Obama's admission, Sonia's 35 minutes, Specter's specter, Arnold's hogs
Notes for a summer Friday:
Or Try a Cold Shower
If you experience an election lasting more than four hours -- or even four months -- seek medical attention immediately. Ask your physician if you are healthy enough for legal activity.
If so, just go to court, the way they did up in Minnesota, where they are still in court over the battle between Republican Norm "I Used to Be Mayor of St. Paul, You Know" Coleman and Democrat Al "I'm Not a Big Fat Idiot" Franken.
Minnesota's Supreme Court is now mulling (a favorite word) the case fully seven months and an additional $13 million in legal fees and salaries after the $37-million campaigns ended Nov. 3.
Coleman, who's losing by 312 votes at the moment, wants about 4,400 rejected absentee ballots counted too. And depending on the state outcome, Coleman could always appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which isn't required to take the case.
A lot of Democrats, who'd like 60 party members in the Senate, think Coleman should just give up already and accept defeat graciously the way, for instance, Al Gore did after the close 2000 presidential election night. Oh, wait. Not.
Again, Obama Agrees with Bush
One of the little-noticed tidbits out of President B. Hussein Obama's speech from the presidential minaret in Egypt this week was his brief, brushing acknowledgment that Saddam Hussein's absence from Iraq is a good thing. It was clearly yet another bold, bipartisan bid by the new chief executive to agree with George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney.
Obama famously opposed the war in Iraq, though he's keeping...
... many thousands of U.S. troops there. He opposed the previous administration's troop buildup to prevent defeat there, but is launching his own troop buildup in Afghanistan now to prevent defeat there.
Thursday, he said: "Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible."
Sonia's 35 Minutes at Duke
If you're like us, you find videotapes of judges calling their office "chambers" and describing how they sort through legal briefs and assign clerks as riveting as "A-Team" reruns.
So you won't want to miss this C-SPAN video of Supreme Court nominee Sonia "Any Woman Like Me Is Smarter Than Any Man Like You" Sotomayor's remarks at Duke four years ago where, oops, she said the "Court of Appeals is where policy is made."
Bookmark this item for future reference. It'll no doubt come up again during her summer Senate hearings when some questions will focus on her views of activist judges making policy.
Huck's Baaack, So's Ed
Former large Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is feeling the need to revisit Iowa, where he won the Republican caucus last year, not that it did him any lasting good. He ended up on Fox News.
On Wednesday, he'll be in Spirit Lake to speak at a fundraiser for Bob Vander Plaats, who considers himself the likely GOP gubernatorial candidate in the Hawkeye State next year. It's payback. Vander Plaats was Huck's Iowa manager, helping to stun Mitt Romney there.
Speaking of Huckabee, his former campaign manager, Ed Rollins, is taking to the airwaves too.
On Sunday, Rollins launches a limited run as a Washington insider talking politics on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The hourlong show (also online) will run for several Sundays from 10-11 a.m. Pacific (1-2 p.m. Eastern, 5-6 p.m. GMT) on Sirius Channel 110 and XM POTUS 130.
The Specter of Specter
Four activist liberal groups in Pennsylvania have formed a joint website to document or perchance dispel suspicions about Sen. Arlen Specter's loyalty to the Great Change Agent in the White House.
For some reason possibly connected with Specter changing political allegiances like a necktie, switching from the Republican Party when he appeared in GOP trouble back home, and already voting against the Democratic president, the groups -- Keystone Progress, Progress Now, True Majority and Penn Action -- have set up specterscorecard.org to both monitor progress of his progressiveness and funnel suggestions/complaints to him.
All in anticipation of next year's campaign, which as The Ticket has reported, will most probably involve an intraparty challenger in the shape of Rep. Joe Sestak.
Times Are Tough Not All Over
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has talked a lot recently about the need for state leaders to live just like ordinary citizens -- meaning within their means. So, he's proposing billions of dollars in budget cuts, selling off state landmarks, closing parks and more.
But, as our colleague Michael Rothfeld points out, sometimes the movie-star-turned-politician doesn't, well, seem quite like an ordinary Californian. Before another tough-times budget speech the other day, Schwarzenegger bantered with an audience member about one of his favorite pastimes.
“And so I heard," said the governor, who can't cut his own state salary because he takes none, "even there is someone out there that is from a Harley-Davidson shop in Orange County. Who is that? It's you? OK, I'm going to come to your table very soon after my speech and we'll make a deal to buy an extra few hogs, because I love motorcycles and I ride them every Sunday, OK? So it's good to have you here.”
It's also good to be rich.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Photos, from top: Gov. Schwarzenegger not riding a Harley in 2006. President Obama with Sonia Sotomayor. Newly anointed Democrat Arlen Specter with longtime Democrat Obama and even longer time Democrat Joe Biden. Credits: Associated Press