- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2007


“We will win the Iowa caucus.” - Democrat Tom Vilsack.

The former Iowa governor a few minutes ago told reporters on a conference call that even though he trails in polls, he is more organized than Edwards, Obama or Clinton less than a year from the Jan. 14 caucus.

His campaign staff told reporters he has nearly 1,200 cards from “committed” supporters in all of the state’s legislative districts, and says that is the only poll that counts.

— Christina Bellantoni, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

Right of the dial

Forget the blogosphere, House Republicans are going radio.

House Republican Leaders today announced they will begin a series of weekly radio addresses to confront the Democratic agenda.

“A weekly radio address will give House Republicans yet another opportunity to communicate directly with the American people,” said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Minority Whip Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, in a joint statement.

“This represents a broad-based effort to engage the millions of Americans who listen to the radio on their way to work, on their lunch hour, or on their way home to their families,” they said. “From balancing the federal budget to keeping taxes low, from providing affordable health care to giving families a break at the gas pump, Republicans are dedicated to giving Americans common sense solutions that address the concerns of working families.”

The first radio address features Mr. Boehner and will be distributed later this morning to hundreds of national and local radio stations.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

Happy Birthday!

Fishwrap extends birthday greetings to Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who turns 61 today.

— Christina Bellantoni, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

Movin on up

In other Virginia news, longtime Mark Warner press guru Ellen Qualls has landed a new gig here on the Hill, now the former Democratic governor isn’t running for president.

Qualls, who ran his press shop in Richmond and then the communications for his Forward Together PAC, starts her job Monday working for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Her fancy title is senior advisor for strategic planning.

In a polite nod to the speaker’s communications crew, Qualls waited to tell her friends in the media until the official press release came out. She used to hate it when news of Warner’s appointments were leaked by the appointees before she’d sent notification.

A former reporter herself, Qualls lives in Alexandria.

“Speaker Pelosi has the right priorities for the country at a crucial time,” she says in the official release from the speaker’s office.

— Christina Bellantoni, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

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