“Hardball” host Chris Matthews gives his take on the day’s top political headlines.
Junkets for Hillary’s crowd
Junket time! Usually you have to win the election to get the free junkets. Not in the case of the Hillary Clinton crowd. The L.A. Times reports that fugitive businessman Norman Shue who raised tons of money for her has thrown in some nice bennies for her roadies. He flew Hillary’s campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle and some other Hillarites out to the Mandalay Bay Hotel and casino, threw in a handful of show tickets and dinner comps. The trouble with taking gifts from strangers, as the Clintons ought to know, is they’re… strangers. Politics is packed with odd, lonely characters looking to build a social life – and a little prestige – by giving big money to politicians. The trouble is you get them along with their money.
Thompson’s easy street
Speaking of easy street, Fred Thompson is playing into the hands of critics who think he ought to be advertising La-Z-boy recliners. The late-arriving Tennessean, who already has the lightest campaign schedule of any of the candidates, has a big public schedule this week… nothing!
Moveon.org strikes back
The urban warfare, meanwhile, is escalating for 2008. Rudy took a deadly shot at his cross-town rival Hillary last week and at the anti-war group MoveOn.org for its “Petreaus Betray-us.” Today, MoveOn shot back.
Romney tags Iran’s president
Now, a story that reeks of desperation. Mitt Romney apparently doesn’t know that the United Nations isn’t a U.S. property. He’s threatening the U.N. to not let the president of Iran speak to the general assembly. He threatens to quit the U.N. if they let him speak. Somebody should explain to the guy that we don’t get to say who speaks at the U.N. It’s an “international”organization, Mr. Former Governor.
ACLU backs Larry Craig
And, since we’re speaking of desperate gestures, Larry Craig has a new friend: the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says he’s a victim of entrapment. The trouble with the entrapment defense is that it implies an admission of actual guilt. If your legal defense is that you were lured into commiting an act, then you’re admitting that you committed the act… right?
New tourist hotspot
Meanwhile, workers at the Minneapolis Airport are reporting that Craig’s infamous bathroom stall has become the hottest tourist attraction in town! Passersby have been stopping to check out where the wide-stanced Senator did his thing. And with the Republicans holding their convention in Minneapolis this year, it’s bound to make a great reception booth.
Cleaning up their mess
Finally, a lesson to be learned from Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who’s been coaching for 43 years. After his players got arrested for an off-campus fight, the veteran Nittany Lions coach decided to give the team an object lesson by getting them to help clean up the stands after home games this season. It’s something we could use at the national level. Your crowd creates a mess. You clean it up. It’s called “accountability.”