Still Walking—And talking. And now she’s running. Doris Haddock, also known as “Granny D,” is a 94-year-old activist whose reputation precedes her. In 2000, she ended a 14-month, 3,200 mile cross-country walk from California to Washington, D.C., to rouse support for campaign finance reform. She’s not sitting down yet.
“Granny D” will be the Democrat on the ballot in November in her home state of New Hampshire, making an unlikely challenge to conservative Republican Senator Judd Gregg, a 57-year-old former governor of the Granite State now running for a second six-year term in Washington. She will be unchallenged in the state’s September 14 congressional primary election because the nominal Democratic candidate, a better-known state senator, withdrew at the last minute, too late for others in addition to Granny to sign up.
Running against Senator Gregg in November she will not have much of a chance, but it may be a hot campaign. Granny D sometimes wears a campaign button saying: “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History.”
Drip, Drip—It’s been a slow dribble, but the criminal investigation to find out who, in the Bush administration, broke a federal law by leaking the name of an undercover CIA agent to the press seems to be endingwith unknown results so far. The White House has said that anyone identified there as the leaker would be fired.
The issue revolves around an article by conservative columnist Robert Novak, who wrote last July that two “senior administration officials,” whom he did not name, had revealed to him that a government employee, Valerie Plame, was an undercover spy, effectively blowing her cover—and threatening her career.
That was indirect Republican revenge aimed at Plame’s husband. She is the wife of Joseph Wilson, a retired State Department diplomat who had infuriated the Bush White House by publicly debunking the president’s claim, in his pre-war State of the Union speech, that Iraq had tried to buy ingredients of nuclear weapons in Africa.
The latest investigative interrogation in the case was of the president himself in an hour-long whadda-you-know in the Oval Office, with the chief executive’s private lawyer at his side. No results have been released, but the president is not believed to be the prime suspect.
Other White House officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, have also been questioned, some reportedly under oath before a grand jury, and White House telephone logs have been subpoenaed.
Zany Cheney—A few days before he won a temporary victory in the Supreme Court, in June, on his determined cover-up of the controversial 2001 closed meetings of his so called energy task force—a panel composed mostly of energy industry executivesVice President Cheney created another flap that won’t go away.
In a chance encounter in the Senate, where the vice president is sometimes the presiding officer, Cheney reacted to a face-to-face meeting with Democratic senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who had criticized him about his ties to the Halliburton Company, Cheney’s former employer. Cheney told the senator to go “f— yourself” as he stalked off in indignation. So much for the president’s pledge to bring about “a return to civility” to Washington.
That encounter took place on June 22, the same day that the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Defense of Decency Act. The decency act was passed just a few months after the White House criticized Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for using the same four-letter word to describe the botched Bush policy in Iraq.
When reporters asked Cheney later about his outburst, he said that he not only did not regret his vulgarity, but that he “felt better afterwards.” A Kerry spokesman said that “it appears the vice president’s previous calls for civility are now inoperative.”
The Heat Is On—The temperature of the campaign for the presidency is also on the way up following the June 25 release of Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11. It is rated “R” for the “explicit language” in its criticism of the war in Iraq, which it describes as being fought for corporate profit. Among its other criticisms, Moore’s movie charges that, before 9/11, Bush spent 42 percent of his time as president on vacation.