Sen. Bob Kerrey insults Barack Obama, then apologizes; Tom Tancredo drops out of the presidential race; and Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. Bloggers respond.
Did I call Obama a Muslim? Oops! Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey has apologized to Barack Obama for mentioning the candidate's Muslim roots in the course of endorsing Hillary Clinton. (Kerrey said Sunday: "I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim." He also said: "[P]eople are acting as if he's an Islamic Manchurian candidate.") Kerry insists he had no intention of harming Obama's campaign, and in his apology letter writes, "[Y]ou are exceptionally qualified by experience and judgment to be President," but some bloggers question his sincerity.
At the Moderate Voice, Joe Gandelman argues, "If you take him at his word then Kerrey who has spent a lifetime in politics and knows how it works was naïve in saying what he did to the Washington Post, coming on the heels of another Clinton bigwig in New Hampshire trying to get press coverage of Obama's admitted youthful drug usage. If Kerrey is that naïve, the Democrats should thank their lucky stars he never got their party's Presidential nomination."
"Personally, I call bullshit," says Kyle E. Moore of Comments From Left Field, who suspects the Clinton camp put Kerrey up to the job, "let the story stew for a news cycle or two," and then orchestrated the "Mea Culpa." Michelle Malkin also smells a rat: "The hapless Hillary Clinton campaign strikes out again. Hillary endorser Bob Kerrey sent Barack Obama an apology letter for his back-handed 'praise' invoking his middle name and mentioning family members who were Muslim. … He never meant to harm his candidacy? He 'meant no disrespect at all?' He used the phrase 'Islamic Manchurian candidate' and he 'meant no disrespect?' What a tool."
But M.J. Rosenberg at TPM Cafe holds that Bob Kerrey "is a mensch" who "would not intentionally engage in Muslim-baiting or anything like it." And junglered1 from Daily Kos also defends Kerrey: "This is a classy letter, a real apology. I just wish he hadn't had to write one in the first place."
Read more about Bob Kerrey's apology.
So long, Tancredo: GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo is dropping out of the presidential race. Tancredo gained some attention due to his vitriolic opposition to illegal immigration (his ads link subpar border security to rape and terrorist attacks), but his polling numbers have always been low.
At the blog of progressive group NDN, founder Simon Rosenberg considers two figures: "1% and 62%. 1% is the share of the Republican vote Tancredo has been receiving. 62% is the share of Republicans who support an earned path to citizenship, according to a new LA Times poll taken two weeks ago. Taken together it appears that Tancredo's approach to immigration, 'Deport Those Who Don't Belong, Make Sure They Never Come Back' has been overwhelmingly rejected by even Republican voters."
Jonathan Singer from liberal MyDD wonders if Tancredo's anti-immigration stance has hurt the whole Republican Party: "Tancredo may have had some successes in convincing his Republican brethren, both within the Congress and within the presidential field, to follow him off the cliff on this issue. Along these lines, Tancredo has been remarkably able at helping make his party unelectable in a lot of areas of the country. … But aside from this, he has no success, whatsoever. Hard line immigration legislation isn't likely going to pass any time soon, and the Tancredo brand of anti-immigration rhetoric has only yielded more deadlock on Capitol Hill. ... So congrats Mr. Tancredo. Your political career has been really fruitful."
According to Marc Ambinder, Tancredo more or less accomplished what he set out to do: "He can argue, legitimately, that the one issue he set out to bring to the forefront of the debate has, through sheer force of the Republican base, traveled there. Before Tancredo, the GOP presidential candidates didn't take the anti-immigration sentiment they heard on talk radio all that seriously. After Tancredo, it sometimes seems as if it's the only issue they do take seriously."
Kevin Tracy, a Republican, is sad to see him go: "Tancredo is a good man and I hope he does well in private life now that he's leaving the House of Representatives too. He had the odds stacked against him and he deserves credit for standing up for the problems at the border. It's men like him that stopped John McCain's amnesty plan in 2006 and for that he is owed more than the American people will ever realize."
Read more about Tancredo's decision to drop out.
Juno in real life: Britney Spears' 16-year-old kid sister and star of Nickelodeon's Zoey 101, Jamie Lynn, is pregnant. The father-to-be is Casey Aldridge, a fellow teenager whom she purportedly met in church. Gossip mongers have a field day.
"Somebody needs to go give grandma Lynn Spears a drink. Or a parenting class," quips Anna Johns at TV Squad.
Superficial has a screenshot of Casey's MySpace page, which "paints a bleak future for his baby that resides in the womb of Jamie Lynn Spears. His last login date was Tuesday and his status reads "Me and Jamie are over….' This indicates that either Jamie and Casey aren't as serious as they've been portrayed in the media, Casey really isn't a stand-up guy or he might not even be the baby's father after all."
Music news blog NME has a roundup of celebrity reactions. Mary J. Blige said, "Stay strong, baby girl" and John Legend offers this tidbit: "My sister had a baby when she was young, so I know what it's like. … It's going to be difficult."
Read more about Jamie Lynn Spears.