During yesterday’s White House press briefing, Tony Snow was being pressed about the White House’s refusal to endorse the Republican candidate in the Connecticut Senate race:
Q: You don’t find that a little odd?
MR. SNOW: Nope.
Q: Why not?
MR. SNOW: Well, there are times —
Q: — I don’t recall it ever happening, when the White House has been asked to stay out of Republican race.
MR. SNOW: No, actually, there have been races in the past where candidates didn’t meet the expectations of the local parties and Presidents have stayed out, Democrats and Republicans, in the past.
Q: I’d like to see a list.
And today, Snow provided the list. But since the White House press corps is usually too busy to do anything but chortle at Tony’s quips, I thought I’d provide them with some fodder in case they’d like to go in a whole new journalistic direction…asking follow-up questions.
Here is the list:
* Some examples: In 1970, President Nixon took a neutral position in the US Senate race between Sen. Charles E. Goodell (R-NY) and challengers Rep. Richard Ottinger (D-NY) and James L. Buckley. In 1980, Republican officials refused support for Rep. William Ford’s (D-MI) Republican opponent Gerald R. Carlson. In 1981, President Reagan promised not to campaign in the home districts of Democrats who voted for his tax cuts. One year later, the White House produced a list of 20 Democrats who the President and Vice President would not campaign against that cycle. In 1990, Democratic National Committee Chairman Ron Brown denounced Rep. Gus Savage (D-IL) and pledged to not fund his reelection campaign. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush refused to endorse Louisiana Gubernatorial candidate David Duke.
The twenty Democrats that Reagan refused to campaign against in 1982, was obviously a case of quid pro quo, so I think we can safely leave that aside as a case of “politics as usual.” The rest? Not so much…
Charles E. Goodell
The reason Richard Nixon refused to support Charles Goodell is quite simple. He was on Nixon’s infamous “enemies list”, apparently because of his connection to Common Cause, his support for amnesty for draft dodgers and his speech at an anti-war rally that featured Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King and George McGovern, among others.
Gerald R. Carlson
The refusal of the GOP to support Gerald Carlson was a little tougher. But maybe, just maybe that refusal was because of Carlson’s platform of:
…white supremacy, his past association with Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi party.
Apparently today’s GOP prefers their racists to be more subtle…can you spell Macaca?
And why would the Democratic National Committee oppose Gus Savage? Perhaps it was his claiming that “Jews were responsible for Black genocide” or his assertion that:
…the election should turn on how you feel about Jews.
Or perhaps they found his sexual harrassment of a Peace Corp volunteer unseemly, especially when it was revealed that he told her:
Oh, come on, baby, when you help the shepherd, you help the whole flock. Don’t think of it as submitting to me, this vile, exploitative politician; think of it as helping all the people in Watts and the Delta and Bed-Stuy.
And by the way, when the woman who was Black reported him, he called her, “a traitor to the black movement.”
Does anything really need to be said here? But for those too young to remember, David Duke is a former State Representative from Louisiana who:
…became notorious on campus for wearing a Nazi uniform, Ku Klux Klan apparel, and swastika paraphernalia while picketing and holding parties on the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler. The year of his graduation, he was elected Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
So I call on the White House press corps to ask Tony Snow a follow-up question tomorrow on why the White House refuses to support the Republican candidate in Connecticut:
Q: Is Alan Schlesinger on the President’s enemies list, is he a Nazi, an anti-Semitic sexual predator, a former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan or are you now willing to concede that Joe Lieberman is the best damned Republican candidate you have?
I’ll leave the exact wording up to you…