Friday, January 18, 2008

Clinton Sleaze Shows In Nevada Campaign

We are indeed fortunate that there is no primary campaign in Tijuana, because if there were, Hillary and Bill Clinton, seeking desperately to restore themselves to power, might be cottoning up to the drug cartel.

Is this excessive? I think not, when you look at the Clintons endorsing gambling and cottoning up to the gaming industry in advance of tomorrow's Nevada Caucuses.

That is the subject of a story today by Peter Wallsten and Peter Nicholas in the Los Angeles Times. The story points out that Sen. Barack Obama has pointed out the "moral and social cost" of gambling and its devastating effect on poor communities, and that when he was serving in the Illinois Legislature he voted against the extension of river boat gambling on the Mississippi.

What this shows is that the Clinton will pander, and Obama will not. The Clintons' stand Is a bald attempt to scare casino workers whose union has endorsed Obama from voting for him in the Caucuses.

And it may work. The Clintons, still sleazy on this tenth anniversary week of the advent of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, have been trying to have it both ways in Nevada. They implicitly backed a lawsuit that would have scrapped plans to hold Caucuses in nine casinos to make it easier for workers to attend. When a judge threw that out, then they emphasized their pro-gambling position.

Don't misunderstand me. Obama has not gone into Nevada and denounced gambling on every hand, and his position in Illinois was even somewhat nuanced. But at least he is too honest a man to make it seem he is for something when he's not.

We hear constantly from the Clintons, now that they are under pressure, that they stand for "change," and represent good, efficient government. But make no mistake, Obama is the candidate of clean, efficient government, of constructive change. He represents a new departure for the U.S., and a sensible electorate will surely prefer him to the Clintons. If they return to the White House, we won't know for certain just who is President, unless Hillary comes to her senses and finally throws him out.

While I'm discussing the gambling issue, and its ramifications for tomorrow's caucuses, I should add that I'm opposed to four measures on the Feb. 5 California ballot that would extend casino gambling in California and bring thousands of new slot machines to the state.

The measures are numbered 94, 95, 96 and 97. They are supported by the phony advocate of good government, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We have more than enough gambling in California. Gambling, except for horse racing, which at least has sports aspects, is better left to Nevada, and to the California lottery. Its extension, regardless what it might mean for state revenues, is not, in my view, in the public interest.

This is not a new position for me. On May 6 of last year, this blog opposed a proposal to add 22,000 slot machines in California.

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Tomorrow is also the date of the important South Carolina Republican primary. (The Democratic primary will be held a week later). The main test in South Carolina is between the candidacies of Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Mike Huckabee. A Fox poll out today shows McCain leading Huckabee, 27% to 20% with the other Republican candidates trailing.

The New York Times, Washington Post and L.A. Times all had articles yesterday on a renewal of the dirty anti-McCain tactics that defeated McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary. This time, McCain is answering back to the scoundrels who are trying to portray his heroic service in Vietnam in a dark light, just as they smeared Sen. John Kerry on his war service in the 2004 election.

Particularly good in this vein was Matthew Mosk's article in yesterday's Washington Post. Mosk is the grandson of the late California State Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk, and after serving as the Post's statehouse correspondent in Annapolis, Md., has has been brought into Washington to cover primarily the monetary aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign.

The main thing, as I argued before the New Hampshire primary, in endorsing both the McCain and Obama candidacies, is that they are candidates of high character. The Clintons, and to a lesser extent, Huckabee, would represent a return to the feuds and extreme partisanship of the past.

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