Hillary up, Obama down
Sen. Hillary Clinton's upward bump in Democrat presidential polls is viewed by insiders as a delayed reaction to Sen. Barack Obama's mediocre performance in the opening debate April 26.
Not many people actually watched MSNBC's telecast of the debate, but press accounts and word of mouth have spread the news of Obama's performance. When asked what he would do as president if he learned that "two American cities have been hit simultaneously by terrorists," Obama replied -- citing Hurricane Katrina -- that "the first thing we'd have to do so is make sure that we've got an effective emergency response." In contrast, Clinton responded that she would "retaliate."
Obama's unsatisfactory answer generated criticism in Democrat circles that he is too inexperienced and that his managers are relying on his personality and biography rather than taking vigorous positions.
Fred Thompson's admittedly disappointing debut as a potential presidential candidate addressing Republicans in Orange County, Calif., stemmed from his decision to personally rewrite an effective speech written for him.
A 1,600-word excerpt from the prepared speech, put on the Internet, energized conservative activists in Washington. But the actor-politician sat down in his Balboa Bay Club suite to rewrite the speech. Thompson does not like to read from texts, and he reduced his rewrite to notes that became the basis for his presentation.
The final version delivered was less tightly organized and more verbose than his prepared remarks. It omitted making common cause with Sen. Tom Coburn's crusade against pork and added a concluding anecdote about talking issues with sixth-grade students.
The Governator vs. GOP
While Republican presidential candidates woo California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his endorsement, the former movie star's relationship with the state GOP has all but disappeared.
Prominent California Republicans generally do not want to criticize publicly the party's only statewide office holder but privately they say Schwarzenegger has been governing as a Democrat since his re-election on a liberal platform last year. The complaint among Republicans is that the governor follows the lead of his Democrat wife, Maria Shriver.
Losing a Republican seat•
Rep. Kenny Hulshof, a rising Republican star in Congress, is on the short list to be University of Missouri president. That raises the possibility of Democrats picking up his House seat representing Missouri's Little Dixie.
Hulshof won the once solidly Democrat seat in 1996 with 48 percent of the vote and was given a coveted membership on the House Ways and Means Committee. Missouri Republican strategists worry that it would be difficult to retain the district in a special election if Hulshof takes the university post.
Patrick Kennedy's testimony
One year after Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island checked himself into rehabilitation after crashing his car into a vehicle barrier on Capitol Hill because he was visibly impaired, he testified about drug rehabilitation at a little-noticed hearing Tuesday of the Senate Health Committee.
Kennedy in 2006 said a sleep aid had caused him to get up and drive in his sleep, but before the crash that night he was seen at the Hawk and Dove bar on Capitol Hill. Republicans on the Senate committee did not ask him about his use of rehab to avoid consequences of his accident.
Robert Novak is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Bucs to target pitching on trade market
- Seinfeld takes Irwin man’s Jaguar for a sip, spin
- Woman in Route 28 crash has outstanding warrants
- Duquesne Light offers LED streetlights
- Some of the top prospects in Penguins system to be in town for camp
- All-star Watson blows late lead as Reds rally past Pirates
- Scaife donates art to Brandywine, Westmoreland art museums
- Gorman: Goda a model for success after football
- State police investigating Lawrence County murder-suicide
- Associate: Tommy Ramone, last of the original Ramones, dies
- Westmoreland County fireman dies after motorcycle crash