Jeanine Pirro, Conservative Party Make Strange Bedfellows in New York

The Associated Press reports that the New York Conservative Party could possibly endorse Republican Jeanine Pirro against Hillary in 2006. The New York Conservative Party was naturally skeptical of Pirro’s candidacy, as she has some very liberal views on issues such as abortion and homosexual rights.

But party Chairman Michael Long said: “If we had our [state] convention tomorrow, I don’t think she’d carry the day. But the convention isn’t going to be until next May or June. If she puts together a campaign structure, if she mounts a serious campaign, stronger than Mayor Spencer, then I think she would have a shot at getting the Conservative Party endorsement.”

According to an Associated Press report last week, the latest statewide poll released by Siena College’s Research Institute shows Pirro trailing Hillary by a depressingly large 59%-to-31% margin.

Israeli Vacation

Hillary’s recent three-day trip to Israel with Bill and Chelsea was quite successful and flattering. She met with most of Israel’s top officials and made a surprise unscheduled trip to Amman, Jordan, to show solidarity with Jordanians after the series of suicide bombings that killed 57 people. Hillary did not hold any meetings with any Palestinians, and visited the West Bank barrier that Israel is building, which has angered many Palestinians, and publicly expressed her support for it. “It really makes up for her kissing Suha Arafat,” said one Israeli who is a Brooklyn transplant.

Hillary was showered with all sorts of praise and affection during her whole trip. When she prayed at the Western Wall, children showered her with candy and onlookers cheered. As she left the wall, a man cried out, “Our next President!” And when Hillary was given a vest with the emblem of the Red Shield of David, the Israeli version of the Red Cross, a Red Shield official told her, “We do hope that some day, it will be hanging on the walls of the Oval Office.” Israeli support for a potential presidential bid even came up when Sen. Clinton met with the parents of Yochai Porat, a young medic whom Mrs. Clinton met during her 2002 Israel visit, and who was killed a week later. “We hope you come back like President,” said the late medic’s father, Ya’akov Porat. Hillary just smiled and said, “You’re going to get me into trouble.”

She also tried to deny making any decision on whether to run in 2008: “Because that’s not the way I feel. I know it’s hard for all the outside pundits and observers to accept, but I have a job right now that I am working as hard as I can possibly work at…. And I just don’t think like that. A lot of people in politics do, they’re always looking over the horizon. I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone next year or the year after.” All in all, her trip resembled an extended campaign appearance, and what would be a Hillary campaign stop without some gratuitous Bush-bashing? Sure enough, Hillary used the occasion to criticize the President’s handling of Iran and its nuclear ambitions, “which in my view has been to outsource this problem to the Europeans.”

No Regrets

Former senator and vice-presidential candidate John Edwards recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he said he regrets his 2002 Senate vote to authorize the war in Iraq. To sum up, said Edwards, “I was wrong. It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake.” Many political pundits believe that Edwards might be challenging Democratic presidential hopefuls like Hillary, who of course also voted for the war and has made repeated statements in favor of it.

Georgetown professor of government Michael Bailey said, “Iraq will be one of the biggest issues [in the 2008 election],” and “Many critics of the war in Iraq are disappointed that Clinton hasn’t taken more of a stance against the war. [Hillary] hasn’t been getting in the conversation the way Edwards is.” Democrats oppose Bush’s handling of the war by a 9-to-1 margin, and the 2008 Democratic primaries will be decided by anti-war activists. So the question remains, will Hillary ever voice any regret for supporting the war?