Lib Blogger Jokes That Dem Rebuttal Prompted Wrist Slashing

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Once the wife of a Republican congressman, but now the editor of a liberal blog, Arianna Huffington is joking that the Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address made her want to slit her wrists.

The source of Huffington's frustration was Virginia's new Democratic governor, Tim Kaine, who was given the national spotlight Tuesday night to deliver the official Democratic response.

"All my worst fears about the Democratic response to the State of the Union address being given by Virginia Gov Kaine were realized tonight when he completely failed to take on the president on his greatest vulnerability -- the war in Iraq," wrote Huffington, who was formerly married to Michael Huffington, a Republican congressman from California from 1993 to 1995.

Referring to Kaine's assertion that "our greatest need is to heal our partisan wounds," Huffington jokingly implied that such comments made her think of wounds of another sort.

"Now if I can only figure out how to heal these fresh wounds on my wrists, we'll be fine. At least, together we'll be fine," Huffington wrote on her blog,

U.S. Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), would have been a better choice to deliver the rebuttal, Huffington argued, because Murtha has been highly critical of the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq and has called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Murtha was the subject of a recent Cybercast News Service investigation that focused on the long-time congressman's military and political record. On Wednesday, Murtha sent a letter to President Bush, reiterating his call for a U.S. troop pullout from Iraq.

The Democratic Party's choice of Kaine to deliver the response was motivated by several political needs. Kaine, a Roman Catholic, has frequently invoked his experience as a missionary and freely speaks of his faith in God. He is a fresh face for the party and governs a so-called "red" or Republican-friendly state in terms of presidential elections.

Democratic Party elders are looking for someone who can appeal to a larger cross-section of American voters, especially in the 13-state South, including Virginia, where Democrats have been skunked in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

According to the moderate Democratic Leadership Council, congressional Democrats chose Kaine to deliver the State of the Union rebuttal because he is "on the front lines every day working to help his fellow citizens."

Kaine defeated Republican Jerry Kilgore in November to succeed outgoing Democratic Gov. Mark Warner

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