Couric’s Commentary

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Katie Couric didn’t exactly deliver a moment worthy of Walter Cronkite and Vietnam (LBJ: “If we’ve lost Walter Cronkite, we’ve lost the country”) but she was pretty sharp in her comments about the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s handling of it.

As Michael Learmonth of Variety reports, she told Marvin Kalb at a National Press Club interview last night that she thinks the media were “misled” on the rationale for going to war.

But after her recent tour of Iraq and Syria, she stopped short of coming home and declaring it lost.

“Is it my job to go to Iraq and say this war is terrible and we should pull out? I don’t think that’s the case,” she said.

And perhaps a bit unsettling for the Clinton camp, she offered her own theory on why her ratings are depressed and whether Americans are ready to accept a female news anchor.

“I think there probably remains an underlying discomfort in this country with women in power,” Couric said.

Via the Washington Examiner’s Yeas and Nays, here’s more on what she said about the war:

“The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States and, even the ‘shock and awe’ of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and just a little uncomfortable. And I remember feeling, when I was anchoring the ‘Today’ show, this inevitable march towards war and kind of feeling like, ‘Will anybody put the brakes on this?’ And is this really being properly challenged by the right people? And I think, at the time, anyone who questioned the administration was considered unpatriotic and it was a very difficult position to be in.”

The Next Match Up: With Hillary Clinton pulling away with it — in polls and endorsements — and some speculating that she could leave Obama in the dust if she outraises him this quarter, she naturally is expected to be the prime target at tonight’s Democratic debate on MSNBC. It starts at 5 p.m. PDT, from Dartmouth College, with Tim Russert moderating. By the way, a new poll shows Clinton with a 23-point lead over Obama in New Hampshire.

Bill and Greta: The Clinton Global Initiative gets into full swing today, and Bill Clinton is lining up interviews. He appears on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren on Thursday to talk about the three-day session.

Little Rock Plus 50: In my posting about David Margolick’s piece on Louis Armstrong and Little Rock, I forgot the mention that the author has a more extensive story on Vanityfair.com, looking at an iconic image from the civil rights movement.

Style and Substance?:
Karen Ocamb at the Bilerco Project takes issue with the Advocate’s recent cover story interview with Hillary Clinton. She writes that even though the piece gained headlines because the writer asked Clinton whether she was a lesbian, it was otherwise pretty fawning. Ocamb challenges the assumption that Los Angeles’ gay community is “so in love” with Clinton.

“I hate to disillusion Kennedy, but many LGBT voters, at least in the Los Angeles area, are very dedicated to Obama, John Edwards, and Dennis Kucinich for their positions on the war in Iraq, poverty, healthcare as well as LGBT issues. For them, the primary is not yet over.”

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