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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: DNC

Sunday shows: Pawlenty, Ayotte, Hoyer, Ryan, Shelby

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte

ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour: Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Jon Corzine, Robert Reich and Jonathan Karl, with George Will, Peggy Noonan, Jake Tapper and Donna Brazile; also with Torie Clarke, Cecilia Attias and Claire Shipman on empowering women.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Austan Goolsbee, departing Obama economic advisor.

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.S.).

CNN's Fareed Zakaria "GPS": Ann Coulter, Andrew Roberts, Chrystia Freeland, Henry Kissinger, David Ignatius and Eliot Spitzer.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.), former Gov. John H. Sununu and former Sen. John E. Sununu with Philip Rucker and Neil King.

Fox News Channel "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), with Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus debates Democratic National Colmmittee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Cheryl Senter / Associated Press (Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New  Hampshire).

Democrat Michael Dukakis, who didn't get to be president, wishes the same for GOP's Mitt Romney

a younger michael Dukakis, fileFormer Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis was pretty clueless about running for president back in 1988.

In the third consecutive landslide for Republicans, Dukakis managed to win almost 46% of the popular vote and barely 20% of the electoral votes in what should have been a major change election after eight years of Grandfather-in-Chief Ronald Reagan.

Now, nearly a quarter-century later, CNN still trots Dukakis out to opine on what he knows least about, defeating Republicans in presidential elections. Monday night Dukakis was on "In the Arena."

You'll never guess what he thinks of Mitt Romney, another former Massachusetts governor.

Romney happens to be a Republican and what passes for a GOP frontrunner in these early days so full of nobodies, who will, coincidentally, be debating in New Hampshire tonight on CNN.

In Dukakis' familiar "I'd-Like-to-Lift-My-Head-Up-While-Speaking-But-You're-Not-Really-Worth-It" drooping chin pose, the Democrat sounded terribly sad to have to say that "Mitt has just been the proverbial weather vane and the last thing we need in the White House is anoth-,  a weather vane."

Dukakis allowed as how he's "just been so disappointed to see this guy in action. He's smart. He's slick. Unfortunately, he's slippery."

Speaking of slick and slippery, you'll never guess who was leading Dukakis through the DNC's current Romney talking points -- none other than fellow Democrat and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.Eliot Spitzer former NY Democrat governor who resigned after using prostitutes

Fans of New York political sex scandals did not hear these two Democrats' reaction to fellow New York Democrat Anthony Weiner's public confession earlier Monday to serial electronic sex with half a dozen women not his wife. They must have been short of time.

Those fans may recall, however, that unlike Romney or Dukakis, the married Spitzer chose to cut his governor's term somewhat short, something to do with patronizing high-priced call girls after having so publicly prosecuted them on the way up and into the governor's mansion in Albany.

The funniest part of the evening's political skit came when Client No. 9 of all people asked Dukakis about Romney's "character flaw."

"I get the sense," Spitzer offered to Dukakis, "that you view this -- and I don't want to mince words about it. You view this as a character flaw, such that he has forsaken core values and his principles in return for political expediency. Am I seeing this properly?"

Amazingly, Dukakis was still awake. He said that, in fact, Spitzer was exactly right, adding, "And it's one of the saddest things I've ever seen."

Maybe, at least until that segment of the show.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times (Dukakis gestures about something); Associated Press (happy Spitzer).

DNC chairwoman supports U.S. auto industry so much she owns a Japanese car

Oh, how embarrassing.

Like roll-up-the-tinted-windows-and-slouch-down-in-your-seat embarrassing.a japanese nissan similar to Debbie Wasserman Schultz's japanese 2010 Infiniti FX35

The new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee was criticizing Republicans who opposed President Obama's bailout of the American automakers union, oh, no, make that American automakers.

"If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, "we would be driving foreign cars. They would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes."

So Michael O'Brien of The Hill newspaper went and checked what kind of automobile loyal-American-car-supporter Debbie Wasserman Schultz owns.

Yup, you guessed it -- Japanese.

Drive as she says, not as she does.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Nissan.com (a 2010 Infiniti FX35 similar to Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Japanese car).

With no opponent and barely 558 days left, Obama has already become Campaigner-in-Chief

Guest feet on the Oprah show from right Oprah, Obama and Michelle Obama 4-27-11

Contrary to Barack Obama's schedule yesterday, the next presidential election is not the first Tuesday in May of 2011. It's still 558 days away on the first Tuesday in November 2012. 

But you'd never know it by the president's blatant cross-country campaigning and fundraising that appeared to have little to do with governing Wednesday and contained even more of those confusing visual contradictions that reveal this president's political priorities.

First, the silliness: In the morning, after three years of stalling and dismissing demands to release his original long-form Hawaii birth certificate, the Democrat did just that.

The document (full image and statement text over here) stated Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Kapiolani Maternity Hospital at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, to 25-year-old Barack Hussein Obama of Kenya and 18-year-old Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas.

Within minutes, of course, online critics were predictably questioning the ....

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Poor Obama confronts a grueling day today

Violin and Bow to make sad music for president obama

To hear President Obama tell it, he's a sad fellow these days.

The problem, it seems, is that he's president of the United States. "I miss being anonymous," the melancholy man moaned to a few White House visitors the other day.

Some Americans agree; they miss this Chicago pol being anonymous too.

The poor man, who turns 50 this summer, does live with his mother-in-law. But he said he especially misses Saturday mornings -- "rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed.”

Instead, Obama must endure 24-hour free room service, servants, drivers, a giant....

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Obama picked a strange time to launch his 2012 reelection bid; Or did he really?

Button Obama Whats a GuantanamoThe timing of President Obama's reelection campaign launch this week seems weird, to say the least, raising questions about what's really going on inside the Midwest wing of the White House.

He did it in a predawn email blast to millions with  a slick video we published here featuring ordinary nobodies.

They emphasized not the Democrat's accomplishments growing spending and deficits but not new jobs. Instead, they stressed how much Obama still has to do, even after 805 days in office.

If you wanted to showcase your big bid to become only the third Democratic president in the last 95 years to win a second term, would you choose the wee hours of a Monday morning just before you knew your sourpuss attorney general was to announce a huge flipperoo on trying terrorists in New York City courts, countering yet another campaign promise?

A flipperoo that takes the White House of hope and change right back to the anti-terror detention policies of -- OMG, look! -- it's George W. Bush,President George W Bush signs books in Kentucky 2-16-11 whose "failed policies" Obama embraced this week. So, does that now make Obama's abandoned policies the new failure?

Would you allow that AG then to blame Congress for reflecting the people's well-polled will that they want no Guantanamo inmates on the mainland?

Since at the time that Congress barred spending on such civilian trials, both houses were overwhelmingly controlled by your own Democratic Party, whose members loyally voted for your unpopular healthcare bill. Which sent dozens to their political doom in Nov. 2's midterm elections?

As a proud Nobel Peace Prize winner, would you officially begin seeking a second four-year term as commander-in-chief within a month of launching a third war of....

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Ticket Replay: Obama plays the technology dunce card again

Obama-hampton university

During the holiday season, as in years past, The Ticket is republishing some of our favorite items from the previous political year. This story was originally published on May 11, 2010:

Is President Obama really a technology-challenged dunce, or does he just play one on stage?

In his commencement speech at Hampton University on Sunday, Obama again fell back on his tried-and-true gag about not being able to operate popular gadgets before making his broader point.

"With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," he told a class of more than 1,000 graduates. "All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."

That line about not being able to "know how to work" an iPad or Xbox succeeded in drawing some laughs. But it worked against Obama when the reactions from technology enthusiasts online began pouring in.

Obama "drinks from the 'information overload' Kool-Aid," claimed one blog headline. Having not actually spent time trying to optimize his workflow with a device like the iPad, the president appears to have little basis from which to make such a contentious claim.

So if Obama doesn't know how to use Apple's portable music player -- a product hailed for its ease-of-use, even for a Harvard Law graduate -- was the preelection Rolling Stone magazine article about what's on his iPod a farce?

Come to think of it, his picks did seem a little too varied, uncontroversial and universally respectable to be the real deal. Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Sheryl Crow and Ludacris? Give me a break.

Sunday's backlash wasn't unlike the time in November when Obama disappointed his fans online when he told a roomful of Chinese youths, "I have never used Twitter."

That admission hasn't appeared to have slowed down the growth of his "official" Twitter account, for which the Democratic National Committee recently shopped around for a new administrator. It's grown by more than a million followers since then -- from about 2.6 million to 3.9 million.

During that same speech in Shanghai, he went on to say, "My thumbs are too clumsy to type in things on the phone." Doesn't look that way from this picture, right, unless A) it was staged, or B) he was composing the following e-mail:

fda jfl;hdsajg  dl;isagjdal;ksf jfjda;rsklg;i asdl;sfjdas;tf das;ik;nlfj asd;afjas f

-- Mark Milian

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Photo: Associated Press

Obama endorses his Pentagon study that endorses his 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal that's still not happening

Afghanistan US Chopper delivers supplies to troops

You know how magicians say, "Now watch this hand carefully."

And so you do, forgetting for a moment, as the magician hopes you will, that he has another hand somewhere?

On Tuesday the Obama administration's long-awaited Defense Department report on trashing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays came out. Predictably, it found a large majority of the military in favor and no more than minor potential disruptions to repealing the law signed by fellow Democratic President Clinton in 1993.

Just by chance, these results happen to fit perfectly with what President Obama says he wants to do.

Immediately, Obama issued a statement reiterating how much he really sincerely wants to get rid of this law, which he says "weakens our national security, diminishes our military readiness and violates fundamental principles of American fairness and equality."

Obama added: "Today’s report confirms that a strong majority of our military ...

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Las Vegas gets its first national political convention

Libertarians rehearse for their 2012 national convention in Las Vegas

Finally, the desert city of Las Vegas breaks the ice and gets its first national political convention.

The Libertarian Party will gather there the first week of May 2012 to nominate its national ticket of guaranteed losers.

The Libertarians' choice of Nevada along with the Republicans' choice of Tampa for their 2012 nominating convention in late August means the country's two major parties have now settled on their meeting sites.

The only one left is the fringe third-party Democrats, who haven't agreed yet on one of four cities: Cleveland, Charlotte, Minneapolis and St. Louis.

Some unions recently expressed opposition to North Carolina as a right-to-work state, and....

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Howard Dean's surprise presidential announcement

Democratic Former governor and Democrat National Committee chairman Howard Dean not running for president in Sacramento last month

Howard Dean is not running for president.

A spokeswoman for the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee says that Dean 100% supports President Obama in 2012 and "has repeatedly said so publicly."

After all, why out of the blue would a former New England governor and liberal Democrat who was fired from his DNC job and denied a coveted Cabinet position hold any ill feelings toward the 44th president who arranged that? Dean should also publicly deny he has a temper, clear that up, too.

Joe Biden has already announced that he will be the Democrats' 2012 VP candidate. So the assumption is, of course, that Obama will accept Joe's partnership offer and seek at least one additional term, as is the custom for Chicago Democrats.

Remember back in 1966 everyone knew Democratic President Lyndon Johnson was a surefire re-nominee two years later? Faced with an unpopular foreign war, mounting....

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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