- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2002

"Obviously running"
Al Gore said so himself in a broadcast interview with Charlie Rose barely three weeks ago: "I'd like to be president again."
So forgive the myriad pundits in Washington, and a columnist or two, who have egg on their faces this morning, held to their word by Political Predictions, a punditry-watchdog group (www.politicalpredictions.org) that holds unsuspecting commentators accountable for their oracular pronouncements:
Mr. Gore's "gonna get the nomination."
Terry Jeffrey, "Hardball," MSNBC, Dec. 5
"Al Gore will announce he's running for president before the end of the year."
Eleanor Clift, "The McLaughlin Group," Nov. 16
"Yes, I think he is the Democrats' Bob Dole."
Ann Coulter, predicting that Mr. Gore would run, be the nominee and lose the general election, "Hardball," MSNBC, Nov. 15
"I will say Al Gore."
John McLaughlin, answering his own question, "Who will be the 2004 Democratic nominee?" "The McLaughlin Group," Oct. 19
"I think he's running."
Robert George, "Late Edition," CNN, Oct. 6
"He's obviously running."
Jonah Goldberg, "Late Edition," CNN, Oct. 6
"He virtually announced his candidacy in San Francisco."
George Will, "Hardball," MSNBC, Sept. 26
"I think Al Gore will be the candidate."
Pat Buchanan, predicting that Mr. Gore will run for and win the Democratic nomination, C-SPAN, "Washington Journal," July 14
"Gore is obviously running."
Chris Matthews, "Hardball," MSNBC, July 12
"This column will go on record and predict that Mr. Gore will make a third run for the presidency."
John McCaslin, "Inside The Beltway," The Washington Times, July 5
Al Gore's "going to run for president again."
Jack Germond, "Inside Washington," WUSA-TV, March 23
So much for following Mr. Germond's lead.

I hereby resolve
'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions, and as we usher in 2003, we thought we'd give readers the opportunity to tell politicians in Washington what you'd like to see them resolve to do in the coming year.
Perhaps you'd be happy if a certain senator or congressman pledged to quit bickering with members of the opposite party. Maybe there's a stalled bill on Capitol Hill you'd like to see passed. Or perhaps you know of a judicial nominee who, solely for political reasons, has waited too long to assume the bench.
Is there a New Year's resolution you'd like President Bush to make?
Inside the Beltway will get the ball rolling with a resolution befitting Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott: "I resolve never to stick my foot in my mouth again."
See how easy that was?
So put on your thinking caps and send your, um, their New Year's resolutions, either by snail mail to John McCaslin, c/o The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002 or by e-mail to [email protected]
Please include the name of the politician(s) and the suggested resolution(s), along with your name (if preferred, initials will suffice) and hometown. On Monday, Dec. 30, we will publish as many resolutions as will fit into this space.

File a thank you
As an alternative to regular holiday-season mail programs suspended because of the anthrax mail attacks on Capitol Hill, Rep. Robin Hayes, North Carolina Republican, is urging Americans to remember the thousands of active military personnel stationed overseas by sending encouraging messages via the Web site https://anyservicemember.navy.mil.
"Our nation was attacked as never before on September 11, 2001, and once again we find ourselves at war," says Mr. Hayes, a member of the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee. "And as we have all seen with the recent terror attacks around the world, the scourge of terrorism is still hard at work targeting innocent civilians.
"Because of this threat, U.S. service personnel are separated from their families and in harm's way to defend our freedom. As we remember their sacrifices, I am asking everyone to take just a moment to remember these brave soldiers who are presently fighting for freedom."
By the way, federal employees in Washington have been told to expect delays in mail delivery at least through May.

Away in the manger
Christians this Christmas season won't be happy to hear the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, which shows that 49 percent of Americans polled believe Santa Claus is the more recognized symbol of Christmas, 39 percent say the Baby Jesus and 10 percent say both.

Muslim guilt?
"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful."
Lead sentence of a news release issued this week by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, calling for an extension of the Immigration and Naturalization Service deadline to photograph and fingerprint non-immigrant visa holders from Muslim countries..

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