Tony Blankley

 It would appear that John Kerry is running for president for the same reason that chickens cross to the other side of the street: just to get there. Can anyone, including Mr. Kerry, state in one sentence why he wants to be president? Usually, presidential aspirants at least fake some intense sense of mission.

 Dwight Eisenhower was going to end the Korean War. Kennedy was going to get the country moving again. Nixon was going to bring the country together and end the Vietnam War. Jimmy Carter was going to return honesty to the Oval Office. Ronald Reagan was going to defeat communism and cut taxes. George H.W. Bush was going to make a kinder, gentler country (whatever that meant) and save the Pledge of Allegiance from the ACLU. Bill Clinton was going to focus on the economy like a laser and end welfare as we know it. George W. Bush in 2000 was going to return decency to the Oval Office and have a more humble foreign policy (one out of two isn't bad). Even that old scalawag, the 29th president, Warren Gamaliel Harding, won a historic victory on the promise of a return to normalcy. (A promise he kept, if one considers corruption and philandering normal.)

 Losers, also, usually have a campaign theme. George McGovern wanted to end the war in Vietnam (a perennial favorite). Walter Mondale wanted to raise taxes (Yes, it was only 20 years ago that liberal tax raisers openly and honestly ran on their convictions.) Al Gore was going to be for the people and against the powerful. (Bad call; the meek may inherit the Earth, but they rarely win elections. But at least Mr. Gore had a theme.)

 Certainly, Howard Dean had a mission: End the war in Iraq, and crush Washington politicians like they were cockroaches. He would have been the sentimental favorite on the second point, and might yet have won on the first one.

 Quickly, think of the phrase that catches John Kerry's theme. ... I can't either. Only two phrases come to mind at all: Bring It On, and Work With Our Allies in Europe and the U.N. Who amongst us will put down our beers (or cognacs) and remote controls on Nov. 2 to go to the polls and vote for either of those phrases?

 The ancient Greeks believed that a person's personality defined one's destiny. John Kerry would seem to be making that case. While his opponents and some of his Senate colleagues consider him an opportunist, a true opportunist would ruthlessly say and do whatever is necessary to win. If he is an opportunist, he would have to be considered a singularly inept one. And John Kerry does not strike me as inept.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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