More from the USA Today story on Lieberman: "Labor unionists say that Lieberman's name does not come up in conversations about the 2004 race and that he'd be hard-pressed to get the AFL-CIO endorsement or to succeed in the key Iowa caucuses, where labor organizers drive turnout. 'He's too conservative for the metropolitan area of New York,' says Jonathan Nagler, an elections specialist at New York University. 'He's too conservative for a whole lot of the West Coast.' On the other hand, analysts say, he has many diehard fans in Jewish areas of California, New York and Florida; his high profile means he should have little trouble raising money; and his moderate stands could reel in independents in the New Hampshire primary, which permits non-affiliated voters to cast ballots in either party's primary." ( http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20020124/3799579s.html )
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Rich Bond offers up this rebuke of Daschle in a Washington Times op-ed: "Tom Daschle is a smart, articulate, hard-nosed but likeable politician. It's time to admit, however, what he is not, and that is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate. Mr. Daschle holds the title but not the power to act the part because he lacks an ideological majority that is essential to govern." Bond then tries to up the pressure on Daschle to declare his intentions by charging that he's running for president. ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20020124-23421008.html )
Jules Witcover wrote about Al Gore's expected re-emergence Wednesday. ( http://www.sunspot.net/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.witcover23jan23.column?coll=bal%2Doped%2Dheadlines
The key, just-right parts: "Meanwhile, there is not exactly a Democratic groundswell for Mr. Gore to jump back into the arena. Part of it is an awareness that Mr. Bush continues to enjoy a political halo effect as leader of the war on terrorism. But part of it remains a hangover from disappointment in Mr. Gore as a candidate in 2000, after which he was criticized as having frittered away the Bill Clinton political inheritance."
"Sooner or later, however, Mr. Gore is going to have to reassert himself as a strong voice in the party on issues he has impressive credentials to champion, such as the environment and energy policy, if he hopes to resurrect his leadership image in his party."
"From a purely political point of view, no other Democrat has yet very effectively filled the void. The Democratic leaders in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, have done their best to blame Mr. Bush's 2001 tax cut for the disappearance of the surplus left by the Clinton-Gore era. But the field for the 2004 Democratic nomination remains wide open."
The New York Times previews the President's Feb. 6 trip to New York to visit Mayor Michael Bloomberg's house and the Sheraton to do some fund-raising work for Gov. George Pataki, who has mastered the art of raising money as a Republican in the Empire State. It's $15,000 a head to get into the mayor's house. The story also looks at the mayor's evolving place within the GOP, and how this trip will factor into that. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/24/nyregion/24FINA.html )
The New York Post calls it "the state's hottest-ever Republican ticket" and suggests the two events could raise a cool $2 million. ( http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/39803.html )