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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (July 17, 2015)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2015
Bitterness abounds in the race ahead
orking for a political campaign is good
preparation for covering politics as a
journalist. When I worked in the 1970 Tom
Walsh for Portland City Council campaign,
I canvassed North Portland homes. It was
an education in many things. Most of all, I
realized the broad mass of Portlanders were
unaware there was an election coming until
about two weeks out. As election day ap-
proached, you could see the growing curios-
Sixteen months prior to the 2016 pres-
idential election, there is more buzz than I
remember last time around — about who’s
running and what’s at
While my wife and
I were in Washington,
D.C., recently we had
dinner with two old
friends, George and
Julie. I knew these two
from when I covered
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man Norm Dicks of
Tacoma, Wash. Politics
and real estate are the
two staples of dinner
conversation in Wash-
ington. While we out here might view the
presidential primaries from a distance, Wash-
ington’s political class speaks of it in propri-
The following night — over dinner at my
cousin’s home — we had the presidential
election discussion again. And two nights lat- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a campaign event in New York Monday.
er in Annapolis it came up during a reunion
with six old friends.
When Seattle friends stayed with us during
the Astoria Music Festival, the Republican
up. And last Saturday, when we visited some
other Seattle friends, it came up.
My wife’s listening leads her to believe
there is enthusiasm among women about
having a woman president, but there is a lack
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Clinton. One very connected woman (who has
two photos of herself with Barack Obama)
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f you read the commentary surrounding the
race thus far — and I confess to reading a
fair bit of it — you know the themes. There is
good. There is the Donald Trump theme —
that he is the nightmare Republicans asked
for. There is the Royal Families theme — that
the election will come down to a dynasty (the
Bushes) versus a would-be dynasty (the Clin-
P. Kevin Morley/Richmond Times-Dispatch/AP
tons). And there are smaller themes that might Donald Trump answers questions in Al-
be called phenomena: Carly Fiorina, Bernie bemarle House, a property of his outside
Sanders. And always there is the theme of Big of Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday.
Money that fuels the anti-Clinton pack.
times misses a much larger story.
berating Mexicans is the sudden recogni-
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mous economic and political clout. Simi-
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in 2012 was a black electorate that struck
back by enduring an interminable wait to
The insightful Gerald Seib of The Wall
Street Journal wrote this week that the appar-
ent choice is “optimism vs. anger.” On the op-
timistic side is Jeb Bush. On the anger side are
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
My Washington friend George sent me a
story from The Week proclaiming that the pres-
idential race is all about the Supreme Court.
Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a
meet and greet event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tuesday.
Optimism versus anger is how Gerald
Seib describes the choice that’s coming
n calamitous moments, visiting the past
provides calming perspective. In Salem
following the sudden departure of Gov. John
Kitzhaber, I ruminated on the comforting sta-
While in Washington, my wife and I
visited the National Portrait Gallery. Its
centerpiece is the presidential gallery,
where reside the Gilbert Stuart portrait of
Washington, the Matthew Brady photo-
graph of Lincoln taken weeks prior to his
assassination, a striking Norman Rock-
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Lyndon Johnson (“the ugliest thing I’ve
ever seen,” said LBJ) and several stud-
ies and portraits of Franklin Roosevelt.
There seem to be more portraiture — on
canvas and in sculpture — of Andrew Jack-
ry captured the popular imagination.
n 2012, I was impressed with how personal
the anger over Barack Obama became here
in Astoria. I was visited prior to the election
by an angry friend whom I had not seen in
months, if not years. My wife learned of an
old Astoria friendship that was unilaterally
severed because of Obama’s election.
I have no doubt that what’s coming will be
acrimonious. Since the odds-on Democratic
by a major party for president, that will be as
date for president. — S.A.F.
The Dalai Lama gets mischievous
By NICHOLAS KRISTOF
New York Times News Service
he Dalai Lama, who may be
the only octogenarian spiri-
tual leader with a profoundly mis-
chievous streak, has a suggestion
for China’s Communist leaders:
Take up reincarnation.
I’m interviewing him in his hotel
room in New York, at the end of an
overseas tour marking his 80th birth-
day, and we’re talking about what
happens after he dies.
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considered a reincarnation of the previ-
ous one, and usually after one has died
a search is undertaken for an infant to
become the next. But he has said that
he may be the last of the line, or that the
next Dalai Lama might emerge outside
Tibet — or might even be a girl.
This talk infuriates Beijing, which
is determined to choose the next Dalai
Lama (to use as a tool to control Tibet).
So, startlingly, the atheists in the Chi-
nese Communist Party have been in-
sisting that Buddhist reincarnation must
ly, and in 2007 he bravely used my col-
umn to send an important olive branch
to Beijing — only to be criticized by
fellow Tibetans as too conciliatory, and
rejected as insincere by China. But I
told him that I also thought there were
times when he had been too cautious
and had missed opportunities for rap-
prochement with Beijing. My exam-
ples: In the 1980s, when the leaders
compromise on Tibet; after the 10th
One reason to end the line, he sug- Panchen Lama died; and in the run-up
gested, is that a future Dalai Lama to the Beijing Olympics.
might be “naughty” and diminish the
The Dalai Lama was having none of
SRVLWLRQ+LVELJJHVWFRQFHUQVHHPVWR that — he doesn’t think he missed op-
be that after he dies, China will select portunities. But he acknowledged that
a new pet Dalai Lama who may act as Zhao had been sympathetic and added
a quisling to help the Chinese control WKDWLI=KDRDQG+XKDGQRWEHHQRXVW-
Tibet and to give legitimacy to their ed, “the Tibetan issue would already be
solved, no question.”
“Sadly, the precedent has been set,”
To my surprise, the Dalai Lama was
he said, referring to the Panchen Lama, also enthusiastic about Xi Jinping, the
the second most important reincarnated FXUUHQW &KLQHVH OHDGHU +H VSRNH DG-
lama in Tibetan Buddhism. After the miringly of Xi’s anti-corruption cam-
10th Panchen Lama died in 1989, Chi- paign, said Xi’s mother was “very re-
na kidnapped the baby chosen by Tibet- ligious, a very devout Buddhist,” and
ans as his successor and helped anoint noted Xi himself had spoken positively
a different child as the 11th Panchen of Buddhism.
Lama. Nobody knows what happened
So, President Xi, if you’re reading
to the real Panchen Lama.
this, the Dalai Lama would like to visit
I admire the Dalai Lama enormous- &KLQD+RZDERXWDQLQYLWDWLRQ"
— or might
even be a girl.
Francine Orr /Los Angeles Times/AP
The Dalai Lama, left, with Tibetan monk Sherab Chophel, right, the art-
ist who created the mandala, view the mandala together during a private
event July 7 at the Banning House at the University of California, in Irvine.
The sand mandala was created in honor of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday.
“The Chinese Communist Party
is pretending that they know more
about the reincarnation system than
the Dalai Lama,” said the Dalai
Lama, laughing. “The Chinese Com-
munists should accept the concept of
rebirth. Then they should recognize
the reincarnation of Chairman Mao
Zedong, then Deng Xiaoping. Then
they have the right to involve them-
selves in the Dalai Lama’s reincar-
The Dalai Lama hinted that he
would hold some kind of referendum
among Tibetan exiles, and consulta-
tions among Tibetans within China,
about whether a new Dalai Lama
should succeed him. The issue will be
formally resolved around his 90th birth-
day, he said.
STEPHEN A. FORRESTER, Editor & Publisher • LAURA SELLERS, Managing Editor
BETTY SMITH, Advertising Manager
• CARL EARL, Systems Manager
JOHN D. BRUIJN, Production Manager
• DEBRA BLOOM, Business Manager
HEATHER RAMSDELL, Circulation Manager
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