these bothersome robot calls. It was bad enough to have my Sunday afternoon constantly interrupted by candidates I wouldn’t consider voting for anyway, but something about all these damn prerecorded messages was rather off-putting. If a candidate really wants my vote, you’d think they might go to the trouble to put a live human being on the phone.

Just when I was about to rip the blasted phone jack out of the wall, it rang again. I let the call go to my answering machine, thinking, “oh shit, here comes another canned campaign message,” and lo and behold, it was the sound of a real human being on the other end of the line. She introduced herself as a volunteer for Hillary Clinton, gave her name and a callback number, encouraging me to call anytime if I had questions for the candidate or wanted to volunteer. While I certainly had no intentions of doing either, something about the personal approach appealed to me and I picked up the phone.

The Clinton campaign volunteer I spoke to was a Hispanic woman calling from New Mexico, and she was audibly relieved just to hear a friendly voice on the line. It was obvious she hadn’t had much luck calling Texans today, and had already been yelled at a few times. Sheepishly, she went into her script about how men have been running the country forever (and just look what a mess they’ve made of things! My goodness gracious!) and didn’t I think it was time to give a woman a try?

Nice approach – and since I am female, I got script B. If I had been a male voter, I’m sure I would have gotten script A, as I somehow don’t think the whole feminist slant would have proved effective with menfolk down here in Texas. Nonetheless, after talking with the volunteer for a few minutes, it was apparent that Camp Clinton was putting in the effort that no other campaign was, and I must say, I was duly impressed.

(Not that it changed the way I voted, but it did change the way I view Hillary Clinton as a candidate, and to be honest, my impression is far more favorable than before. I respect any candidate who is hungry enough to work hard to win every last vote. That’s The Way It Ought To Be, dont’cha think?)

That was even before the now-infamous-but-effective “3 A.M.” ad hit the airwaves late this week, and before Hillary Clinton made her perfectly-timed, self-effacing appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show. All of this, combined with her raising questions about Obama’s NAFTA rhetoric and some of his campaign advisers in the days leading up to the Texas primary, was again a brilliant strategy and proved decisive in swaying the vote of the last-minute undecideds.

The proof of all that hard work and strategizing was in the pudding: big victories for Clinton in Rhode Island, Ohio and Texas.

THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING, BUT THE DEVIL IS IN THE DELEGATES

As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding, but the devil is in the details.” And in this case, the details are the delegates. On that front, Obama is still leading in Texas.

Texas, always priding itself on being different (often just for the sake of being different), has an admittedly bizarre system of having both a primary and a caucus.

“Run that by me again,” you say?

Okay, here’s how it works: the delegate count is not given on a winner-take-all basis here. Two-thirds of the delegates are awarded by the popular vote count from the primary – then the remaining third are decided through caucuses held at local polling precincts the same night. After the polls close, you simply return to your precinct and caucus for your candidate, sometimes into the wee-wee hours.

While Clinton won the popular vote in Texas by a slim margin, Obama is doing very well in the caucus, the results of which are still being tabulated at press time today. If the caucus vote turns out as expected, Obama will beat Clinton by 10 points or more, which certainly makes a considerable dent in her delegate count. So win or lose, this thing may well turn out to be a draw..but it ain’t over. Just ask Hillary.

Little more than a week ago, everyone from James Carville to her own husband, former president Bill Clinton, were saying if she didn’t win big in Texas and Ohio, she would just have to fold up her tent and go home to Westchester. Well…better rewrite that headline.

Hillary may not have scored landslide wins across the board last night, but it was enough to keep her viable and very much in this race.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

While the Republicans caved quickly, the challengers fell away, the conservative opposition melted, and a nominee was decided last night in John McCain, the Democrats may well be taking their fight to the convention floor in Denver. And that’s five months away. While I like Barack Obama and think he’s a candidate with incredible promise, allow me to just offer a bit of advice on the subject of Hillary Clinton: if you think she’s going to drop out of this race before Denver, you’re out of your mind.

This resilient woman has proven herself not only a formidable political force to be reckoned with down through the years, but she has also proven in this race that she always knows the right move to make at the right time. She’s a shrewd strategist and a brilliant politician. She’s a tough campaigner and a down-in-the-alley streetfighter when need be. Just ask Barack Obama, who spent most of this week fending off the slings and arrows.

Is this good for the country? In my humble opinion, no. Is it good for the Democratic Party? Well, I’ll probably get shot for saying this, but yes, I think it’s very healthy for the Democratic process, and even for the party itself.

If this battle winds up on the convention floor this summer, not only will it be the most exciting convention in recent memory, but will keep the process exciting – not just for Democrats, but for the country and all who are closely watching our elections around the world.

After all, who wants to pick a nominee in February, forcing all other contenders out of the race? Borrrrrrring. We might as well nap `til November. And isn’t that exactly why so many Democrats fought against the idea of Hillary as the “inevitable” nominee all this year? Did this attitude not contribute to the sudden rise of Barack Obama as the anti-Clinton?

Hillary Clinton didn’t turn out to be the inevitable candidate she first painted herself to be, that’s a fact. Senator Obama is certainly giving her a good run for her money. But, Hillary has proven over and over again that she can’t be quite so easily dismissed or defeated.

In the fight for her political life these past few weeks, Senator Clinton has shown us that she’s still got “it” (whatever ‘it” is). Call “it” blonde ambition or fanatic feminism, a refusal to be a loser, an ego-trip, a mad grab for power, or what you will, but after last night, you’d also have to call her a winner.

Again.

So hold that obituary, MSNBC. I have a sneaking suspicion that Hillary just might surprise ya’ll a few more times before it’s all said and done.

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

 

 

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