The Buzz

TheChat: John Hancock’s radio partner rushes to his defense

Kelley (left), Hancock
Kelley (left), Hancock

Good morning.

▪ “I've known John 20 years . . . and I know that John's not an anti-Semite or a bigot.” — Michael Kelley, John Hancock’s Democratic partner on Hancock & Kelley, KMOX Radio's bipartisan talk show.

Hancock, of course, is in the middle of a political whirlwind over accusations that he was at the center of an anti-Semitic whispering campaign aimed at former state Auditor Tom Schweich. Some Republicans are said to want Hancock to resign as the Missouri GOP’s new chairman, although most have not gone public with that sentiment. Added Kelley, “Anyone who rushes to the conclusions that are being drawn here is not thinking about the issues that surround a person's decision to commit suicide.”

▪ “Just like with Harriet Miers, we are lacking in that paper trail of your thought, your opinion, your own writing reflecting that. And so, I’m using the words of Gov. Brownback at that time: Why shouldn’t we consider rejecting your nomination for the same reason that he was prepared to reject Harriet Miers?” — Kansas Senate Vice President Jeff King, an Independence Republican, on Gov. Sam Brownback’s pick of law clerk Kathryn Gardner for a seat on the state Court of Appeals.

King invoked Brownback’s criticism of Miers for the U.S. Supreme Court when Brownback served as a U.S. senator. Brownback’s complaint then was that Miers, who was tapped for the nation’s highest court in 2005 by President George W. Bush, had no record and that the Senate shouldn’t blindly sign off on the nomination. Miers wound up withdrawing.

▪ “These reports conclude an exhaustive, meticulous, and independent review of the facts surrounding this tragedy, as well as unacceptable police and court practices that led to a boiling point in this community.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The next step, the Democratic senator said, is finding solutions that heal and rebuild trust “that’s been badly broken.” Added McCaskill, “I’m committed to doing exactly that.”

▪ “People have different ways of communicating. I have a granddaughter who does nothing but text. You’ll never find a letter written with her. So everybody’s different.” — Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin, a Democrat, defending Hillary Clinton’s practice of using her private e-mail account as secretary of state, sparking accusations that she was avoiding transparency.

The New York Times is reporting that Democrats have been caught flat-footed on the story. They’ve defended the former first lady, but have avoided questions about the ethics of the way she did business.