Monday, July 11, 2005

Clinton compares Bush to Alfred E. Newman, Mad Magazine outraged

Former First Lady and US Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) compared current President George W. Bush to Mad Magazine character Alfred E. Newman at a speech yesterday at the inagural Aspen Ideas Festival.

"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," Clinton said during the inaugural Aspen Ideas Festival, organized by the Aspen Institute, a non-partisan think tank.

The former first lady drew a laugh from the crowd when she described Bush's attitude toward tough issues with Neuman's catch phrase: "What, me worry?"

This isn't the first time Clinton has made the reference, last April Clinton told NY Daily News reporters and editors she felt BushCo has a Newman "what, me worry?" attitude concerning the current fiscal situation the country is in.

Republicans are, as usual, incensed, that anyone - let alone Clinton would criticize the president and his administration in this manner.

"At a time when President Bush and most elected officials are focused on the security of our nation, Mrs. Clinton seems focused on taking partisan jabs and promoting her presidential campaign," added New York's GOP chairman, Stephen Minarik. "Her priorities are clearly out of whack."

To the GOP, Clinton should respond with a terse reminder of statements made by the President at a press conference 13 March 2002 and the fact bin Laden is still on the run and al-Qaeda is still functioning and the fact that American soldiers are still lacking proper equipment [emphasis added]

Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part -- deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of --

THE PRESIDENT: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission.

Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all.

So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong; that when we find enemy bunched up like we did in Shahikot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did.

And there will be other battles in Afghanistan. There's going to be other struggles like Shahikot, and I'm just as confident about the outcome of those future battles as I was about Shahikot, where our soldiers are performing brilliantly. We're tough, we're strong, they're well-equipped. We have a good strategy. We are showing the world we know how to fight a guerrilla war with conventional means.

Q But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became -- we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore. And if we -- excuse me for a minute -- and if we find a training camp, we'll take care of it. Either we will or our friends will. That's one of the things -- part of the new phase that's becoming apparent to the American people is that we're working closely with other governments to deny sanctuary, or training, or a place to hide, or a place to raise money.

And we've got more work to do. See, that's the thing the American people have got to understand, that we've only been at this six months. This is going to be a long struggle. I keep saying that; I don't know whether you all believe me or not. But time will show you that it's going to take a long time to achieve this objective. And I can assure you, I am not going to blink. And I'm not going to get tired. Because I know what is at stake. And history has called us to action, and I am going to seize this moment for the good of the world, for peace in the world and for freedom.
She could even remind the GOP of the current issue with Karl Rove being involved in the public identification of a CIA operative and the President's lack of action or response to the public confirmation of that fact. She is certainly right that Bush does not seem to care about a lot of things that US citizens think are pretty damned important.

Clinton does, however, owe an apology to MAD Magazine and Alfred E. Newman - I think they may take the current state of the country more seriously than they let on.

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