February 26, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Brass knuckle politics in Spain

If you think Hillary Clinton's last-ditch campaign counterattack against Barack Obama is getting down and dirty (tonight's debate in Ohio was), you should check out the parliamentary campaign in Spain, where elections are to be held in two weeks. In a televised debate lasting ninety minutes (something that is rarely done in Spain), the two candidates traded loud insults with each other. Conservative challenger Mariano Rajoy called Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero "a liar" for covering up his secret contacts with the Basque terrorist group ETA. The incumbent replied by calling the challenger "immoral" for exploiting the terror issue for political gain. See BBC. Well!

Zapatero's retort is rather ironic, given the way he came to be elected four years ago. The Socialist victory in March 2004 was something of a fluke, as the voters of Spain were influenced to a small but critical degree by the terrorist bombing of the Madrid train station. Then-Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar showed poor judgment by initially blaming the Basque terrorists, when the actual culprits were Islamic radicals.

Warner in hospital

Sen. John Warner is undergoing treatment at Inova Fairfax Hospital after suffering heart trouble while in his office on Capitol Hill yesterday. See Washington Post. He had a similar episode last October, and once again we wish him a speedy, full recovery.

Politics photo montage

I have updated my politics photo montage to include images of some memorable experiences of the past year and a half. It shows, in the middle row, Rep. Duncan Hunter, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Scott Sayre, and the man he challenged, State Senator Emmett Hanger; and in the bottom row, then-Staunton Commissioner of Revenue Ray Ergenbright, Del. Ben Cline, then-RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, Del. Steve Landes, then-candidate for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, and Del. Chris Saxman.