- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2007

Last year’s news

President Bushwas treated for Lyme disease last August, the White House announced yesterday nearly a year after the diagnosis.

The treatment was revealed only when the White House made public all the results of Mr. Bush’s annual physical exam. The disease showed up in the “past medical history” section and in the summary along with other skin conditions.

Mr. Bush was treated for what his doctors described as “early, localized Lyme disease” last August after developing the characteristic bull’s-eye rash. The doctors said he has had no recurrence.

White House spokesmanScott Stanzelsaid the disease was not disclosed earlier because it happened after he had his last physical, on Aug. 1, 2006, the Associated Press reports.

“It was a rash,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for the president to have tick bites when he’s out biking.”

Domino effect

South Carolina is poised to hold its Republican presidential primary earlier than Feb. 2, 2008, likely in mid-January, a move that is expected to push New Hampshire and Iowa to follow suit. Such shifts could mean the first Republican Party nominating contest could take place just four months from now.

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson will announce the earlier date today during a joint press conference with New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner in Concord, N.H.

“We’re going to protect this battleground,” Mr. Dawson said of South Carolina’s historic first-in-the-South primary status.

He and his aides declined to disclose the date. But several Republican officials with knowledge of probable scenarios say the most likely option is for South Carolina to hold its primary Jan. 19, a change they say would lead New Hampshire to schedule its first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 7 or 8, and Iowa to hold its leadoff caucuses as early as mid-December, perhaps on the 17th.

Giuliani’s critique

Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday that the latest Democratic debate underscores the party’s drift to the left, a move he said ensures that voters will have a stark choice in next year’s presidential election.

Mr. Giuliani, who last month called Democrats the “party of losers,” said the field of eight Democratic candidates is the most liberal in memory.

“It’s beyond their just embracing loss in Iraq,” Mr. Giuliani said. “It sounds to me like they want to repeat the Clinton administration.”

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