Robert Novak

 WASHINGTON -- Jamie Gorelick, the Clinton administration lawyer defended as a wholly non-partisan member of the independent commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has contributed more heavily to political candidates -- almost all Democrats -- than any other commissioner.

 Government records show Gorelick, President Clinton's deputy attorney general, donating at least $32,500 to federal candidates since 1998. Only $4,250 of that total went to Republicans. She gave the maximum $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign last year when he was struggling.

 The commission chairman, former Republican New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, defended Gorelick last Friday after House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner called for her resignation. Sensenbrenner contended Gorelick had disqualified herself by constructing in 1995 the wall between the FBI and the CIA under attack by the commission.


 Sources close to Sen. John Kerry say he still feels the pain of being passed over for vice president four years ago and wants to avoid inflicting that punishment on anybody else as he picks his own running mate.

 Kerry was announced as a contestant in 2000 as Al Gore held a public competition for vice president. Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Edwards ended up as the finalists, with Kerry eliminated early after being led to believe he had a real shot to be Gore's choice.

 With Kerry determined not to mislead anybody, no list of prospects has been put out. Unofficial lists come from people who are not close to the presumptive presidential nominee and do not know his mind.


 Prospecting among thousands of words uttered by John Kerry, Republican researchers spotted gold Tuesday in a Washington Post op-ed column by the prospective Democratic presidential nominee that attempted a non-partisan approach to Iraq.

 "(W)e are seeing increasing numbers of Iraqis," Kerry wrote, "lashing out at the United States to express their frustration over what the Bush administration has and hasn't done." The unfortunate word was "frustration," which Republicans say Kerry applied to the Iraqi fighters who are murdering Americans. That will be used repeatedly against the Democratic candidate.

 Kerry has taken a less combative posture on Iraq since he clinched the nomination, angering some anti-war Democrats. Describing the "frustration" of Iraqi gunmen, therefore, was a mistake rather than a calculated strategy.


Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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