By Jim Heffernan
When blood ran in Lake Superior’s water...
CIA Director Leon Panetta is saying in an upcoming New Yorker article that he thinks former Vice President Dick Cheney’s criticism of the Obama administration’s approach to terrorism almost suggests “he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point,” wire services reported over the weekend.
Panetta told the New Yorker that Cheney “smells some blood in the water” on the issue of national security.
It reminded me of another time somebody from Washington smelled blood in the water – right here in Duluth.
It was during Paul Wellstone’s first run for the U.S. Senate, facing incumbent Republican Rudy Boschwitz, a race Wellstone won. During the campaign, the Duluth newspaper’s editorial board, of which I was part, had scheduled an interview with Boschwitz as part of the endorsement process.
About an hour before the Boschwitz interview was to begin, conservative Washington pundit Roland Evans showed up in my office unannounced and asked if he could sit in on the interview. Evans, who has since died, was part of the Evans and (Robert) Novak team on CNN, and also wrote a syndicated column.
I asked Evans what he was doing in Duluth, and why he wanted to sit in on the Boschwitz interview. His answer: “Blood in the water.”
It doesn’t take those Washington sharks long to sense blood in the water.