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Bob Kerrey ignited a firestorm of controversy when he walked out of the 9/11 Commission's meeting with President Bush in order to speak with Senator Pete Domenici. Now he tells National Review Online that he regrets leaving and considers it a mistake:
Kerrey had scheduled a meeting at noon Thursday with New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, a member of the Appropriations Committee, at Domenici's office in the Hart Senate Office Building (the two were to discuss an issue related to the New School, of which Kerrey is president). To make the meeting, Kerry left the White House at about 11:40 A.M., missing the last hour of the commission's questioning of Bush and Cheney.
But when Kerrey arrived at the Hart Building, he was told that Domenici was busy on the Senate floor, voting on a series of amendments. Noon came and went. Instead of meeting in the office, Kerrey went to an area just off the Senate floor, where, at about 12:30 P.M., he was finally able to have a quick word with Domenici.
In the end, Kerrey says, he would have done things differently. "If I had known that there were votes in the Senate at the time, and Sen. Domenici was not in his office, and I would not be able to see him until later, and I would only get 30 seconds or a minute with him, then yes, I would have stayed at the White House," Kerrey told NRO.
So, the meeting with George Bush that the 9/11 Commission had publicly griped to get for months, with no time restrictions, on the supposed administration failures that caused the deaths of 3,000 Americans, still wouldn't have been as important as meeting with Senator Domenici about the New School -- a meeting that could have taken place at any time? That Senator and Commissioner Kerrey may consider the fact that Domenici could only give him a few minutes to be the determining factor that made his early exit a mistake only emphasizes what a waste of time the 9/11 Commission has become. The Bush 'conversation' appears to be all about publicity and not about any substantive purpose. If it had any such purpose, then how could Kerrey render any sort of informed judgement on his own without hearing Bush out?
If Bob Kerrey still cannot explain why Domenici's input on the New School had more importance than the long-sought-after 9/11 Commission meeting with the President, then I take back what I said earlier: he's the perfect VP candidate for John Kerry. He makes Kerry look positively Churchillian in comparison.Sphere It View blog reactions
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