Favorite Son. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) is taking one for the clan, bailing his dad out of the awkward position of having had to say “no” to helping the ever-controversial Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) save his House seat — from a former aide to the Senator, no less (err, uh, hence the awkwardness).
Sources tell HOH that prior to the Memorial Day recess Moran asked Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.),
his fellow Irishman, to do “an event” for him. The Senator politely declined.
“The Senator has to remain neutral. He’s not in the habit of getting involved in primaries,” one Kennedy staffer put it oh-so-diplomatically.
But HOH’s sources say the Senator simply could not help Moran, what with former Kennedy aide Andy Rosenberg challenging Moran in the Democratic primary and what with Moran’s more outrageous comments and actions over the past few years — ranging from blaming Jews for the war against Iraq to getting into an altercation with an 8-year-old child.
Sen. Kennedy’s declining to help Moran naturally left Congressman Kennedy in the undesirable position of having to face Moran — and the better-than-average odds that his Irish ire would be up — on the House floor.
As the story goes, when Rep. Kennedy saw Moran ambling over to him off the House floor, freshly rebuffed by Sen. Kennedy, the wide-eyed son, quick on his feet, pre-empted a would-be scene. He put his hand out, offered an apology for his father, and suggested he do a fundraiser — “anything” — for an old family friend.
“He volunteered and it meant a lot to me,” Moran told HOH.
However, the Virginia Congressman insisted that he never asked Patrick’s father for help. “I wouldn’t ask him because … Ted’s too busy getting John Kerry elected president. But Patrick, we’re friends. He’s happy to do it,” Moran said.
But did Patrick offer an apology for his father? “That’s not really the way it went,” Moran said. “He didn’t have to apologize for his dad. I’m crazy about his dad and I’m crazy about Patrick. I never asked his dad. So there’s nothing to apologize for. … And even if he had apologized, I wouldn’t want to say it because that’s a private conversation.”
Moran says that the fundraiser featuring Kennedy will be held Wednesday night and that he didn’t give Kennedy instructions “one way or another” on what to say. “You never know what Patrick is gonna say. But he’s far more responsible than me,” Moran joked.
We’d be interested to find out how Rep. Kennedy refers to Moran’s challenger. Perhaps he’ll take a different approach than Moran who, in an interview with WAMU last week, quoted Kennedy as calling Rosenberg “a little shit.”
Out to Get Ralph. Week Two into their mission to destroy this year’s most notorious third party presidential candidate, the folks at TheNaderFactor.com have launched a new weblog: the Weblog of Mass Discussion.
“A premium will be placed on open, honest discussion,” the anti-Nader site announced last week.
The new blog is being launched in tandem with ads airing in New Mexico and Wisconsin featuring (an alleged) former Nader supporter — a wholesome high school English teacher named Bob Schick — who says he cast the wrong vote in 2000. “By supporting Ralph Nader, I actually helped George Bush,” he now laments.
These ads come to you from some of the same people who helped knock out Howard Dean with the Osama bin Laden ads in Iowa and, oddly, from the Dean staffers who got knocked out.
The former Democratic enemies cum best buds include Tricia Enright, former communications director of Dean’s campaign, now president of the National Progress Fund (the official name of the 527 that runs TheNaderFactor.com) and David Jones, a Democratic fundraiser who was responsible for the scathing attack ads against Dean.
“It’s about time he started using his powers for good instead of evil,” Enright said of former worst enemy, new best friend Jones.
The new anti-Nader group also includes Chris Kofinis and John Hlinko, founders of the Draft Wesley Clark campaign. “I want to focus on the future,” says Hlinko. “We fought like cats and dogs during the campaign but now it’s time for the cats and dogs to get along.”
True Lies? David Corn’s book excoriating President Bush — it’s called “The Lies of George W. Bush — Mastering the Politics of Deception” — is coming out in paperback later this month, and there will be, as is usual on these occasions, a party to honor the author.
The hosts for the June 23 party include such liberal media and political types as Helen Thomas, Paul Begala, Clarence Page, Bill Press, Margaret Carlson and Eleanor Clift, among others. But there is one name we were surprised to find on the list of hosts — James Pinkerton.
Pinkerton, a political analyst for Fox News and Newsday columnist, worked in the White House under then-Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and toiled for the GOP side during the presidential campaigns of 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992, according to his bio, and is a well-known voice on the political right.
So what is a conservative like Pinkerton doing hosting a party for a lib like Corn, who toils for The Nation when not producing Bush-bashing tomes? Is Pinkerton about to jump to the other side of the ideological divide, start wearing Birkenstocks, drinking soy milk and singing “Kumbaya”?
Not a chance, Pinkerton noted on Friday.
“I am not endorsing the book,” said Pinkerton, who along with Corn opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq last year.
“In the spirit of Voltaire, I’m not defending the book; I’m defending his right to publish it.”
Pinkerton added: “As much as I’d like to meet Paul Newman, I don’t want to be on the board of The Nation.”
The Earth thus returns to its proper axis.
John Bresnahan contributed to this report.