WASHINGTON, May 4
There's something about the thermometer going above 70 degrees in Dupont Circle that turns the politico-media world's agenda into a mélange as variegated as the Treasury Department duck. LINK
Yesterday, we tried to give you a sense of where the stew stands (yes, yes, we know: stew doesn't stand . . . ), and we covered a range of issues (and/but one CAN cook stew on a range . . . ).
But, in all honesty, when representatives of the Gang of 500 meet at Lauriol Plaza for their Sunday night dinners, they only see four issues that really matter these days (besides the aforementioned Treasury duck and how it is turning Taylor Griffin from an anonymous bureaucrat into an international icon).
Those issues are (1) what the current game of chicken will cause the two parties to do on Social Security reform in the coming weeks and months; (2) if Howard Dean and the other Democratic leaders can find a way to improve the party's image on moral and national security issues; (3) what conservatives can do to try to cripple Hillary Clinton in '06, absent a strong opponent; and (4) what Bruce Springsteen thinks of Karl Rove.
Lucky for you -- and for us -- the answers to all four questions (at least: today's answers) were easily found by 1,000 well-briefed and well-intentioned Googling monkeys.
From the Wall Street Journal story on Social Security:
"Some Democratic aides on Capitol Hill said privately that the new details of the president's plan were pressing them to consider eventually putting forward their own fix . . . "
"Senate Republicans are considering seeking passage of a Social Security bill that abandons private accounts in favor of simply shoring up the program's long-term solvency through approaches such as the one Mr. Bush has embraced. If Mr. [Bill] Thomas could push his own plan through the House, a conference committee from both chambers could fashion a compromise and dare reluctant moderates in both parties to defeat it on a final up-or-down vote."
The first and last paragraphs from a front-page Boston Globe story about the upcoming Massachusetts Democratic Party confab (a story that does not seek a position from Sen. John F. Kerry):
"The Massachusetts Democratic Party is poised next week to add an endorsement of gay marriage to its platform, despite a nationwide backlash against same-sex marriage that led voters to approve bans in 11 states last fall . . . " LINK
"Also, delegates will hear from the national Democratic Party chairman, Howard Dean, as well as Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who is running for reelection in 2006."
From a New York Observer piece on how the anti-Hillary Clinton groups seem to be raising more money (indirectly) for her than they are for themselves:
"'Both Clintons have benefited from the fact that they drive Republican political consultants insane and we start to do things that, to the undecided voters, seem to be nutty,' said Nelson Warfield, who was the press secretary to Bob Dole's 1996 Presidential bid. 'It makes her a victim; it makes us seem like we're off-balance.'" LINK
From the San Bernadino Sun story about Monday's Bruce Springsteen concert at the Pantages Theatre: