- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

Counting his chickens
Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic National Committee chairman, is talking like his party already has won the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia, the New York Times reports.
"Many Republicans are going to be stunned at New Jersey and Virginia," Mr. McAuliffe told the newspaper for an article published yesterday. "This gives us huge momentum, huge excitement. It sets us up perfectly for our '02 races."
Mr. McAuliffe sounded "as if he is already declaring victory," reporter Richard L. Berke observed.

Fearful Democrats
"The Democratic glee after taking control of the Senate is fading to fears that the GOP could win it back in the 2002 midterm elections," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.
"Senior party insiders see Republican victories in North Carolina, South Dakota, and Minnesota. A wild card: the re-election campaign of beleaguered Sen. Robert Torricelli," Mr. Bedard said.
"If the Republicans fail, look for Sen. Trent Lott to be challenged as minority leader. We hear that jockeying for his and other top GOP Senate spots has begun between Texas's Kay Bailey Hutchison, Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum, Tennessee's Bill Frist, and Arizona's Jon Kyl."

Ready to sign
President Bush's chief of staff suggested yesterday that the president would sign a Senate-passed airline-security bill even though he disagrees with a provision to make all airport baggage handlers federal employees.
"I suspect he wouldn't want to have to sign it but he would. He wants airline security," White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said.
A House Republican version of the bill is "the best way to go," Mr. Card said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
House Republicans and the president want the government in charge of overseeing, but not employing, airport security.
In his weekly radio address Saturday, Mr. Bush called on Congress to reject the Senate proposal, adding that the House version would ensure that "security managers can move aggressively to discipline or fire employees who fail to live up to the rigorous new standards."
According to Mr. Card, Mr. Bush has confidence that Congress can pass a bill that "meets the responsibilities that he thinks are most important: Give the federal government the flexibility to do the best job that it can do for airline security." Mr. Card made the comment in a separate TV appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
The House plans to take up the airline-security bill Wednesday.

Big Bad Dude
"In a White House meeting [last] week, George W. Bush asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to help speed up the Senate's slow-motion confirmations of Bush's judicial nominees. It was the perfect opportunity for Daschle to offer a few reassuring words. 'Mr. President, we've been terribly busy working on terrorism measures,' the majority leader might have said, 'but we want to assure you we will do all we can to help.' Perhaps Daschle might even have made a token effort to confirm a few nominees a district judge or two so he could appear to make good on his word," Byron York writes at the National Review Web site (www.nationalreview.com).
"Instead, Daschle told the president to get lost. We Democrats don't need judges you do, Daschle said. We don't need appropriations bills you do. So forget about it. It was an almost breathtakingly dismissive response, especially at a time when leaders of both parties claim to be working in a newly bipartisan spirit," Mr. York said.
"What accounts for Daschle's brazenness? Republicans have always known the majority leader to be a hardball partisan fighter beneath his mild-mannered exterior. But there was something new in his response at the White House Tuesday. When he told the president to forget about judges, Daschle was announcing his new status as a Big Bad Dude in post-September 11 Washington."
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Daschle has been not only the most visible of the four leaders of Congress, Mr. York said, "but now, with his office having been the target of bioterrorists, Daschle is more than just a Democratic leader. He's a tough, courageous veteran of the war on terrorism a made man in Washington. 'The anthrax attack on Daschle means that he can look Bush in the eye,' says one Republican. 'It's taken away that look of softness around Democrats and Daschle.'"

'Show some respect'
"Former Beatle Paul McCartney scolded an acquaintance who complained, just after the terrorist attacks, that 'we got this knucklehead for a president,' McCartney revealed Wednesday night on CBS's '60 Minutes II,'" the Media Research Center reports.
"McCartney, organizer of the October 20 'Concert for New York' fund-raiser broadcast by VH1, was profiled by Dan Rather on the October 24 edition of the CBS magazine show. At one point, as he and Rather sat in the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the British group made their U.S. debut in 1964, McCartney explained why he arranged the concert event," the MRC's Brent Baker writes. MRC analyst Brian Boyd took down his reasoning:
"'I also want to do it because the mayor and the president have told me that this is the way to go, and what, who am I to argue with that? Let's listen to the bosses, for once. Let's show some respect. I think the day it happened I heard someone say, 'Well, we got this knucklehead for a president.' I said, 'OK, listen to me, stop there. Yesterday he might have been a knucklehead. Today he's not. Listen to me, he's your president. Get with it.' And you know, I'm not normally that political, but I think that you've got to do that in these circumstances. You certainly don't want the Indians fighting the Indians. I mean, people have got to rally. So I'm doing it and if one or two people might think it's cynical, so what? You know, I don't care. I'm doing it for reasons I know are good reasons. And it will help people.'
The MRC's Mr. Baker commented: "A reassuring rebuke from someone foreign-born who appreciates the United States and the role of citizens in a time of war."

Who's 'un-American'?
A coalition of American Islamic groups is calling on President Bush to halt the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan.
"The bombing victimizes the innocents, exacerbates the humanitarian disaster, and creates widespread resentment across the Muslim world," the Islamic groups said.
The coalition including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American Muslim Alliance issued a statement Saturday asking the White House to "urgently reassess its action in Afghanistan, and to cease the bombing campaign and other military actions."
The groups claimed the current U.S. campaign would allow "thousands of innocent civilians to die in the harsh Afghan winter" and that the "senseless starvation of women and children will fuel hate and extremism."
In a message posted on the Web at www.islamicity.com, the groups added: "We strongly reject any suggestion that opposing a certain policy of our government is tantamount to disloyalty. This suggestion is undemocratic, unfair and un-American."

A matter of scale
California Secretary of State Bill Jones, during a Republican state convention in Los Angeles on Saturday, pilloried gubernatorial rival Richard Riordan, the former mayor of the city, for past campaign contributions to Gov. Gray Davis and other Democrats.
But a third Republican gubernatorial hopeful, businessman William Simon Jr., confessed that he, too, had once made a contribution to Mr. Davis, the Los Angeles Times reports.
However, Mr. Simon was quick to add that it was for only $250 quite a bit less than the more than $1 million Mr. Riordan is said to have given to Democrats over the years.
"You have to look at scale," Mr. Simon said.

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