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Monday, March 29, 2004

Connolly Watch 3.29.04: Go Ceci!

For some reason, the Fox News site doesn't have a transcript for Fox News Sunday but the Washington Post does. Ceci Connolly was a panelist yesterday, and she made a strong statement on Richard Clarke and how the White House was going after him personally rather than answering the substance of his charges, even making Bill Kristol look foolish in their exchange:

CONNOLLY: I think one of the things that is unfortunate here is that by and large the response from the administration has not been on the substance of Clarke's charges.

As Congressman Hamilton sort of summed them up, I think very well, the first one being that the wrong war was fought. And there are many serious people, including Bill Kristol, I believe, who felt that Iraq did distract from the war on terrorism, Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden. And the other had to do with how focused and how urgent terrorism was in the Bush White House.

Why not have a serious, substantive discussion about that, rather than, you know, really trying to -- trying to attack him personally? That's the part that's a little bit puzzling and, I think you heard from those commission members today, disappointing.

And the fact that Condoleezza Rice is still refusing to testify in public at this point is curious, because she's answering everybody else's questions, she's writing op-ed pieces in our newspaper, she's going to appear on "60 Minutes" on another network this evening. So why not go in front of that commission and answer their questions under oath? I don't quite understand it at this point.

KRISTOL: They're not attacking Clarke personally. I mean, Clarke presents his version of history, and they're not entitled to present their version of it, which is documentary?

CONNOLLY: When they say that he's bitter about losing out on a job promotion to an African-American? That sounds personal.

Wow! Ceci really pleasantly surprised me with this. She also had a good take on Bush's WMD joking later on, shrugging off Chris Wallace's suggestion Kerry is politicizing it:

CONNOLLY: That may be, and that's politics. You know, it ain't beanbag, as they say.

I think that these assignments simply that the president had that night at the dinner are impossible. You know, trying to be funny at these things is so difficult, and he is quite good at it. I mean, he really is very good at self-deprecating humor. The pictures were funny. I laughed at the photos. I mean, he looks goofy, and he's got that great deadpan delivery.

I can also understand how some people -- I don't know so much about, that could take offense, that he somehow is discounting the service of our troops, but perhaps it was an insight into how seriously he takes the fact that we have yet to find weapons of mass destruction. That may be a little bit of a more legitimate area to discuss.

A+ for Sunday's performance! She should've done well, I suppose, not having published an article in the Post under her own byline since March 16, leaving her plenty of prep time for the panel segment.