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Old 11-01-2002, 02:50 PM   #16
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I think having a person there representing the Presidency of United States was the appropiate thing to do..regardless of Polictical Affliation.
Thats all Mr Cheney was trying to do..
And Im sorry..
Hillary doesnt count-regardless of what she says..


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Old 11-01-2002, 03:31 PM   #17
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They should have had a private memorial service. The rah-rah session should have been postponed until after the election.

It seems odd to me that such a public memorial for a U.S. Senator would have discouraged a Presidential representative. Such a representative would be the normal thing....unless of course it was really just a political rally.

I guess it is hard for some people to separate the person from the politics.

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Old 11-01-2002, 03:35 PM   #18
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The Vice-President was given the heads up as to what was about to happen. The were at least polite enough to let him know, and they decided to use security to cover their bases.

Peace to all.
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Old 11-01-2002, 04:15 PM   #19
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A memorial disservice to Paul Wellstone

Mark Steyn
National Post

Thursday, October 31, 2002

When Liberace died, Frank Sinatra officially said: "That he was a consummate artist is not really as important as my telling you he was one of the finest human beings I've ever known." A mutual friend asked Frank whether he really meant it or, come to that, whether he'd even seen the press release before it went out. "What the hell," shrugged Frank, "he was an annoying little fag, but I liked the guy."

Personally, I find Sinatra's off-the-record version far more warm and human and specific to the deceased than the on-the-record not-entirely-convincing boilerplate. But on the passing of a public figure the small amount of genuine private grief gets ladled over it a treacly avalanche of ersatz public grief -- and for that, for the most part, no genuine human emotion is required.

So it is with Senator Paul Wellstone, who died on Friday in a plane crash in northern Minnesota. In Canada or Europe, the Senator would have been an unexceptional figure -- a middle-rank Health Minister in your average Continental Social Democratic-led governing coalition. But in Washington terms that made him the most left-wing member of the United States Senate. How should conservatives remember him? Left to my own devices, I'd have stolen Frank's line: "What the hell, he was an annoying little high-tax statist, but I liked the guy." Which was, broadly, true. I'd barely heard of Wellstone before I covered the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999, but on the three or four occasions I ran into him during the Monica era I found him considerably less creepy than most of his desiccated colleagues, even if he was wrong on pretty much everything.

But the metaphorical press agent in my head kept saying, whoa, man, talk about faint praise; c'mon, it'd be so easy to borrow Frank's other line: "That he was a consummate socialist is not really as important as my telling you he was one of the finest human beings I've ever known." Alas, by the time of Wellstone's memorial on Tuesday, such grudging understatement was no longer acceptable.

On Tuesday, 20,000 close personal friends gathered in the sombre cloisters of the U of M basketball arena to pay tribute to his life and memory in a service that made the Iranian obsequies for the Ayatollah Khomeini seem a model of taste and restraint. There would have been 20,001, but, in keeping with the bipartisan spirit of the event, Vice-President Dick Cheney was told to stay away. Governor Jesse Ventura, Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott and former Republican Senator Rod Helms were allowed in, but just so the mourners could boo them. If you missed the three-and-a-half-hour live broadcast on all Minnesota channels, here's the short version of the Democratic eulogies:

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your votes."

But let's take a look at the longer version. The Reverend Jesse Jackson compared the late Senator to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. That sounds pretty impressive, until you remember that, at the memorial for NBA star Len Bias, who died of a cocaine overdose, the Rev. Jesse compared the deceased to King, Gandhi, Mozart and Jesus Christ -- "all young, gifted, strong and militant, all taken in the prime of their lives." Evidently, Senator Wellstone wound up with the condensed version of Jesse's standard eulogistic shtick, as indeed did Jesse himself when in 1988 he was compared to Dr. King and Gandhi by Jimmy Carter. It would be interesting to know what a Democrat has to do not to get compared to King and Gandhi, though I recall that, at the height of his Monica troubles, Bill Clinton was reduced to comparing himself to Dr. King.

But this is standard guff: With digital technology, there's no reason why Jesse can't go on comparing folks to Gandhi long after he's dead. Next came Mark Wellstone, the Senator's son, bellowing into the microphone "We will win! We will win! We will win!" as the crowd bayed its approval. This seemed a little off-message, given that his dad had just been seen on video saying, "Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning." But there's an election on Tuesday and right now winning for the sake of winning is what it's all about.

Well, OK, the kid's still in shock. He'll cringe with embarrassment in years to come if they ever show a clip on TV, but cut him some slack, he's under a ton of pressure from the party heavyweights, let it go. Next came longtime Wellstone sidekick Rick Kahn, who urged everyone to "set aside the partisan bickering" by prostrating themselves before Paul's shrine. In a cheerfully totalitarian moment, he demanded that those political opponents present -- identified by name -- see the error of their ways and help "win this election for Paul Wellstone."

But, OK, Rick Kahn's one of those obsessive political aides who's invested his entire life in some other guy and now that guy's gone and you can't blame him for getting carried away. So on came Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa to declare that Wellstone "never took himself too seriously" and "never had to proclaim his decency." What a schmuck! Harkin relentlessly proclaimed Wellstone's and by extension his own decency, and he was deadly serious about it. And round about then you realized it really doesn't matter now who Paul Wellstone was or what he did. That Wellstone has ceased to exist. And what's taken his place -- a stew of beatified Jesse-Harkinite clichés -- is just a bloody shroud to rouse the faithful and bully the rest.

There's nothing for the Republicans in this, except the certainty that their hopes of taking back the Senate are being interred with Mahatma Luther Wellstone. Democrats have perfected the art of being simultaneously maudlin and vicious, ruthlessly partisan in their pious denunciations of partisanship. By Saturday, Walter Mondale had been tapped to replace Wellstone. You remember -- Vice-President under Carter, linchpin of the Administration that gave America energy crises, double-digit inflation, Cuban troops in Angola, American hostages in Tehran, the good old days. When Republicans began cautiously dusting off Mondale's résumé, the Democrats' hatchet men stopped sobbing long enough to turn up on CNN and berate the GOP for being so tasteless as even to mention the election. "Couldn't they wait until Paul is in the ground?" Nevada Senator Harry Reid demanded. "And his wife and his child?" Thou shalt not speak ill of the dead, or the old guy we found to substitute for the dead.

But here's the thing. Even as Senator Reid was huffing, the Democrats were already filing their first election lawsuit against Minnesota's Secretary of State: Ask not for whom the chad hangs, it hangs for thee! Palm Beach comes to International Falls! The Democrats are already suing because the post-Wellstone supplemental ballot, among other deficiencies, doesn't include instructions in Russian or Hmong, which is, as I'm sure you know, the language of the Hmong people. Couldn't the Dems wait to go to court until Paul is in the ground? And his wife and his child?

Silly question. Even now, Jesse is working on rhymes for Hmong, and Ted Kennedy is practising denouncing Republican hate-Hmongers without sounding like he's hiccuping.

Of all the many memorials Jesse Jackson has attended, he never spoke truer words than at the service for Ron Brown, Bill Clinton's Commerce Secretary, who also died in a plane crash: "When a ghetto boy with a dream rises above his predicament, and when he dies, billionaires become 'others,' " said Jesse, "that's a long journey." The Rev was referring to the brutal billing of sudden death: Ron Brown was the star on his fatal flight, and news reports listed the CEOs travelling with him only as "others."

Just so. In a celebrity plane crash, there's only room for one Patsy Cline, everyone else is Cowboy Copas, her fellow passenger that day. Wellstone died with his wife, his daughter, three aides and two pilots, and in death as in life billing prevails. It might have been nice if, in among all the partisan rallying, the speakers had managed to spare a thought for those caught up by a quirk of fate in this circus. But Senator Harkin didn't bother mentioning them and to David Wellstone they were simply "the pilots." For the record, they were Richard Conry, 55, and Michael Guess, 30.

But they didn't matter to Senator Harkin and nor, in the end, does Paul Wellstone. He's an abstract now. It says something that, of the two Senate Democrats not to make it to election day, there was more honesty in the ghastly emotional masturbation of sleazy Bob Torricelli's resignation speech than in Paul Wellstone's "memorial" "service." To paraphrase Senator Reid, even if Paul's not yet in his grave, I'll bet he's turning in it.

© Copyright 2002 National Post
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Old 11-01-2002, 05:39 PM   #20
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I thought it was to be a celebration of his life, not a memorial service.
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Old 11-01-2002, 05:45 PM   #21
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Originally posted by tiny dancer
I thought it was to be a celebration of his life, not a memorial service.
That's the current spin due to the backlash..

It was a pep rally booing the oposing party, Tiny
Not good form.

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Old 11-02-2002, 05:18 PM   #22
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Democratic operatives planned, engineered Wellstone political rally
Oct 31, 2002, 09:12

Political operatives at the Democratic National Committee in Washington developed the plan to turn the memorial service for Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone into a political rally, top party sources tell Capitol Hill Blue.

The party also urged the Wellstone family to ask Vice President Dick Cheney to not attend the service and concocted the excuse that security for the VP would disrupt the event even though Secret Service security was required for former president Bill Clinton, who was invited and who did attend.

Rick Kahn, the Wellstone campaign worker and friend, worked the highly partisan crowd into a frenzy with strong rhetoric urging them to get out and elect replacement candidate Walter Mondale.

"That was the plan all along and it was one of the reasons we didn't want Cheney at the event," says one Democratic political operative who spoke only under promise that his name not be used. "It was a high stakes gamble but this is a campaign that demands high risks."

The secret plan was developled at the DNC headquarters in Washington and approved by party chairman Terry McAuliffe, the source said.

Kahn was then briefed and urged to turn the memorial event into a political rally. Wellstone campaign manager Jeff Blodgett's apology Wednesday afternoon was also part of the plan, designed to provide party deniability, the sources said.

"There were two agendas at work," one source said. "We needed to draw attention to the election. Between the sniper and Iraq, the election has been lost in the news. And then we needed to energize the Democratic base and Wellstone supporters in Minnesota."

While Kahn's firey rhetoric, and walkouts by Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and GOP Senate Leader Trent Lott, fueled controversy, Democratic political operatives in Washington congratulated each other Wednesday.

"Mission accomplished" was the message of the day at the DNC and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee offices.

Sources within both committees also said the Wellstone event is only the beginning of plans for media-generating activities through the election next week.

"This is war," one operative said. "The Republicans are too busy planning war on Iraq. They won't even see us coming."

The DNC and DSCC did not return phone calls seeking comment on this report.
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Old 11-02-2002, 10:23 PM   #23
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Good post #3...

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