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Re: [prezveepsenator] Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid

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  • THOMAS JOHNSON
    Great!!! ... From: Greg Cannon To: prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com; UTEP Progressives Sent: Sunday,
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 30, 2007
      Great!!!

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...>
      To: prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com; UTEP Progressives <utepprogressives@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2007 8:06:47 AM
      Subject: [prezveepsenator] Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid

      http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2007/ 12/29/AR20071229 01476_pf. html

      Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid
      First, Main Candidates Urged To Plan 'Unity'
      Government

      By David S. Broder
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Sunday, December 30, 2007; A04

      New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a potential
      independent candidate for president, has scheduled a
      meeting next week with a dozen leading Democrats and
      Republicans, who will join him in challenging the
      major-party contenders to spell out their plans for
      forming a "government of national unity" to end the
      gridlock in Washington.

      Those who will be at the Jan. 7 session at the
      University of Oklahoma say that if the likely nominees
      of the two parties do not pledge to "go beyond
      tokenism" in building an administration that seeks
      national consensus, they will be prepared to back
      Bloomberg or someone else in a third-party campaign
      for president.

      Conveners of the meeting include such prominent
      Democrats as former senators Sam Nunn (Ga.), Charles
      S. Robb (Va.) and David L. Boren (Okla.), and former
      presidential candidate Gary Hart. Republican
      organizers include Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.), former
      party chairman Bill Brock, former senator John
      Danforth (Mo.) and former New Jersey governor
      Christine Todd Whitman.

      Boren, who will host the meeting at the university,
      where he is president, said: "It is not a gathering to
      urge any one person to run for president or to say
      there necessarily ought to be an independent option.
      But if we don't see a refocusing of the campaign on a
      bipartisan approach, I would feel I would want to
      encourage an independent candidacy."

      The list of acceptances suggests that the group could
      muster the financial and political firepower to make
      the threat of such a candidacy real. Others who have
      indicated that they plan to attend the one-day session
      include William S. Cohen, a former Republican senator
      from Maine and defense secretary in the Clinton
      administration; Alan Dixon, a former Democratic
      senator from Illinois; Bob Graham, a former Democratic
      senator from Florida; Jim Leach, a former Republican
      congressman from Iowa; Susan Eisenhower, a political
      consultant and granddaughter of former president
      Dwight D. Eisenhower; David Abshire, president of the
      Center for the Study of the Presidency; and Edward
      Perkins, a former U.S. ambassador to the United
      Nations.

      Bloomberg, a former Democrat who was elected mayor of
      New York as a Republican, left the GOP this past
      summer to become an independent. While disclaiming any
      plan to run for president in 2008, he has continued to
      fuel speculation by traveling widely and speaking out
      on both domestic and international issues. The mayor,
      a billionaire many times over, presumably could
      self-finance even a late-starting candidacy.

      "As mayor, he has seen far too often how
      hyperpartisanship in Washington has gotten in the way
      of making progress on a host of issues," said
      Bloomberg's press secretary, Stu Loeser. "He looks
      forward to sitting down and discussing this with other
      leaders."

      Until plans for this meeting were disclosed, the most
      concrete public move toward any kind of independent
      candidacy was by Unity08, a group planning an online
      nominating convention to pick either an independent
      candidate or a ticket combining a Republican and a
      Democrat. The sponsors, an eclectic mix of consultants
      who have worked for candidates including Jimmy Carter
      (D) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), have not
      aligned with a specific prospect.

      Now, some people with high-level political and
      governmental credentials are moving to put muscle
      behind the effort. A letter from Nunn and Boren sent
      to those attending the Jan. 7 session said that "our
      political system is, at the least, badly bent and many
      are concluding that it is broken at a time where
      America must lead boldly at home and abroad. Partisan
      polarization is preventing us from uniting to meet the
      challenges that we must face if we are to prevent
      further erosion in America's power of leadership and
      example."

      At the session, Boren said, participants will try to
      draft a statement on such issues as the need to
      "rebuild and reconfigure our military forces," nuclear
      proliferation and terrorism, and restoring U.S.
      credibility in the world.

      "Today, we are a house divided," the letter said. "We
      believe that the next president must be able to call
      for a unity of effort by choosing the best talent
      available -- without regard to political party -- to
      help lead our nation."

      Boren said he and Nunn, who often collaborated when
      they headed the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services
      committees, respectively, issued invitations to other
      moderates with whom they had served, and found that
      almost everyone was willing to come.

      "Our hope is that the candidates will respond with
      their own specific ideas about how to pull the country
      together, not just aim at getting out their own
      polarized base," Boren said. "But we will have a
      couple months before the nominees will be known, and
      we can judge in that time what their response will
      be."

      Boren said the meeting is being announced in advance
      of Thursday's Iowa caucuses "because we don't want
      anyone to think this was a response to any particular
      candidate or candidates." He said the nation needs a
      "government of national unity" to overcome its
      partisan divisions in a time of national challenge he
      likened to that faced by Great Britain during World
      War II.

      "Electing a president based solely on the platform or
      promises of one party is not adequate for this time,"
      Boren said. "Until you end the polarization and have
      bipartisanship, nothing else matters, because one
      party simply will block the other from acting."

      Danforth said he remains a Republican but finds little
      cause for optimism among the current GOP candidates.
      "My party is appealing to a real meanness," he said in
      an interview, "and an irresponsible sense of machismo
      in foreign policy. I hope it will be less extreme, but
      I'm an American before I'm a Republican." Danforth has
      also written critically about the impact of religious
      conservatives on the Republican Party.

      Cohen said his emphasis will be on the issues rather
      than on a candidacy, adding that he and Nunn will
      co-sponsor a series of "dialogues" on key topics,
      aiming to build planks for a possible consensus
      platform for the next president.

      "The important goal all of us share," Cohen said, "is
      to get government back to the center."

      Nunn, for his part, described Bloomberg as "an
      enormously capable man" but said: "I've made no
      decision who I'm going to support. Most of us hope to
      shape the Republican or Democratic side's response,
      but who knows where this is going to go? I think the
      country's at the tipping point, and it's going to take
      a lot more understanding by the electorate for anybody
      to be able to lead."


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