Sunday Show Wrap-Up
Doug Feith, Barack Obama, and Valentine's Day.
6:41 PM, Feb 11, 2007 • By SONNY BUNCH
Fox News Sunday featured an interview with former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, who has taken a beating in the press recently for the way intelligence was handled in the lead up to the Iraq war. He stressed to Chris Wallace that intelligence is very rarely a slam dunk, noting "there was substantial evidence [ ] intelligence; evidence is a legal term not really appropriate here. There was a lot of information out there--intelligence is very sketchy and it's always open to interpretation. On this issue, there were people who disagreed about the intelligence." He also downplayed his office's estimate of the level of cooperation between Iraq and al Qaeda, saying "nobody in my office ever said that there was an operational relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. It's just not correct. Words matter. People are throwing around loose allegations, vague allegations based on not reading the words carefully."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his bemusement with the media coverage of the resolution debates in the Senate. "Some journalists have reported," McConnell said, "that a vote to cut off debate was a vote to begin debate. . . . What we were insisting on, Chris, was a vote to indicate whether or not the troops should be supported should be a part of the overall Iraq debate." For a good rundown of exactly what happened in the Senate last week, read Fred Barnes's piece from this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
Not surprisingly, Democrat Jack Reed had a slightly different take on things: "The problem, I think, as I understand, is that they were insisting on a sixty vote margin, so that even though there would be a strong, bipartisan majority vote against the president's escalation, that would not, effectively, have passed the Senate. . . . I think at the end of the day they wanted to defeat by any means they could the resolution that Senator Warner proposed."
The roundtable addressed the various presidential campaigns, including Obama's, which officially kicked off this week. Nina Easton, from Fortune Magazine, said Obama's biggest challenge may be a former southern senator and not a former first lady: "What I find quite striking is the difference between Obama and Edwards, both trying to be the anti-Hillary candidate, and Obama is coming out saying I don't like hardball politics, and Edwards [is] playing hardball politics, and he's far more seasoned. And I think that's the race to watch." Bill Kristol and Juan Williams both shared their thoughts on the chance that Rudy Giuliani will be successful in his bid for the Republican nomination. "If we were not electing a war president in 2008, I don't think Rudy would be a viable candidate for the Republican nomination," Kristol said, but Williams is not sure the former New York City mayor can overcome his socially conservative critics: "The only way that Giuliani would have a chance, I think, is if the social conservatives fracture. I just don't think there's anyway social conservatives are going to get beyond, not only his stand on abortion, but then you come to gay rights, and his many divorces, what's required here is that there's no social conservative candidate."
This Week featured an interview with failed presidential candidate John Kerry. The biggest threat facing the world is obvious, according to Kerry: global warming! "The more I read, the more I study, the more compelling that issue becomes," the Boston Brahmin intoned. "We have to take action now--We have a ten year window, according to all of the scientists' consensus. . . . it means real caps, it means reducing carbon from the atmosphere, it means building our efficiency opportunities in America, it means clean coal technology." Deniers can take comfort though, as a piece in today's Times debunks the idea of a scientific "consensus."
Mike Huckabee continued his tour of the Sunday morning talk shows, and the presidential hopeful said that it shouldn't come as too big of a shock that a conservative might like music just as much as a liberal. "I take sides of issues that I think people don't expect Republicans necessarily to join up with: for example, one of my real passions is music and art in the curriculum of students. And when I talk about that, and talk about it with the passion that I do, people say 'are you a Republican?' As if Republicans don't like music."