Morning Political Note: Knots

Here are our two favorite parts of Elizabeth Bumiller's "everything you ever wanted to know about the president's love of running" piece: ( http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/01/national/01LETT.html )

She (mis)indentifies Washington's Tenley Sport & Health as "the gold standard of Washington health clubs," ignoring the L.A. Sports Club's obvious superiority. ( http://www.sportandhealth.com/pages/location/tenley/tenley_pusher.htm ) ( http://www.thesportsclubla.com/Clubs/template.asp )?Club=WashingtonDC

And although she snags an interview with Bloomberg's Richard Keil, who ran with the president on the morning of September 11, the best she can do with the president is to get Ari Fleischer to take some e-mailed questions into the Oval for a few answers.

"Mr. Bush said he began running in 1972 and lifting weights in 1989, for cross-training purposes, and he works out at different times of the day — late morning, afternoon or evening. His workouts usually last an hour, he has no personal trainer, he watches his diet, but he likes desserts."

"Mr. Bush did not answer a question about whether his exercise regimen helped him manage angry or bad moods. 'I have never seen him be in either,' Mr. Fleischer intoned," ignoring, perhaps, that whole alleged Daschle meeting thing.

The The Wall Street Journal has a semi-lengthy piece highlighting congressional concern about linking the war on terror to the war on drugs, with worry about what it might do to human rights in Colombia.

Legislative agenda: The Washington Post picks further at the White House's proposed welfare reform plan and its incentives to encourage marriage: "The White House also wants to require states, for the first time, to include in the welfare plans they must submit to the federal government 'explicit descriptions of their family-formation and healthy-marriage efforts.' And in a subtle but potent shift, the administration proposes rewording part of the 1996 law that overhauled the welfare system, amending a basic purpose of the program, 'formation and encouragement of two-parent families,' so that it contains the extra words: 'healthy, two-parent married families.'" ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44339-2002Mar31.html )

"These ideas … delight social conservatives — who regard Bush's plan as the first significant infiltration of their 'marriage movement' into federal policy. Liberals, including women's groups, are horrified."

"The issue has put Democrats in an awkward position — uncomfortable with the president's plans but reluctant to sound as if they oppose marriage. It is unclear how much political capital they will expend on an issue that is divisive but, budgetarily, relatively minor."

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