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Pundits & Editorials

Remembering RFK and defending domestic oil drilling. Plus: Are we finally waking up from the Obama-Clinton dream ticket idea?

Barack Obama "limped into the nomination as a vulnerable and somewhat diminished politician," concludes David S. Broder, noting his primary losses late in the game.

John R. Bolton criticizes Obama for his "willingness to meet with the leaders of rogue states such as Iran and North Korea 'without preconditions,'" adding that it is "a naive and dangerous approach to dealing with the hard men who run pariah states."


• Meanwhile, chairman of Vets for Freedom Pete Hegseth declares in the Wall Street Journal that "the failure of" Obama "to travel to Iraq over the past two and a half years is worrisome, and a legitimate issue in this presidential election."

Hillary Rodham Clinton "dominates the stage now the way an upset toddler about to break into tears holds a room of adults hostage," jeers Margaret Carlson. "Obama can't fully engage" McCain "until he fully dispenses with" Clinton.

• "Clinton's largely self-focused non-concession speech" Tuesday night "suggested that what some call a dream ticket could turn into a nightmare," E. J. Dionne Jr. believes.


• "Talking about an unlikely dream ticket further slows the party unification process that Clinton's critics say already comes two months too late because of her," agrees Robert D. Novak.

• "The irony too bitter to swallow is that" Obama's "identity politics trumped" Clinton's "identity politics," remarks Daniel Henninger. "Put differently, what goes around comes around."

Gail Collins thinks John McCain's invitation to Obama to debate in town hall meetings across the country is really just McCain's way of "begging to be rescued from the big problem his campaign has encountered: which is that the only thing their candidate is good at is town-hall meetings."

• "Elvis Presley. Mickey Mantle. Carol Burnett. And now with" McCain, "our generation of oldies but goodies is again making some waves," contributing writer Robert Lipsyte cheers in USA Today. "Born in the ’30s, we may have missed the Depression and the worst of the world wars, but we’re not untested. In fact, we can still show the other generations a thing or two."


• In remembrance of the anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination 40 years ago tomorrow, the New York Times presents three columns written by his children -- Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy II and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

• Meanwhile, Patt Morrison wonders "Why didn't we preserve the actual site where Bobby Kennedy was shot 40 years ago?"

• If former White House press secretary Scott McClellan "really thought he was participating in a conspiracy to mislead the American people, why didn't he submit his resignation and walk away?" columnist Paul Greenberg asks in the Washington Times. "That would have been the honorable thing."

George F. Will criticizes both lawmakers in Congress and voters for not supporting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "America says to foreign producers: We prefer not to pump our oil, so please pump more of yours, thereby lowering its value, for our benefit."

Roger Cohen parses the politics of biofuels and food prices, offering readers several "energy lessons."

• "The recent announcement of peace negotiations between Israel and Syria through Turkey, and the agreement between the Lebanese factions in Qatar -- both apparently without meaningful U.S. involvement -- should serve as a wake-up call that our policy of nonengagement has isolated us more than the Syrians," Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., argue in the Wall Street Journal.

David Ignatius weighs in on what destroyed class-action lawyers Melvyn Weiss and Dickie Scruggs. "The two had helped spawn an industry of class-action mega-cases that was so lucrative, the plaintiffs couldn't bear the idea of losing. So the 'good guys' began to cut corners."

From The Editorial Boards...

• "If" Clinton "withdraws by the end of the week and throws her considerable support to Mr. Obama, as her aides say she plans to do, she has a chance to start to allay" doubts about her character, the New York Times believes.

• "Clinton's overconfidence... contributed a sad arc to a campaign that saw the first woman with a real shot at becoming president go from inevitable to runner-up," judges USA Today.

• "A year ago, the nomination was" Clinton's "to lose. She lost it. For the sake of her party and her reputation, she must accept the obvious," the Dallas Morning News concludes.

• "Mrs. Clinton seems psychologically incapable of serving as Mr. Obama’s deputy -- before or after the election," observes the Financial Times. "Her conduct this week proves it."

• "Obama broke through a color barrier that has existed in this nation for 219 years," cheers the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Whether or not you're an Obama supporter, his victory represents progress toward racial equality."

• "The historical strides made on Tuesday are monumental," hails the Washington Times. "After all, 2008 America is but one generation removed from segregation."

• Obama "can't appear to bend to ultimatums from the House of Clinton," the Wall Street Journal insists. "This is a test of Mr. Obama's political judgment and toughness. If he can't stand up to Hillary and Bill Clinton, forget about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

• The Boston Globe asserts that Obama "must deal with some tactical issues," questioning whether he can "win over Clinton's voters while holding together his own coalition of upscale professionals, minorities, independents, and disaffected Republicans," and if he can "turn his stirring message of change into a plan for leading a vast nation in uneasy times."

• "Can he graciously find a role for" Clinton "and unite a party that just fought a very long primary contest, one that revealed sharp divisions of gender, race, and class?" the Christian Science Monitor wonders.

• The Washington Post commemorates the anniversary of RFK's assassination by re-posting the editorial it wrote 40 years ago in response to the tragedy. "He was himself a force for change and movement and progress, and for what he thought was good. And in these tormented times his country cannot afford the loss of such a force."

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