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Ever the Bushie, Ridge has taken to wearing the tie as well. “But he was concerned about wearing the same tie the president was,” the staffer says.
In the end, sense won over style, and Ridge decided to wear a bright but grayish tie that would appear less presidential but still be in line with his newly elevated stature.p> ROUGH ON RIDGE br> Look for Democrats in the next day or so to quietly float the name of current Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld as an alternative to Tom Ridge . Despite his public comments last night that he had spent a great deal of time speaking with congressional leaders, Ridge has studiously avoided meeting with House and Senate leaders and does not have the broad-based support that a near celebrity like Rumsfeld has. /p>
“There’s no doubt that Ridge is going to be the man. But if Bush is going to get his $38 billion budget and his choice of nominee, we aren’t going to make it easy for him,” says a Senate Democratic leadership staffer. “When you compare a man like Rumsfeld and his track record to Ridge, there’s no comparison. Rumsfeld wins every time. People should question the choice of Ridge for this critical job.”
Barring a scandal that might have escaped an extremely extensive background check on Ridge, there is virtually no chance President Bush would walk away from one of his best and closest friends in politics.