43 Days Until Inauguration Day
Some big pending political questions are completely overshadowed in our world on this typically slow December news day by a slap as loud as a car crash.
First, the pending questions:
Who will get the new top Intel job?
How bright is Secretary Snow's future?
How long will Chief Justice Rehnquist stay on the Court?
What "surprises" will there be in the SOTU?
Will a front runner emerge from the DNC state chair machinations in Orlando?
Whom will Spitzer and Clinton draw as '06 opponents?
What will Walter Shapiro do for an encore?
So/but with all that (merely) pending, the giggling of the Googling monkeys when we came in this morning has led us to one priceless item in a New York Times story about the winners and losers deriving from the intelligence bill's House passage.
Elevating the stature of Sen. Susan Collins, the story by Sheryl Gay Stolberg also highlights the role of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and says this:
"Mr. Lieberman, who has kept a fairly low profile since his unsuccessful run for vice president in 2000, has re-emerged in the spotlight -- to his benefit, Democrats and Republicans said." (Italics added by bemused Googling monkeys.) LINK
"Fairly low profile since . . . 2000"???
Has Ms. Stolberg never heard of the Joemobile, Joementum, or the Joevember to Remember!!???
These are, simply put, fighting words, which will be Noted by Jonathan Sallet, Craig Smith, the wait staff at The Tombs in Georgetown, and many, many others.
Not to mention: the Lieberman kids (particularly the feisty Rebecca) and the Senator himself.
Stand back and watch the fallout.
Meanwhile, if you read only one newspaper today, let it be the Wall Street Journal (published by Dow Jones), which has four quasi-must-reads:
1. The editorial board wants the White House to do some good hard thinking about a replacement for John Snow warning "if there's a single Cabinet post that could ruin President Bush's second term" our choice would be Treasury. Their favored choice seems to be Phil Gramm. LINK
2. Three smart guys -- including John Cogan and Glenn Hubbard -- propose cluttering up the (soon-to-be-simplified??) tax code with another deduction for health care expenses. LINK
3. Gerald Seib suggests a motto for the second term of the Bush presidency in the Wall Street Journal, "Livin' Large with George W. Bush." Seib writes, "He is a gambler, and plays for high stakes. For better or for worse, don't look for that to change, because his history suggests the characteristic is embedded in his personality." LINK
4. Al From and Bruce Reed propose "a decade-long Heartland Project" to put three quarters of the nation back in play. [Yes, this is another one of those Red State/Blue State scenarios.] With all due respect, it actually uses the phrase "Here's how."
A covey of op-ed pieces in the New York Times by various Democrats also make the case for the future of the party, too, with Howard Wolfson's call for a Democratic democratic plebiscite for chair the most innovative. LINK
Others are by Gov. Gary Locke LINK
Donna Brazile LINK
Howard Dean gives a noontime speech at George Washington University in Washington about the future of his party, as his possible bid for DNC chair still looms. LINK