But with the Republicans’ new Senate majority and their need to find a workable coalition of between seven to ten Democrats for votes that require the support of 60, Breaux again becomes a potentially pivotal figure. But probably not until after the December runoff between Sen. Mary Landrieu and Suzy Haik Terrell. “He’s really important to Landrieu pulling this thing out, in part because of his perceived relationship with the White House,” says a Louisiana Democratic operative. “If everything goes as planned, he’s going to be at her side for the next month.”
So while there is little doubt that the White House will use many of the tools at its disposal to help Terrell, it will also do what it can to not bend Breaux out of shape. “We don’t need to have Breaux coming back in January upset, with a grudge. We’re not going to have the time to rebuild burned bridges. We want to hit the ground running up there,” says a White House political staffer.
Breaux is seen as critical in the ongoing struggle over the Department of Homeland Security. He was one of the few Democrats who made an effort to work with the White House in developing a civil service plan that would give President Bush many of the controls he wanted over hiring and firing and transfers from other departments, while maintaining some level of input from the civil service unions and worker organizations. At one point, about a month before the elections, it appeared that Breaux had brokered some form of a deal with the White House, but then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle knocked down any chance that a series of votes on the new cabinet-level entity would occur before the election.
Beyond Breaux, look for Georgia’s Zell Miller to become another serious Democratic player. It’s doubtful he will jump parties without a serious chairmanship dangled in front of him, a no-go given that Republicans currently have none to offer.p> WINGBATS br> It was inevitable. In the wake of the Democrats’ latest disaster, some staffers inside the party’s national committee have suggested turning to the one person who best communicates the true Democratic vision for America. “He’s the only one who seems to capture the imaginations of our base as well as those of mainstream Americans,” says one of the DNC staffers who claims to have lobbied chairman Terry McAuliffe to bring in the perceived savior.
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Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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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.
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