"What he was doing is frankly acknowledging an unpleasant fact about politics, that there were going to be contentious backward looking hearings. He would have loved to renominate Pete Pace. That was his intent, as well as Admiral Giambastiani. But rather than getting mired in kind of a backward-looking debate about what's gone on in the last six years, Secretary Gates made the recommendation and the president approved of it to go ahead, move on, bring in Admiral Mullen, and proceed with trying to do the business of having success on the ground in Iraq."
On Fox News Sunday, William Kristol explained just why the immigration reform bill favored by President Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy failed:
"The more this bill was debated, the less able people were to defend it substantively. And I say this as someone who was sort of well disposed in principle to this bill; every time you read a serious exchange between a criticism of the bill and a defense of it, the critics almost every time had the better of it. â€¦ There were so many weaknesses in the way the bill was drafted; they cobbled it together and then they said take it or leave it. And the idea that we're going to have a temporary worker program, people come for two years, and are expected to leave for another year before they can come back for two more years-they're not going to leave. So you're just recreating the problem of illegal immigrants through this bill."
And on This Week, Jay Carney discussed New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's seemingly quixotic bid at the White House, noting
"Bloomberg, I would say unlike Ross Perot, is not a romantic. He would do this in order to win it. It is highly unlikely in our system that, I mean, Ross Perot did phenomenally well in 1992 and got 20 percent of the vote â€¦ he can't run in either party, he has to run as an independent, and he won't win the election."
Also mentioned at the roundtable was Bloomberg's nearly inexhaustible ability to self fund--spending $500 million is not out of the question for a man worth in excess of $5 billion.
Finally, Meet the Press saw Tim Russert interview the authors of Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton about the qualifications and ambitions of the junior senator from New York. Said Jeff Gerth,
"Well, I think, you know, we, we spent a lot of time looking at her record as a senator, as a political leader. She's now running for president, and we felt that people needed to understand how, how she acts in the political arena and, and use that as a basis for deciding whether she's qualified to be president or not. And, you know, in essence, we sort of found that there're two Hillarys. In, in one case, there's the well-informed, the battle-tested, the diligent senator who does her homework. And then we found another Hillary. When it comes to a bump in the road--whether it's on Iraq or on energy policy or on the environment--where she has a problem, that she plays fast and loose with the facts, she won't admit a mistake, and she sort of, you know, retreats into a shell. And, you know, voters will have to decide which, which Hillary is the Hillary that might become president and is that what they want as--for their next commander in chief."