Ross Mackenzie

Fox News and NPR analyst Juan Williams: “When Barack Obama, arguably the best of this generation of black or white leaders, finds it easy to sit in the Rev. Wright’s pews and nod along with wacky and bitterly divisive racial rhetoric, it does call his judgment into question. And it reveals a continuing crisis in racial leadership.”

Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, in an interview with the Charleston Gazette — for which he subsequently apologized: “McCain was a fighter pilot who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when (the missiles) get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

Columnist Christopher Hitchens: “It (now) seems that the more vapid and vacuous the logo, the more charm (or should that be ‘charisma’?) it exerts. Take (Obama’s) ‘Yes We Can,’ for example. It’s the sort of thing parents might chant encouragingly to a child slow on the potty-training uptake. As for (Obama’s) ‘We Are the People We Have Been Waiting For’ (in which case, one can only suppose that now that we have arrived, we can all go home), I didn’t think much of it when Rep. Dennis Kucinich used it at an anti-war rally in 2004.”

McCain: “I believe President Bush should evaluate his participation in the ceremonies surrounding the Olympics and, based on Chinese actions, decide whether it is appropriate to attend. If Chinese policies and practices do not change, I would not attend the opening ceremonies.”

Jack Kemp, former Congressman, vice-presidential candidate, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: “I love what Bobby Kennedy said in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 1968: ‘To ignore the potential contribution of private enterprise is to fight the war on poverty with a single platoon, while great armies are left to stand aside.’ Barack, let’s get together with, say: John Bryant of Operation Hope in Los Angeles; Ambassador Andrew Young of Good Works International; Bob Woodson of the Neighborhood Enterprise Foundation in Washington, D.C.; Ted Forstmann of Forstmann Little & Co. in New York; Russell Redenbaugh, a U.S. civil rights commissioner in Philadelphia; and economist Art Laffer. We can discuss how best to tackle the issue you raised in your March 18 speech, when you identified the lack of economic opportunity for people of color as one of our nation’s greatest challenges. Any interest, sir?”

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

Be the first to read Ross Mackenzie's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.