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Pundits & Editorials

'Dr. Doom' visits Obama and McCain and emotions abound as the primary finally nears an end. Plus: Who is the 'conscience of the Senate'?

• "This race has been a lot of things at different times -- exciting, infuriating, tiresome, fun. One thing it's not, though, is a particularly good way to pick a presidential candidate," Sioux Falls Argus Leader opinions editor Nestor Ramos argues.

David Brooks pokes holes in the campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain. "My role today is Dr. Doom -- to break through unmerited confidence and raise the anxiety level in both camps."


• In the Washington Post, Lou Cannon, who covered the 1976 presidential campaign, compares that election's Republican primary between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan to the present-day dynamics between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Obama.

• "I have come to loathe the campaign," fumes Richard Cohen. "This messy nominating process has eroded the standing of both candidates. It has highlighted the reality that racism still runs deep and that misogyny, although more imagined than real, is not yet a wholly spent force."

Eugene Robinson picks out a playlist that embodies the presidential primary race so far, including the likes of Mary J. Blige's "No More Drama" and Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love."


• Meanwhile, Wesley Pruden is choking up at the thought of the primary coming to an end. "The symmetry and poetry of it all would bring a tear to any scribe's eye. Everyone is eager to pop the corks on the bubbly."

• "It looks like the presidential battle between" McCain and Obama "will be about one overarching theme: judgment versus experience," contends Jonah Goldberg. "And Exhibit A will be the Iraq war."

Brent Budowsky praises Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., saying he "embodies" the "ethic of dreaming big dreams, realized through hard work. He is the conscience of the Senate, in ways reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson’s rules for conducting Senate business."

• "There are so many things that the Democrats need to do to have any chance of winning the White House in November, and it’s awfully late in the game to begin doing them," Bob Herbert warns.


• "Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny Communion to those supporting candidates who favor abortion rights?" questions E. J. Dionne Jr, pointing to Republican Douglas Kmiec being denied communion in April after endorsing Obama.

• "Did Scott McClellan miss the surge" in Iraq? wonders William McGurn, analyzing the former White House press secretary's book.

• In the Washington Times, columnist Michael Barone offers an "economic reality check," attempting to debunk the idea that the economy is plummeting into a recession.

• "The Lieberman-Warner bill (America's Climate Security Act) represents the largest tax increase in U.S. history and the biggest pork bill ever contemplated with trillions of dollars in giveaways," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., declares in the Wall Street Journal.

• "It turns out that the best way to end an insurgency is, quite simply, to beat it," argues Bret Stephens citing recent progress against rebels in Colombia, Sri Lanka and Iraq.

• In the New York Times, author Hussein Agha and Robert Malley, former aide to President Bill Clinton, express optimism over recent progress in Middle East peace talks. "That so many parties are moving at the same time in so many arenas is noteworthy enough. That they are doing so without -- and, in some cases, despite -- the United States is more remarkable still."

• "With an unerring sense of timing, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe arrived in Rome" Monday, "thereby demonstrating the profound limitations of international diplomacy," Anne Applebaum observes.

• "Why is it that the French, the British and the Germans, and not the Indians or the Chinese, called for sending help to [Myanmar] victims of Cyclone Nargis, whether the junta allowed it or not?" Ian Buruma ponders, noting an absence of Asian countries from the relief efforts.

From The Editorial Boards...

• "Many [superdelegates] have come to their conclusion... because they think Obama is now the inevitable nominee and, like most people -- indeed, more than most people -- politicians try to make sure they are on the winning side," The Hill remarks.

• "Tonight," Clinton "has an opportunity to set the tone for a process of reconciliation that will increase the chances that her party, and her values, will return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.," the San Francisco Chronicle indicates.

• "So the primary season comes to a close with Mrs. Clinton and her supporters being given every reasonably conceivable opportunity to win," acknowledges the Washington Times. "Let's hope she does not swap the end to the primary season with the beginning of the whining season because she is behind."

• "Leading up to Memorial Day, Majority Leader Harry Reid walked away from his spring pledge to Senate Republicans to confirm three of President Bush's judicial nominees by the holiday weekend. We'll soon see if Republicans will take this lying down," the Wall Street Journal projects.

• "Someday, the country will recognize the true cost of its war on illegal immigration," predicts the New York Times. "We don’t mean dollars, though those are being squandered by the billions. The true cost is to the national identity: the sense of who we are and what we value."

• "With US attention largely diverted to domestic concerns, the June 3-5" global food crisis summit in Rome "is a critical test of whether a collective global leadership can push big reforms in how the world feeds itself," judges the Christian Science Monitor.

• But the Washington Post points out a potential upside to high food prices. "For all the misery caused by higher food prices now, they hold out the promise of greater food security in the future, if the world's leaders seize the moment."

USA Today denounces Texas authorities for taking children out of a polygamy ranch and separating them from their parents. "No matter how well-intentioned, the actions of the state's child services agency stand as a tragic monument to government overreach."

• The Texas polygamy "case is not about religion or polygamy. It's about sexual abuse of girls and grooming boys to become perpetrators," executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Albert Hawkins counters in an opposing view. "It's about parents who condoned underage 'marriages' and adults who never took a stand against the abuse taking place in their homes."

• The Los Angeles Times is relieved that "the Fulbright scholarships that were stripped from seven students living in Gaza because Israel's blockade prevented them from leaving to take part in the prestigious program have now been reinstated," but insists that "the United States and Israel should still be red-faced."

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