Thursday, December 28, 2006

News of the day...

In campaign related news, both and are now live and you can contribute online.
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Kentucky wide reciever Keenan Burton has a blog for the Music City Bowl. Lamar Mills will also be keeping a blog.

If all goes to plan, Tim Kaine might actually be a candidate for re-election in 2009. Virginia is actually looking to add a second consecutive term for governors to serve. Kentucky added a second term during the 1991-1995 legislative years but Gov. Brereton Jones asked to be excluded from running for a second consecutive term if I recall correctly.
Gov. Tim Kaine and House Republicans are negotiating on a legislative package to allow Virginia governors to serve two consecutive terms.

Currently, Virginia is the only state in the nation where governors are prohibited from serving consecutive terms.

House Majority Leader Del. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, said his caucus has been working with the governor's office to change that, in return for the governor giving up some of the office's appointment powers. Such a change would effectively beef up the appointment powers of the legislature.

"The governor has indicated through some of his folks they'd be interested in looking at trading off a few of the appointment powers for some of the boards in exchange for a two-term governor," Griffith said.

Kaine spokesman Kevin Hall confirmed that.

"Some discussions have occurred," Hall said. "It appears there might be the opportunity in this next session to have a meaningful discussion that could end Virginia's last-in-the-nation ban on consecutive terms for the governor."
It's sad how SNL is the first thing some folks think of when it comes to former presidents.
Ford, meanwhile, had long ago laughed off Lyndon Johnson’s charge that he couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. But when Chevy Chase pretended to be President Ford during the first year of "Saturday Night Live" (1975-76), he created an impression that the Republican commander in chief never could shake.

Chase didn’t wear a bald cap or try to copy the president’s speech patterns. He just fell down a lot, spectacularly, after news footage had depicted Ford stumbling on a couple of occasions.

Never mind that Ford had been an all-star center with the two-time national football champion University of Michigan Wolverines, collecting the team’s most valuable player award. Chase’s act, week after week, cemented the public perception of him.

"Chevy Chase captured something that many Americans felt about Gerald Ford and they still feel about Gerald Ford: well meaning, nice guy, bumbler, a little bit incompetent," Northwestern University sociology professor Gary Fine said.

Chase’s Ford routines were arguably the centerpiece of a "Saturday Night Live" that was seen as groundbreaking and dangerous when it debuted.

"It was sort of audacious because no one had done the pratfalls, the president as a stumblebum, and Chevy’s stuff was incredibly good, and he committed to those falls," said Tim Kazurinsky, a "Saturday Night Live" cast member in the 1980s. "Because `Saturday Night Live’ was new and innovative, it did signal that there’s going to be nothing sacred to this show."

"I think it did open a door that you could poke fun at presidents on national TV and get away with it," said Jeff Cohen, a progressive political consultant and author of "Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media." "Johnny Carson used to do it in his monologue, but he was pretty much aiming at all politicians, and it wasn’t so sledgehammery."

Chase said Wednesday in a Reuters interview that he came to know Ford as "a very, very sweet man" and "a terrific guy." Still, Chase had intended his impersonation to draw blood.

"He had never been elected period, so I never felt that he deserved to be there to begin with," said the 63-year-old actor, who basically made the transition from writer to performer through the Ford sketches. "That was just the way I felt then as a young man and as a writer and a liberal."

The lasting power of Chase’s impersonation was apparent in how often it was cited in obituaries for the ex-president, who died Tuesday at age 93. What remains open for debate is whether the sketches actually hurt Ford politically.
Justice Donald Wintershimer's career as a judge has likely come to an end.

Miller and Maze were in NKY last night and it looks like Maze couldn't find a parking spot. That speaks measures of the support that this ticket has.
"I had to look for a parking place," Maze told a crowd of almost 100 that came to the clubhouse at Lookout Farms to meet the pair.

"I'm glad to be up here in Northern Kentucky," said Maze, the Jefferson County Attorney. He is running for lieutenant governor with Miller, the incumbent state treasurer and candidate for governor.

"Don't worry, we'll be back," Maze said.

Miller and Maze's appearance at the two-hour meet-up was the first major political foray of a Democratic gubernatorial ticket into Northern Kentucky, a place known for its GOP leanings but still home to more than 96,000 registered Democrats, according to the Kentucky Board of Elections.

It was also the first of many planned meet-ups the Miller-Maze ticket is holding across the state. It's an informal chance for party leaders, prospective campaign volunteers and curious voters to mingle with the candidates.

"Too many people in this part of the state, as well as the far east and the far west, feel left out by Frankfort," said Miller, a Lexington lawyer in his second term as state treasurer. "They feel out of touch.

"That's why I've been up here a lot, and that's why I've made this my first stop. I want the families of Northern Kentucky to know that this will be a priority."

Diane Brumback of Boone County, a political activist and Miller supporter, helped organize the event. She was pleased with what she called a diverse turnout that included young and old, men and women, activists and newcomers as well as the chairmen of all three county Democratic parties - Ken Mullikin of Campbell County, Jamie Jameson of Kenton County and Howard Tankersley of Boone County.

"I'm looking around," said Brumback, president of Kentucky Women in Action, a political activist group, "and considering all the political events I've been to in Northern Kentucky, and I don't recognize half the people.
John Edwards did pay tribute to the late president with a statement:
"President Ford was a true leader -- he made decisions based on what he believed was right, not what was politically expedient," the statement said. "He called on us to never lose faith that we can change America."

He said Americans could honor Ford's memory by "lifting ourselves above partisan politics and acting with the courage and conviction of our ideals."
I heard this on the radio but I'm placing President Ford in the category of reasonable Republican as a result of his disagreeing on going to war with Iraq.
Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration.

In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney -- Ford's White House chief of staff -- and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

In a conversation that veered between the current realities of a war in the Middle East and the old complexities of the war in Vietnam whose bitter end he presided over as president, Ford took issue with the notion of the United States entering a conflict in service of the idea of spreading democracy.[...]

The Ford interview -- and a subsequent lengthy conversation in 2005 -- took place for a future book project, though he said his comments could be published at any time after his death. In the sessions, Ford fondly recalled his close working relationship with key Bush advisers Cheney and Rumsfeld while expressing concern about the policies they pursued in more recent years.

"He was an excellent chief of staff. First class," Ford said. "But I think Cheney has become much more pugnacious" as vice president. He said he agreed with former secretary of state Colin L. Powell's assertion that Cheney developed a "fever" about the threat of terrorism and Iraq. "I think that's probably true."

Describing his own preferred policy toward Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Ford said he would not have gone to war, based on the publicly available information at the time, and would have worked harder to find an alternative. "I don't think, if I had been president, on the basis of the facts as I saw them publicly," he said, "I don't think I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer."

Ford had faced his own military crisis -- not a war he started like Bush, but one he had to figure out how to end. In many ways those decisions framed his short presidency -- in the difficult calculations about how to pull out of Vietnam and the challenging players who shaped policy on the war. Most challenging of all, as Ford recalled, was Henry A. Kissinger, who was both secretary of state and national security adviser and had what Ford said was "the thinnest skin of any public figure I ever knew."

"I think he was a super secretary of state," Ford said, "but Henry in his mind never made a mistake, so whatever policies there were that he implemented, in retrospect he would defend."

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