WASHINGTON, April 8
Mrs. Ann Compton of ABC News, appropriately the United States radio news pooler this morning, reported at 7:28 am ET that the President was aboard Air Force One en route to Waco, TX and his ranch for the weekend.
(We presume his time will be full of preparation for Monday's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as well as plenty of brush-clearing, breath-clearing relaxation.)
President Clinton, Compton reports, was on a presidential support plane headed back to Washington. (Do read David Sanger's eloquent travelogue of Clinton walking the streets of Rome: LINK )
So ends the week in Washington, rightfully eclipsed by matters religious and spiritual.
Under one metaphorical worldview, everything in the World of the Gang of 500 has been "frozen" while the media gaze has been elsewhere. (Imagine Congress and Howard Fineman as a series of Tussaudian wax figures -- about to come to life.)
Under the other metaphorical worldview, under the façade of the papal focus, political life has kept moving inexorably forward, and it will spring forth in the collective national consciousness first thing Monday morning. (Think of lifting up St. Peter's square and seeing a lavish ant farm with insects scurrying all over the place, as Howard Dean might say.)
It would take a conclave of Googling monkeys much bigger than the one we gathered last night to figure out which vision will prove correct, so we will table the discussion for now ("table" in the American sense, mind you, not the British one).
But we will hint at our gut feeling through a series of lists.
In each case, please provide the best name for the collection of items:
List One: The transcript of the 41/43 banter about 42 on the plane ride home; the stream of coconsciousness of Sen. Martinez as he reads his Florida clips (including editorials) in Rome this morning; and the contents of Sandy Berger's (likely) thank you Note to Paul Gigot.
List Two: The judiciary; the liberal media; the New York Times; and accomodationist Senators.
List Three: Gas prices; inflation; health care costs; Alan Greenspan's new research study, the CW on POTUS poll standing; the CW on the prospects of Social Security reform passage; and consumer confidence.
List Four: Minneapolis, Lake Geneva; Columbia; Minneapolis; and Little Rock.
List Five: Chairman Thomas; Chairman Grassley; luck; guile; an uptick in the Dow.
List Six: Conservative blogs; Howard Kurtz; Jeb Bush; and the Orlando Sentinel's editorial board.
List Seven: The nuclear option; the constitutional option; the Byrd option; the Lott option; and the Frist-Miller option.
List Eight: The Senate finance committee; the Department of Justice; the Senate Indian Affairs Committee; and Preston Gates.
List Nine: Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Rahm Emanuel; Sergio Bendixen; and South Texas.
List Ten: Mark Preston; Chris Cillizza; Alexander Bolton; Amy Keller; John Bresnahan; and Ben Pershing.
List Eleven: Moshe Katsav; Ariel Sharon; Bashar al-Assad; and Mohammad Khatami.
List Twelve: Dukakis '86; Bush '98; Santorum '06; Allen '06; Romney '06; Clinton '06.
Also today: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove headlines a fundraiser for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty a day after former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson upbraided Mr. Pawlenty for his (conditional) support for an expansion of Indian gaming. See: LINK