Political predictions of a Bush and a Clinton in the White House

June 14, 1999|By Andrew J. Glass

WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham said today, "I shall go to Kosovo" in a bid to extract U.S. forces from the Balkan quagmire.

Ms. Rodham's pledge to visit the shaky cease-fire lines as her first presidential act was promptly assailed as "an empty gesture" by Vice President Elizabeth Dole, the Republican choice to succeed President George W. Bush in 2009.

Broadcasting from her Internet site, people-first.com, Ms. Rodham cited what she termed "the long litany of Bush blunders that have compelled our brave women and men to forgo their role as peacekeepers to fight a ground war against the Eastern Orthodox Axis on behalf of the Islamic Brotherhood."

In announcing her intention to visit a divided Kosovo if elected, Ms. Rodham retraced what historians regard as a possible turning point in the 1952 U.S. presidential elections.

The eventual victor, Dwight Eisenhower, had said "I shall go to Korea" in criticizing another unpopular war. After taking office, Eisenhower secretly told the North Koreans and Chinese that he was prepared to use nuclear weapons and carry the war to China if peace were not quickly achieved.

As she readied her White House run (after winning a second Senate term from New York), Ms. Rodham has increasingly turned her attention to foreign affairs. Her opponent in the 2006 Democratic primary, Rep. Andrew Cuomo, a New York Democrat and a former Cabinet member in the Clinton administration, has endorsed the Dole-Bush candidacy as "my personal moral choice." As a hundred million Americans prepare to vote in November on the Internet, it is all but certain that Ms. Rodham has been "inoculated" against the issue of the now 6-year-old divorce proceedings. In a similar sense, Vice President Dole is seen as having been "inoculated" against the "Viagra hoax" scandal that once engulfed former Sen. Bob Dole, her 85-year-old husband.

But surveys suggest that both major party candidates face political problems within a restive electorate in the wake of the sporadic fighting in the Balkans that Mr. Clinton triggered in 1999 and which Mr. Bush has not been able to halt.

The third-party tag team of Jesse Ventura and Jesse Jackson, seeking to mount what they call "a co-presidency" in 2009, have denounced both the projected Rodham and Bush trips as "just more messin' around."

Andrew J. Glass is a Washington-based columnist for Cox Newspapers. His e-mail address: aglass@coxnews.com.

Pub Date: 6/14/99

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