Political News Summary: Feb. 11

Such as "[i]n the days before a trip, for example, Clinton staff members would search the White House computer logs for letters to Mr. Clinton written by local citizens, who would then be invited to greet the president as he arrived. The Clinton staff would at the same time alert the local news media and make sure that reporters had access to the letter writers after Mr. Clinton left the airport."

Senate Majority Leader Daschle moved the Pickering nomination backward this weekend, telling Wolf Blitzer he would probably oppose the conservative jurist's nomination to the appellate court. ( http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002/02/11/judges.htm )

Roll Call reports, "Presidential adviser Karen Hughes is the latest member of the White House staff slated to travel to Missouri to aid former Rep. Jim Talent (R) in his race against Sen.Jean Carnahan (D). Hughes will appear at the Kansas City kickoff event of the 'Women for Talent' group March 6 and then travel to St. Louis later in the day for a fundraiser for the Talent campaign."

The Sunday New York Daily News had the first of what will be many, many looks at Frank Bruni's book on the Bush campaign. Anthropologist Bruni "gets" Bush pretty much as well as any reporter we know, but, as this write-up suggests, some of the scholarly insight will be overwhelmed by the dishing and the gossip. ( http://www.nydailynews.com/2002-02-10/News_and_Views/Beyond_the_City/a-140875.asp )

The War Out There

The Washington Times reports, "A radical Muslim sect with ties to international terrorism is seeking to create a patchwork of 'hide-outs' in rural southern Virginia for would-be terrorists and other extremists, according to law-enforcement authorities here. These sanctuaries, which are communes located throughout the sparsely populated, hilly countryside, have been established to follow the teachings of Sheik Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani … a Pakistani cleric who founded the tax-exempt Muslims of the Americas sect in 1980, which is linked to Jamaat al-Fuqra, a terrorist group with a stated commitment to bringing jihad, or holy war, against the United States." ( http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020211-30966136.htm )

After a weekend of saber-rattling over Iraq, the The Wall Street Journal turns its front-page interview with President Putin into a yellow light (and not a blinking one) on Russian attitudes towards any US military strike on Baghdad.

The Journal also details Secretary O'Neill's meeting in Ottawa with other financial Bigs to pressure them to help more with the war on terror.

In something of a foreign policy version of the Balz/Woodward behind-the-scenes series, the Washington Post 's Kaiser on Sunday began his first in a series of looks at US-Saudi relations, with lots of Saudi side reporting, but the administration taking a pass.

Sunday's link: ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51555-2002Feb9.html )

Today's: ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55265-2002Feb10.html )

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