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The Best Interviews of 2007 By: Bill Steigerwald
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 03, 2008

Another year of interesting and informative interviews with pundits, columnists, authors, experts, newsmakers and assorted gurus has passed. From Myron Cope and Newt Gingrich to William F. Buckley Jr., here are some of the highlights of 2007:

Nancy Pelosi & the war
I think we may find the San Francisco liberal -- who opposed the war, who organized her Democratic caucus in the House to speak out against the war -- in the position of straddling a quote-unquote 'consensus' or 'accommodationist' role against her left wing in order to protect the president's policy -- at least in 2007. You may find in the not-too-distant future liberals denouncing Nancy Pelosi as an Iraq War sellout."
-- Major Garrett, Fox News Channel, Jan. 6

"If people feel that we are not winning (in Iraq) and that we are just mired down in a mess, then it will be much worse than in 2006. If people feel that we are winning, and that we are gradually defeating the bad guys, and that the Iraqis are gradually taking control of their own country, then I think you can have Americans in uniform still in Iraq (in 2008).... We've had people in Germany now for 62 years, people in Japan for 62 years, people in Korea for 57 years. The American people can be very patient if they think that it makes sense and if there is progress. What they will not put up with is a sense of being mired down without progress."
-- Newt Gingrich, Jan. 20

Global warming
"The ice sheets of Greenland have not melted in historic time at all, even though it was much warmer 1,000 years ago and very much warmer 5,000 years ago. The ice sheets on Antarctica haven't melted for millions of years, because it's really quite cold there. There is always some melting that takes place during the summer, of course, when the sun shines directly on the ice. But in the precipitation that falls -- the rain and snow that falls -- soon turns to ice and grows the ice sheet back again.
-- Fred Singer, co-author of "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years," Oct. 20

"Sea levels have been rising for the last 10,000 years. In fact, 8,000 years ago, sea level was almost 500 feet lower than it is today. It’s been rising gradually over that time. It’s risen very slightly in the modern record, but it has risen no more rapidly than it has in the last 8,000 years."
-- Timothy Ball, Canadian climatologist, Feb. 10

"I think they (Republicans) need to go back to what made them winners in the first place. What worked for Reagan, what worked back in 1994 that helped them take over the Congress after 40 years, were the principles that defined them as a party -- which was limited government, traditional values, a strong national defense. These are the things that define conservatism and therefore in some ways greatly shaped the Republican Party."
-- Genevieve Wood, Heritage Foundation, director of strategic operations, Feb. 17

"I don’t see anything to be optimistic about. I mean, look at the voters in this country. Do you think they’re interested in freedom? They’re not interested in freedom. They’re interested in what the government can do to make their lives easier for them. They don’t want to take care of their own medical care. They don’t want to plan for their own retirement. They don’t want to have to fight for their own jobs. They don’t want to educate their own children. It’s all government, government, government. I’m sorry. I’d love to be optimistic. But watching the American people right now, it is very hard to do."
-- Neal Boortz, talk-show host and author of “Somebody’s Gotta Say It,” March 17

Media bias
The last thing I want is a conservative bias in the news media. It would be the same problem. What you want is the search for truth. What you want is reporters to strive for the Holy Grail of journalism -- which is objectivity. You want them to incorporate balance. You want them to be fair. But most importantly, you want them to be accurate."
-- L. Brent Bozell III, media critic, March 24

Bill Clinton
"I can't say if he is a net plus or a net minus. I can just tell you what his pluses are. His pluses are that he can raise a great deal of money. His minuses are three: When he appears on stage with (Hillary), the attention shifts to him. The Clintons are constantly living in fear that there will be a bimbo eruption at any moment because of the reckless way he's lived his years of retirement. Finally, the record is clear: When he campaigns for people, they almost always lose."
-- R. Emmett Tyrrell, author of "The Clinton Crack-Up," April 21

“In the second and third generation, a significant portion of the children of recent Hispanic immigrants -- who are virtually all illegal but their children are legal -- are getting sucked up into underclass culture. You have the highest dropout rate in the country among Hispanics, the highest teen-pregnancy rate in the country among Hispanics and an out-of-wedlock birth rate that is 50 percent. These are all markers of future social pathology, so I think we are creating family breakdown and all of the problems that surely follow in the train of that."
-- Heather Mac Donald, Manhattan Institute fellow, May 26

Immigration Reform Bill
“Practically speaking, I think there is still a good chance this will fall apart in the Senate and an even better chance that it will fall apart in the House. But the president does know what he wants, which is de facto open borders: legalizing the illegals who are here and letting any willing worker overseas get a job with any willing employer, which is a pretty compact definition of open borders."
-- Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, June 2

FDR worship
The worship of FDR gets in the way of knowing all the policy mistakes that they made -- and policy matters. There's this one meter that we've all focused on, which is the political one, and by that meter FDR does so fabulous -- 46 of 48 states. But there were two other meters that we now know are important: One was the Dow and the other was unemployment, and by those meters he failed. Unemployment didn't really get down until the war and the question about the war is not, 'Did World War II end the Depression?' but 'Why did the Depression last all the way to the war?'"
-- Amity Shlaes, author of "The Forgotten Man," June 16

Professional brats
"The athletes principally have become such spoiled brats. Not in all cases, of course. But in too many cases. This Sidney Crosby, the way he signed that contract with the Penguins and didn't try to milk the last dollar out of it. That was so refreshing that I wish you could turn Sidney Crosbys out on an assembly line."
-- Myron Cope, sports legend, July 14

"When I am given a chance to address college students, I always tell them, 'Always love your country but never trust your government.' I believe that. And I believe that is the view the American people take and that's why I think we'll still be the shining city on the hill."
-- Robert Novak, author of "Prince of Darkness," July 21

Mitt in Iowa
"Romney has run one of the best caucus campaigns I've ever seen. He's run a very businesslike, precise, very efficient campaign. It really reflects sort of the CEO personality. I think that's number one; he's just running a really good campaign. He's putting time in here. Time-on-task is probably one of the most important things a candidate can do."
-- David Yepsen, columnist for The Des Moines Register, July 28

The Fed
"The Federal Reserve's job is not to protect people who've made mistakes. It's to protect us from them. So their job, as they have said, is to watch the economy -- the big picture. What's going to happen to employment and inflation, primarily -- to respond to that and not to respond to the cries of the people who made mistakes."
-- Allan Meltzer, political economy professor of Carnegie Mellon University, Aug. 25

Skills shortage
“Almost every place I go in this country, particularly where the economy is growing, if you ask business people what is it that would really help them, they say 'skills.' Machinists. Welders. It's not like there's a Ph. D. shortage, generally speaking. But there is a welder shortage, there's a plumber shortage, there's a machinist shortage. But nobody wants to talk about this. Cities that have lost their industrial base don't want to talk about it, and many cities that still have it are almost ashamed of it. In one of the great historical ironies, the places where they are not ashamed of manufacturing are places like Houston and Charleston and Charlotte. But the places with the great industrial traditions, it's almost as if they are ashamed of their lineage."
-- Joel Kotkin, city guru, Sept. 1

The unpoor
"When you look at the people who John Edwards insists are poor, what you find is that the overwhelming majority of them have cable television, have air conditioning, have microwaves, have two color TVs; 45 percent of them own their own homes, which are typically three-bedroom homes with 1 {1/2} baths in very good recondition. On average, poor people who live in either apartments or in houses are not crowded and actually have more living space than the average person living in European countries, such as France, Italy or England."
-- Robert Rector, author of "America's Failed $5.4 Trillion War on Poverty," Sept. 8

Hugo Chavez
“We -- people who believe in liberty and freedom and the rule of law -- often get upset when we see Hugo Chavez. But I think we need to think about what were the circumstances that made it so possible to walk into that situation and become president of that country. There was a reason he was elected -- people were really thoroughly disgusted with the corruption and the abuse of power on the part of people who refer to themselves as small 'd' democrats, who pretended to believe in the constitution and the rule of law and property rights but in fact did not."
-- Mary Anastasia O'Grady, "Americas" columnist, The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6

Conservative triumphs
“We've accomplished an enormous amount historically in the last 50 years ... . There is no Soviet threat. There is no tidal demand for a change in government of a kind that would ignore human rights and private property rights. A lot of problems continue -- education primary among them, the allocation of resources. But the fact of the matter is that what we have accomplished is signal, important and enduring and under those circumstances, conservatives can legitimately take some pride in what has happened."
-- William F. Buckley Jr., Nov. 18

Bill Steigerwald is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's associate editor. Call him at (412) 320-7983. E-mail him at: bsteigerwald@tribweb.com.

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