COLUMNS

President pacifies interest groups

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • July 08, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz

The aftershock effect in Washington of Thursday’s London terrorist attacks could actually help Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ chances for a seat on the Supreme Court. His legal advice on terror has pleased conservatives, who have been critical of his position on other emotional issues including abortion rights, contending they weren’t sure he was conservative enough. All clues point in the direction of looking a lot like we’re going to be calling Gonzales “Judge.”

High strategy

The White House flew Gonzales to Iraq last week to demonstrate his broad appeal and, at the same time, distance him from the court selection hoopla. The message the conservatives are putting out gives deference to the fact that the liberals, who would ordinarily be opposed to Gonzales, are getting a better deal. After all, if the conservatives have concerns about him, that makes him less threatening to liberals. He’s already gone through one rigorous confirmation process, including a grilling on his drafting of the so-called torture memos.

Advised by Thompson, trusted by W

This time, he will have the well-respected former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., who not only served on the Judiciary Committee but has a “Law and Order” credit under his belt, ushering him – or whomever the nominee is – through the confirmation process. More importantly, President Bush trusts Gonzales and likes him, and has gone out on a limb to defend him in the face of the attacks against him. This president, as all do, wants to leave a legacy of “firsts.” Will President Bush appoint Gonzales to be the first Hispanic associate justice on the Supreme Court to fill the shoes of the first woman in that position? My bets are on this one. Next question: Who will succeed him as AG?

Love’s good vibrations and meditations

Mike Love of the Beach Boys has been a seeker of ”good vibrations” for 40 years. He was one of the first pop stars to practice Transcendental Meditation, and met with Maharishi Yogi and accompanied the Beatles on their trip to the guru’s ashram in India in 1968. The Beach Boys even wrote and recorded the “TM Song,” so it’s no surprise that before he entertained the audience at the annual Fourth of July celebration on the Capitol lawn, he addressed a meeting of meditators at American University.

They were inaugurating a national campaign to “Rebuild America in Harmony with Natural Law.” There he noted that his nontoxic home in Lake Tahoe was designed by Vedic architects using ancient Sthapatya Veda techniques to ensure health, success and peace. Whatever he’s doing, “California Surfin” had a timeless appeal to everyone in the happy crowd. “The world really needs new vibrations,” he told the meditators.

Twin sisters Barbara, left, and Jenna Bush.

Grandpa Bush chowed down in town

While his son was in Europe at the G-8, President Bush 41 dined at Morton’s on Connecticut Avenue Wednesday evening with his wife, Barbara, and two aides. Sporting a seersucker suit, he walked across the street after an event at the Mayflower Hotel. The former president hasn’t lost his appetite. He ate oysters on the half shell, a presidential-sized Porterhouse steak and Morton’s famous Godiva chocolate cake.

Carter steps down

After seven and a half years, Hodding Carter III steps down later this month as president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, one of the nation’s largest private foundations. He plans to move from Miami to Chapel Hill, N.C., to become University Professor of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of North Carolina. Carter spent many years in Washington as State Department spokesman during the Iran hostage crisis, and was a columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

Better destinations for travelin’ twins

Don’t expect to see the Bush twins at Smith Point, their favorite Georgetown hangout, this week. The president’s daughter Jenna accompanied him on his fourth trip to Europe – to the G-8 summit in Scotland. She then joined the first lady in a trip to Africa where she will see her twin, Barbara, who is there working on an AIDS project. Both are getting high marks for reforming their wild-gal image.

Not there when you need them?

D.C. photojournalist Carrie Devorah, who lived near the Edgware Road station in London before moving to D.C., says that after the Olympics were awarded to London earlier this week, the city closed some 10 emergency service providers citing lack of funding. Upon hearing that Buckingham Palace is under lock and key following Thursday’s terrorist attacks, the red-headed Devorah quipped: “They couldn’t even keep out deadbeat dads and News of The World Reporters who visited Condi’s room when she last stayed there. …”

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