Friday morning, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Republican Senate leader Trent Lott rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and later told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that both Democrat leaders, Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt, were expected to be there, but pulled a no show.
Not so, shot back Democratic operatives: neither man had been invited, and due to previous obligations, neither could have made it downtown to Wall Street in time anyway.
In fact, the NYSE had been negotiating with Gephardt and Daschle up until about midnight on Thursday, attempting to get the four leaders onto the balcony to ring the bell. Initially, Daschle had agreed to appear with the Republicans, and then do a brief solo interview on CNN and CNBC. But when Gephardt balked, the Senate Democrat did too. Instead, Daschle did multiple TV appearances from the congressional meeting site at Federal Hall. Neither of the Democrats wanted to be seen in the center of all things capitalistic.
“You could just see the Republican ads showing tight camera shots of Daschle and Gephardt ringing the bell, smiling as stock sales took off,” says a Democratic House staffer. “We’re the party of corporate responsibility and stock market reform. To ring that bell would make us look like hypocrites. Obviously our Republican colleagues just don’t get it. Which is the point we’ve been making all along on those issues.”p> MR. MEHLMAN br> Even before the real mid-term elections take hold, the White House appears to be positioning itself for its own campaign in 2004. Bush administration sources say that Karl Rove , the mastermind behind Bush’s win in 2000, has dubbed protégé Ken Mehlman , currently White House director of political affairs, to be the campaign manager for the Bush 2004 run.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?