"We were all there on a humanitarian mission; we had no mission, none, to establish a certain kind of Somali government or keep anybody out ..."
That's a highly distorted summary of the Somalia mission, which started out humanitarian but later devolved into a U.S.-supported U.N. decision to build a government and then to "marginalize" Aideed.
P.P.S.: Next time, Wallace should ask Clinton about Dubai. Seems like another promising sore spot! ...
Update II: Virginia Heffernan thinks Clinton's performance was perfectly geared for the new Webvid medium--
Clinton has somehow mastered the bright, short words and menacing, iconic lurches that work as bursts of flavor on YouTube. [E.A.]
The three-minute version would definitely work better than the ten-minute version. ... See also Maguire. ... 9:27 A.M.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Frist Fence Flakeout? Has Sen. Frist given up on the border fence? It sure sounded that way on George Stephanopoulos' This Week. The Senate Majority Leader said a bill containing the proposed 700-mile barrier was "hopefully what we'll be voting on the floor of the Senate this week." But then, with a guilty, knowing grin,** he added: "Right now I got a feeling the Democrats may obstruct it."
The grin was the giveaway. It's easy to let the fence bill drop and blame Democrats. Wink, wink. But a forceful majority leader who actually wanted either a) a vote or b) a sharpened issue against the Dems wouldn't give up just like that. He'd call a press conference to demand that the Democrats allow a vote. Put a spotlight on the issue. Make Harry Reid come up with an equally well-publicized explanation for why the Democrats oppose this popular common-denominator measure. That would be hard for Reid to do without hurting Dem election chances, and he might not do it--resulting in a Democratic cave-in and a vote. And the fence Frist says he wants.
Why isn't Frist doing this? Is he as feckless as he seems? Makes a big deal of the border fence one day--drops it a few days later. Or did someone get to him--someone from the "pro-comprehensive" White House, perhaps, who doesn't want to pass the popular parts of reform this year for fear the unpopular semi-amnesty parts might not pass next year? Or maybe Sen. McCain, another GOP "comprehensive" champion, told him that if he went ahead with the fence, he'd never be McCain's running mate. (At the moment, such a VP slot looks like Frist's main hope of a continued career in elective politics.)
Or maybe Frist was faking his support for a fence all along.