- The Washington Times - Friday, May 23, 2008

Well, sort of. The news that had again been subpoenaed to appear before lawmakers regarding the matter of nine fired U.S. attorneys has rankled a few of his fans.

“I hope he pulls an on them. He is smart enough and they are all as dumb as rocks,” said one visitor to an online analysis site presided over by .

“The White House should fight this as a separation of powers issue. If not, Rove should waltz up to Capitol Hill and invoke the 5th to every single question,” offered another observer.

The press is already disagreeing about the future of Sen. ‘s seat in the U.S. Senate, which has been in his family for all but two years since 1953.

” is the focus of intense speculation in Massachusetts following Ted’s cancer diagnosis, which could lead to a special election if the 76-year-old Democrat dies or resigns,” said the New York Post yesterday.

“For 12 years, Joe, the son of , held a Boston-area House seat which was formerly held by his uncle, , and later by Speaker . Joe had been expected to run for the Bay State governorship in 2002 but abandoned his campaign amid family troubles.”

Ted Kennedy’s son , a seven-term Rhode Island congressman, has also been raised as a possible candidate, though “he must deal with [his] own past problems, including a stint in drug rehab.”

The New York Daily News has a different take.

Ted Kennedy has made clear to confidants that when his time is up, he wants his Senate seat to stay in the family with his wife, . Multiple sources in Massachusetts with close ties to the liberal lion say his wife of 16 years has long been his choice to continue carrying the family flame in the Senate.

“She’s smart, and smart politically,” one source told the paper.

The 50-something spouse, a former “hotshot Washington lawyer,” is a Louisiana native and the daughter of a politically active judge who held the family together when was killed in a plane crash in 1999.

“Recount,” the HBO movie based on, yes, the Florida recount of the 2000 election, will air Sunday night. It has received decent applause from several film critics - though one Bloomberg News review says the movie portrays “the Bush camp as a bunch of goons and loons” and “Republicans as dragons and drones.”

, in full liberal plumage, made the talk show rounds yesterday talking up his role as , then ‘s chief of staff, and virtuously advising Americans “to draw their own conclusion” about the election and whether it was wrested from good Democrats by bad Republicans.

“Maybe it’s little bit like somebody who was at Pearl Harbor watching a movie about Pearl Harbor,” said , an adviser to then Florida Secretary of State , according to the Canadian Press.

“Republicans won the recount. Democrats won the movie. This should not surprise us,” commented in U.S. News & World Report. He was national counsel to the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2000 and 2004.

Uh-oh. One Empire State notable has suggested that Sen. drop out of the race for the White House.

“I would say at this point we’re starting to see a little desperation on the part of the woman who I support and I’ll support until whatever time she makes a different determination,” New York Gov. yesterday told WAMC, a New York affiliate of National Public radio.

But it wasn’t without regret.

“I thought she was the best candidate and I thought she had the best chance of winning,” Mr. Paterson said.

Surprise: An election-obsessed press has misread its public. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans were most interested in news coverage about gasoline prices, with about a third citing fuel woes as the “most important story” right now. Gas, though, accounted for just 3 percent of the coverage.

The presidential race was rated most compelling by 20 percent - but took up 37 percent of the total coverage. News channels proved particularly election-centric: The election commanded 74 percent of all stories on cable news.

The survey of 1,009 adults was conducted May 16-19 and has a margin of error of three percentage points.

The White House nominated a senior Republican Senate aide yesterday to fill a seat on the Federal Election Commission, replacing a nominee who withdrew in the face of Democratic opposition.

is the Republican chief counsel on the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Also yesterday, the rules committee sent three other FEC candidates to the Senate for a vote. The six-member commission that regulates federal elections and campaign finances has been inactive because it has not had a quorum to conduct business.

Mr. Petersen would replace , a former Justice Department official whose oversight of voting rights matters sparked Democratic opposition, forcing his withdrawal last week.

“This prompt action provides a path toward seating a fully functioning, bipartisan commission,” Senate Minority Leader of Kentucky said in a statement.

A political action committee chaired by went active yesterday in Boston to further the efforts of conservative Republicans.

The Free and Strong America PAC will support candidates “dedicated to advancing social, fiscal and foreign policies that will strengthen America at this critical time in the nation’s history,” the new group says, touting “uncompromised” military strength, free markets, low taxes, small government and an emphasis on a federalist approach to government.

“Strong economy, strong families and a strong military,” Mr. Romney proclaimed.

The PAC will support candidates running for all levels of office in the current 2008 cycle, starting at the top of the ticket with Sen. .

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