Plamegate May Still Harm Bush Administration

After it was reported that Richard Armitage accidently leaked Valerie Plame’s identity and Fitzgerald decided not to indict Rove it appeared there might have been an obstruction of justice charge which could stick against Libby, but it no longer looked like there was enough to do serious harm to the Bush administration. The first day of trial has changed this impression. Once again there are questions of whether both Dick Cheney and Karl Rove will ultimately be accused of crimes.

Early testimony include charges of  Libby destroying evidence of Cheney’s involvement, and of Dick Cheney being involved in the cover-up, instructing Libby to go around normal protocol. The defense isn’t exactly helping the White House either as Libby’s defense is that he is a scapegoat to cover for Karl Rove. Digby reports that Norah O’Donnell asked Andy Card and Leon Panetta if the President is going to have to ask Dick Cheney to resign as a result of what’s being alleged at the Libby Trial.

Boston Papers on Kerry 2008

The Boston papers are not always very kind towards John Kerry. The Herald, with its conservative position, is expected to attack. The Globe often tries to demonstrate its independence by attacking Kerry. Perhaps they are finally realizing the benefits of having a local Senator in the national news, and maybe even that he would make a better President than the others currently in the race.Both Boston papers are covering a potential Kerry run today. While the Boston Globe has a pretty standard article speculating on whether Kerry will run, surprisingly it is a Boston Herald columnist who is pushing for Kerry to enter the race. Virginia Buckingham writes:

If electability really is the Democrats’ chief concern, the alternative to Sen. Hillary Clinton as the party’s nominee will not be Barack Hussein Obama, an admitted drug user with the foreign policy credentials of, well, a state legislator from Illinois. And then there’s the unfortunate name, which shouldn’t matter but will. So why not Sen. John Forbes Kerry?

If Kerry’s worst sin is that he ran a lousy campaign last time, as Democratic heavyweight (and Clinton backer) Terry McAuliffe’s new book charges, then that can be easily addressed. Experience, after all, is the best teacher. And as far as I know, no one is planning to make a documentary about Kerry that could pack the punch of “Fahrenheit 911” in the 2008 race, as writer/consultant Dick Morris is trying to do about Clinton.

Buckingham proceeds to make four points. She writes that “The Swift Boat has sailed.” They made their best case against Kerry, and have been exposed as partisan hacks paid to lie about Kerry’s record. The only people who believe their claims are right wingers who will believe anything derogatory about a Democrat because they want to. Such people couldn’t care less about what the evidence shows, and they will believe similar lies against any other Democrat. Buckingham wonders what will come out against the other Democrats, but wrote a bit too quickly about already-discredited attacks on Obama.

Buckingham also notes that Kerry has the early cash to get into the race. People like Bill Richardson, even if more qualified than the three top contenders, might never get campaigns started due to lack of funds.

Buckingham writes that “He owns the issues. Even more than 2004, foreign policy and national security will be the key issues in 2008. If Kerry’s able to tamp down an annoying grade school tendency to whine ‘I told you so’ he has a great story to tell about an Iraq quagmire he predicted in 2004 coming true.” In 2004 Iraq hurt Kerry after Howard Dean managed to twist the meaning of the IWR issue during the primaries, leading many people to misunderstand Kerry’s position on the war. Running against Clinton he won’t have that problem. Hillary also voted for the IWR, but unlike her, Kerry spoke out against going to war from the start and correctly predicted what would happen if we did.

Finally Buckingham compares Kerry to other contenders beyond the top tier and writes, No need to belabor that Kerry is actually the most likable of the bunch, and that’s saying something.