Tony Blankley
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Our long national nightmare is nearly over. With Barack saying he might run, with Hillary reported to "be making phone calls to New Yorkers," with Evan Bayh and Sam Brownback getting less coy by the day and with Tom Vilsack actually announcing his candidacy (the correct pronunciation of his name "that's vill-sack, not vile sack"), the 2008 presidential campaign is about to start. The nightmare of not having a national campaign to talk about -- now into its hideous 29th day -- is almost over.

And what a relief. The cycle of election period followed by governing period followed by election period was getting seriously out of proportion. Election cycles may be vulgar, demagogic, hypocritical, mudslinging exercises in misleading the American people and corrupting the democratic process -- but they are essentially harmless. Those governing periods, however, are downright dangerous.

I think all Americans can agree that a month of it this time was quite enough. Even with Congress having been largely out of town and the president having been largely abroad, this last month has been a perilous period of bad policy formulation and ill-considered congressional leadership selections.

Far better that we spend the next 25 months selecting the next scapegoat to be sacrificed on behalf of our refusal to admit to our genuine national problems. And, defying reason and common sense, once again our best and brightest are elbowing each other furiously to be selected for the sacrificial honor.

Actually, in logic and grammar, all the candidates cannot be our best and brightest. All but one could only be considered our better and brighter. And, as one looks down the list, not many of even those seem to be available. But, there is a national media consensus -- concurred in by the candidate himself -- that the best and brightest is walking amongst us even now and may soon audaciously condescend to throw his oversized hat into the ring.

Barack Obama is before us. All rise. And remember, his name spelled backward is Kcarab Amabo -- which sounds better than my name backward -- Ynot Yelknalb (to which I might respond " I sure am yelknalb).

After two grueling years legislating in the Senate, this man, whose seasoned judgment the world will be relying on for its very survival, assesses that this is the optimum moment for him to lead the world. Everything he has done and thought in the last several months has prepared him for this moment. He is now at the peak of his experience and sagacity.

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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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