- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 2, 2006

Up to your room, Jim

That was Republican loyalist Mary Matalin, wife of Democratic strategist James Carville, opening up the couple’s riverfront home in Old Town Alexandria last evening to host a big-money fundraiser for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“It’s expected to raise in the six figures,” Joseph Deoudes of the Washington-area firm Principled Capital tells Inside the Beltway. “The reception [planning] was a huge success, due to the popularity of Governor Perry, [and] a very strong and motivated co-host committee.”

Among the co-hosts: former Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans, Ambassador Richard W. Carlson, former U.S. Reps. Bill Paxon of New York and Bill Brewster of Oklahoma, and politico Fred Malek (whom we spotted on TV yesterday blasting Sen. John Kerry’s latest gaffe).

Polls suggest that Mr. Perry, despite often low job-approval ratings, will cruise to a second full term in office.

Fighting words

“Do you want to wipe that cocky smile off of George Bush’s face?”

— Democratic strategist James Carville, speaking yesterday on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, saying voters need to make sure that Mr. Bush spends the next two years answering to a Democratic Senate.

Punch Foley

Joe Negron is about as opposite as a Republican can be from Mark Foley, whose former congressional seat he hopes to win.

A Florida state representative serving Palm Beach and surrounding counties, Mr. Negron has been married for 22 years to his wife, Rebecca, a maternal-child nurse. They have three children.

We don’t need to remind readers of Mr. Foley’s background. The Republican resigned his House seat on Sept. 29 after it became public that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails to young men who had served as congressional pages.

That said, congressional staff on Capitol Hill call this column’s attention to a humorous, but at same time educational, Web site — www.punchfoleyfornegron.com — which is not affiliated with the Negron for Congress campaign.

Still, given that it will be Mr. Foley’s name that appears on Tuesday’s ballot, not Mr. Negron’s, the site’s instructions can’t hurt the late-filing candidate’s chances of beating his Democratic opponent.

“The eyes of the nation are on Florida’s 16th Congressional District,” the message begins. “A new leader has come forward: Joe Negron for Congress. But an old name remains on the ballot. How do we choose? It’s very simple. Punch Foley for Negron.”

A picture of that Florida ballot appears next, showing Democrat Tim Mahoney’s name and face at the top, and below it Mr. Foley’s name and face. A boxing glove, intended to represent Florida voters, then repeatedly begins to punch Mr. Foley in the face, eventually giving him a pair of black eyes and some loose teeth.

Smart troops

Sen. John Kerry’s infamous suggestion that smart, hardworking people don’t get “stuck in Iraq” has produced one of the most memorable rebuttals in the history of politics. (Editor’s note: Mr. Kerry says it was just a “botched joke.”)

A photo featured yesterday all over the Internet — including the Drudge Report and Little Green Footballs — shows eight U.S. troops in front of three military vehicles holding a blue-painted banner declaring: “Halp us Jon Carry — we R stuk hear N Irak.”

No word yet on the identity of the troops in the photo.

Reagan roundup

Next week is the 40th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s first election as governor of California. To mark the occasion, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is starting the Reagan Associates Program to honor the estimated 5,000 people who served the former governor and president.

“Upon leaving the White House, President and Mrs. Reagan felt that there wasn’t enough time to properly thank all of the people who worked so hard for the Reagan administration and for the interests of our country,” says Frederick J. Ryan Jr., chairman of the board of trustees for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation.

All will receive free foundation memberships, lifelong complimentary admission to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, and invitations to the annual “Reagan Round-Up” reunion.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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