Unknowing reporters might imagine Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Edwards furiously taking notes on PDA’s during the SOTUS and e-mailing them off to them from their seats. After all, the comments of both White House aspirants about Bush’s speech were available in journalists’ e-mail boxes more than ten minutes before the president finished his gripping address.
In fact, the canned comments from Gephardt and Edwards were written and approved even before the two men entered the joint session of Congress. “If you want your man’s thoughts to get play after the fact, then you’ve got to get them into the media’s hands in a timely manner,” explains a Gephardt staffer. “If we waited until after Bush was done, we’d never get play.”
Gephardt and Edwards were naturally supportive of Bush’s Iraq policy, but slammed him on domestic issues. Big surprise.
After Bush’s speech and the Democratic response, DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, as well as Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, were inundated with complaints about the party’s responder, Washington Gov. Gary Locke. Democratic leaders selected Locke after the party’s governors demanded a larger role in the national party’s activities in Washington. But acts like Locke’s will quickly have them back playing in Peoria.
“He was an embarrassment,” said one moderate Democratic House member. “Bush gave a great speech, our response only made his words seem more powerful. Why do we bother?”
The walkout, staged by mostly liberal Democrats, occurred about ten minutes before Bush’s speech ended. According to one House leadership source, the walkout was approved beforehand by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who saw nothing wrong with members of her caucus behaving rudely, and is said by other Democratic staffers to have encouraged her caucus to react visibly to Bush’s speech whenever emotions moved them.
“It says more about the respect her caucus has for her that they asked her if they could do it,” says a House Democratic leadership staffer. “They’d never have bothered to ask Gephardt.”p> BURR IN EDWARDS’ SADDLE br> The White House has hit on the candidate in North Carolina it wants to run for the Senate in 2004: Rep. Richard Burr
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?