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Charles Rangel Is A Top Dog

Reported by Ellen - October 28, 2005 -

Charles Rangel made another stellar appearance on Hannity & Colmes last night. Democrats should study the way he is able to sidestep Sean Hannity's diversions, get right back to his own talking points, and remain calm and jocular throughout.

Rangel was there to talk about the broader scope of Traitorgate. Hannity started by saying he expected to see Rangel smiling at the likely indictments.

Rangel answered that there's nothing to be happy about, "It's a very sad day."

Hannity wasted no time getting to all the false GOP talking points of the night before - Plame was not covert, Joe Wilson was not qualified and that he had an "agenda," that outing Plame wasn't against the law, that the indictment was likely over "an omission" or "lack of recollection."

Then Hannity picked up his debating security-blanket. "And by the way, you were a big defender of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton in his deposition January 17 - Guess what? 71 times said the words "I don't remember"...

Listen up, Dems: It's easy to just steer clear of Hannity's diversions if you have a simple, clear message and stick to it. "Whatever Clinton did in the Grand Jury - I think what we're talking about is whether or not the President was truthful when he gave reasons to the Congress as to why we were going to war with a pre-emptive strike against Iraq. This thing is about the war and whether the war was justified."

Colmes, who didn't have to do damage control, was able to expand upon that by saying that it's not just about an omission but that Libby may have lied to protect Dick Cheney. He also read from a report by Murray Waas, in the National Journal, saying that Cheney and Libby withheld crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee when they were investigating the pre-war intelligence.

Rangel said, "This is no time for Democrats to be happy or Republicans to be sad. This is time for us to come together, search for the truth and try to restore some confidence in the United States government." He added that he meets every day with foreign trade ministers who seem to think the whole country is corrupt. He called it "an embarrassment."

Hannity chimed in and said, "It was certainly not more embarrassing than Bill Clinton having sex with an intern. Not even close. Or lying under oath."

"I could come here to talk about anything and you would say, 'What about Bill Clinton?'" Rangel said it with good humor. He and Hannity parted friends.