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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kline and Baker

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

Asked to identify personal political heroes, Kline said President Reagan, former Secretary of State James Baker and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

Reagan, he said, was the right person for the country at the time. Baker, a personal friend, is a skilled political adviser, Kline said. The congressman credits Hastert with healing and unifying the House of Representatives after leadership turbulence. - Star Tribune, September 6, 2004

During Friday night's debate on Almanac, John Kline also refers to Republican icon and Bush family confidante James Baker as his "good friend and frankly, political mentor". It's interesting Kline should call attention to this relationship, since Baker's views on Iraq seem to be nearly in diametric opposition to Kline's.

Early in the debate, Kathy Wurzer tosses Kline a softball question, asking Kline to define victory in Iraq. Kline responds with "The definition of victory is an Iraq with democracy in place."

James Baker is currently heading up a commission to consider U.S. options in Iraq, and reportedly, the commission has given up on any hope of "democracy in place":

Currently, the 10-member commission — headed by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, James Baker — is considering two option papers, "Stability First" and "Redeploy and Contain," both of which rule out any prospect of making Iraq a stable democracy in the near term.

A bit later, Kline mocks Coleen for suggesting that we should try to work with Iran and Syria, saying "Oh please, Coleen. You're going to get Iran and Syria to come on board in agreement with the United States? You cannot solve these world problems with pixie dust."

But apparently this sort of "pixie dust" is exactly the kind of solution Kline's hero and mentor James Baker is considering:

A commission backed by President Bush that is exploring U.S. options in Iraq intends to propose significant changes in the administration's strategy by early next year, members say.

Two options under consideration would represent reversals of U.S. policy: withdrawing American troops in phases, and bringing neighboring Iran and Syria into a joint effort to stop the fighting.

John Kline would like you to believe that Coleen Rowley is a fringe liberal with no real understanding of policy. Setting aside for the moment the fact that Kline managed to sit on a stage with Coleen for nearly 20 minutes without making a single policy suggestion of his own, it's telling that Kline is --- apparently unknowingly --- speaking condescendingly about his friend, mentor and hero, who agrees with Coleen.


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