October 12, 2006
In response to Sen. Hillary Clinton's statement that the North Korean nuclear (?) test was evidence of the "failure" of Bush administration policies, Sen. John McCain reminded everyone of the hopeless accommodative policy pursued by Bill Clinton during the 1990s. As McCain said, the Clinton administration's repeated warnings to North Korea not to take certain steps were routinely ignored, and each time the bad behavior was rewarded with another round of prestige-building negotiations. It was a "carrots-and-no-sticks" policy. See Washington Post.
Clearly, this is a case of political expediency converging with national security strategy. McCain has serious shortcomings in his approach to politics (pandering to the press) and on specific issues (e.g., immigration), but his desire to curry favor with conservatives has reinforced the faltering consensus on foreign policy at a critical moment for the Republican party and for the country. The Democrats' attempts to blame the North Korean provocations on President Bush are simply outrageous; as I note separately. Unfortunately, we may never know the full truth about the Clinton administration's foreign policy misadventures, thanks to "Sandy Burglar."
Former Virginia governor Mark Warner has decided not to enter the 2008 race for president bcause he "needs to spend more time with his family." The lamest political cliche of all time! I suppose Republicans can breathe a little easier, now that the centrist Democrats have lost one of their leading voices. See washingtonpost.com. Just think, last summer, many folks from the Commonwealth were dreaming about having two Virginians competing for the Highest Office in the next election!