Hot as a fragrant croissant, the PFA pre-emptive memo argues that the lack of Democrat support should not surprise anyone given the extreme liberalness and vaulting ambition of its members on the Judiciary Committee. Some might say that if the press were less inclined to see Sen. Brownback as "extreme" and "very conservative" and more likely to see Ted Kennedy as "extreme" and "very liberal" that a party-line vote in the committee would be less of a news story that some are sure to make it.
In fact, as PFA points out, every Democrat on the committee hails from a Blue State and their posture towards Roberts has been far less favorable since he was first nominated than that of, say, the Nelsons -- or other Red State Democrats.
The memo comes complete with member-by-member odds for those keeping score at home:
Sen. Ted Kennedy comes in at "200 to 1" given that "for the last 25 years, whenever any Democrat has voted against a Republican Supreme Court nominee, Kennedy has joined them."
Sen. Pat Leahy comes in at "100 to 1." The Bat Man buff may have called Roberts "pleasant, articulate and knowledgeable." But he has said similar things before while still voting "Nay" on Justices Thomas, Bork, and Rehnquist.
Sen. Chuck Schumer comes in at "95 to 1" because, in PFA's view, DSCC chairs can't get to 51 while giving GOPers a helping hand.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the loyal party leader, comes in at "90 to 1."
Sen. Russ Feingold, with a New Hampshire trip already on the calendar, comes in at "25 to 1".
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, with/despite her abortion litmus test, comes in at "3 to 1."
Sen. Herb Kohl's odds are placed at "2 to 1."
And the mercurial Sen. Joe Biden comes in at "6 to 1" if the "reasonably moderate legislator" shows up. But if he is serious about doing the Richard Ben Cramer-thing again, his odds jump to "75 to 1," lest "radical liberals in Iowa and New Hampshire" abandon him.
To Congressman Rahm's (public) delight, Roll Call's Pershing and Pierce broke the news yesterday that National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (NY) plans to recommend to his fellow leaders that they shelve Social Security reform for the remainder of the 109th Congress out of fears that it could "cripple" the party in the 2006 elections.
The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman has a House GOP strategist asking: "Why would you want to make vulnerable members take a vote on something that's not going anywhere? You could make the case that it would be suicide." LINK
Chairman Thomas seems unpleased.
The Associated Press has Speaker Hastert not quite embracing Reynolds' point of view. LINK
The front page of the Wall Street Journal blares: "While many consumers have focused in recent weeks on the high price of gasoline, utilities are grappling with enormous natural-gas bills that threaten to push another form of energy, electricity, to unprecedented price levels."
From the daytime talk show style setting to the lavish gift bags, James Barron of the New York Times has all the details from Clintonfest Day 1. LINK
The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler on the carbon-minimizing pooh-bahs at the Clinton confab. LINK
Diane Cardwell and Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times capture the (rare) display of Democratic unity in New York City and look ahead to the general election. LINK