- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 27, 2007

Room for more

Are 10 Republican presidential contenders enough? One of them, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, said yesterday there is room for more.

Mr. Huckabee was asked on “Fox News Sunday” what he thought of the possibility thatformer Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee might enter the 2008 race.

“I don’t know enough about his record in terms of the issues but, you know, I think any of us who are running have to recognize that there’s going to be room even for more than the 10 who are already on the stage,” Mr. Huckabee said.

Another Republican hopeful, former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, said on ABC’s “This Week” that he does not know much about Mr. Thompson’s record while in the Senate, the Associated Press reports.

“He’s a one-term senator,” Mr. Gilmore said of Mr. Thompson, who in actuality served from December 1994 to January 2003, initially winning a special election in 1994, then a full term in 1996. “He’s kind of the guy that’s hanging around out there, flirting with this, and he’s well-known because of his ‘Law & Order’ appearance. But the question is, is there a solid, consistent record there of supporting conservative principles? That’s going to have to be seen after he gets in the race.”

Pelosi’s trip

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on an overseas trip to embrace an audience and a topic for which President Bush has shown scant affection: “Old Europe” and global warming.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, and seven other House members left Saturday for meetings with scientists and politicians in Greenland, Germany and Belgium on ways to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called “greenhouse gases.”

The trip is taking place shortly before a climate-change summit next month involving the leading industrialized nations and during a time of increased debate over what, if anything, should succeed the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 international treaty that caps the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted from power plants and factories in industrialized countries. It expires in 2012.

President Clinton pulled the treaty after the Senate passed a resolution against it by 95-0. Critics say the accord would harm the U.S. economy and unfairly excludes countries such as China and India from its obligations.

Mrs. Pelosi told the Associated Press on Friday that she said she wants to work with the administration rather than provoke it, although she stopped short of condemning the president’s call for slowing the nation’s growth rate in carbon emissions, an approach that some say is too meek.

“I think there are better ideas,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “I want to keep the door completely open to working with the president on the issue of energy independence and global warming. … There are plenty of areas where we can find common ground.”

Schumer’s goal

“If there’s a smarter guy in Washington right now than Sen. Chuck Schumer, Republicans haven’t noticed. The New York Democrat is doggedly working to dismantle what’s left of the Bush presidency, with barely an ounce of pushback from the other side,” Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley A. Strassel writes.

“Mr. Schumer was the instigator of the Democrats’ probe into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, although note that the question of who fired which prosecutor is already yesterday’s news. The attorneys mess was just an opening, a hook that is now allowing Mr. Schumer to escalate into an assault on the wider administration, as well as presidential authority over key programs, such as wiretapping,” the columnist said.

“The ultimate goal? Surround the Bush presidency in a mist of incompetence and corruption, force Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to go, get a special prosecutor appointed to examine the many supposed misdeeds, and then sit back and ride the steady drip-drip of negative Bush headlines all the way to more Senate seats and the Oval Office. Lucky for Mr. Schumer — who leads his party’s election effort as head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — most of his GOP counterparts are blankly sitting by.”

Schumer bitten

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, is receiving treatment to prevent Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick during a recent tour of dams in upstate New York.

Mr. Schumer, a senator since 1999, apparently was bitten during a May 7 dam tour in the Hudson Valley region. He and other lawmakers have called for improvements to many small dams in the area to prevent flooding.

“I went tramping through the woods with Congressman John Hall to check dams,” the senator said. He later found a tick, and spotted a telltale “bull’s-eye” mark on his leg that is an early sign of infection, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Schumer is now undergoing a 21-day treatment with antibiotics, which can cause fatigue in some patients. He said he hasn’t noticed any symptoms besides the initial bull’s-eye mark, and is being treated “to prevent it from developing into the disease.”

Lyme disease is transmitted by the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick. Symptoms include lethargy, joint pain, fever, limping and loss of appetite. Even after treatment, symptoms can recur in some patients.

Last summer, with concerns that a new, aggressive type of tick had migrated from Southern states to New York, Mr. Schumer proposed legislation that would have authorized $100 million for Lyme disease research.

Edwards’ hope

“Last month he was the poster boy for hair bling and offshore fund-dumping. Last week he was spanked for receiving $55,000 to speak to a group of students at a public college about poverty and getting a cut of the booty from the recovery of $500 million in sunken treasure.

“But this Memorial Day weekend, after holding steady to his lead in the polls in Iowa, John Edwards will try to make himself over as the antiwar candidate and then never look back,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Salena Zito writes.

“Through ads and a newly launched Web site — www.supportthetroops endthewar.com — Edwards asks Americans to ‘call on our government to support our troops in the most important way it can, by ending this war and bringing them home.’

” ‘Watch out for John Edwards,’ says Democrat political strategist Steve McMahon. ‘The position he is staking out on the war is far more popular with a much bigger group of Democratic primary voters than anyone currently understands.’

“And if he can just stop being associated with copious amounts of cash and hair gel, and get on with the business of being a serious in-your-face antiwar candidate, he just might be successful.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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