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Tony & Tacky
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December 10, 2004



PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans. We call it Tony & Tacky. Our choice for the best and the worst of the week. We begin with Dan's choice, President Bush decided this week to keep John Snow as Treasury Secretary after a lot of speculation that Snow was gone. Dan, tony or tacky?

DAN HENNINGER: Well, it's got to be a tacky. I mean, poor John Snow, he managed to be both a winner and loser simultaneously. So you never knew on which day was which. This Snowy appointment is not going to win this White House the Malcolm Balderidge award for managerial excellence. John Snow was on the bubble. Everybody knew that. And then the White House managed to leak out that maybe he was going to stay on for a few more months, and then the news leaked that there were other names in play -- which was tough on John Snow. And, to quote Jimi Hendrix, there was too much confusion around this administration's economic policy. And this sent a very bad sign. So ultimately they reappointed him, and we still, it is not clear that Snow is going to be a strong public advocate for the administration's economic policies. He was not in the first two years of his tenure. And if there's a silver lining in the way they handled this, John Snow's name is now kind of a household word.

PAUL GIGOT: It's really interesting that a White House that is so organized in so many other places got this so bollixed up. All right, thanks Dan. Rob Pollock wants to take note of Vladimir Putin's opinions of our efforts to bring democracy to Iraq. Rob?

ROBERT POLLOCK: Well, I'd like to give a big tacky this week to Vladimir Putin for saying that he doesn't see how we're going to be able to hold a fair election in Iraq next month under U.S. occupation. Now isn't this the same Vladimir Putin who just tried to rig the election in Ukraine, or at least sided with the people who did? Now, on the broader subject of U.S.-Russian relations, I think Bush's efforts to try to mend fences with Russia in his first term were a noble effort, but I think it's time to admit that they have failed. Right now, Vladimir Putin is only hearing from the apparatchiks around him who want to restore the glory of the old Soviet empire. It's time that he heard more from us, and from the silent majority of Russians who don't want their country to be a national parrhia again.

PAUL GIGOT: And the good news is that Putin is losing in Ukraine, which looks like it's going to have the corrupt election overturned. Thanks, Rob.

And finally, Dorothy has been watching Tony Soprano and one of his fellow hoods spend some time with the troops in Iraq. This is the kind of thing we used to see much more often, and Dorothy thinks it's worth celebrating, don't you, Dorothy?

DOROTHY RABINOWITZ: Yes, I think a tony. You know, there have been any number of political statements from Hollywood on the war and on politics, but virtually none that expressed support for the troops. So it's really worth noting that there have been a strong handful -- not a great one -- of people in the entertainment industry who have made it their business to go across and entertain the troops in Iraq. And now joining them, the great Soprano himself, James Gandolfini and his side kick Mr. Sirico, Tony, otherwise known as Paulie Walnuts. And what a terrific display they made over there with hordes and hordes of soldiers, mobbed them, if I may use the word, and wanted autographs. And after hours and hours passed, when they finished, they were being wafted back to their hotel room, Mr. Galdolfini decided that he could not disappoint a single soldier and he stayed hours more. So yes, a toast to Tony and to Mr. Sirico for entering the zone of real mortal danger for the edification and the fun of the troops who are there facing it.

PAUL GIGOT: They went to Mosul, did they not?

DOROTHY RABINOWITZ: They went to the dangerous city of Mosul, yes.

PAUL GIGOT: Tough territory, that's right. Thanks, Dorothy.

That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. We hope you'll join us again next time.