His summer fun in the sun vacation to Key West, Fla., over, A.J. Smith went back to work Tuesday morning, beginning the long, slow push of the rock back up the hill that the NFL season requires. And while I can't be 100 percent certain of it, I'm willing to bet the first thoughts that ran through his head once the Chargers general manager hit the lights in his office were mere echoes of the ones he's been having for most of the past two years now:
Recently, on George Allen's new Web site, GeorgeAllen.com, the former Republican senator from Virginia listed some words of wisdom from legendary college football coaches like Knut Rockne and Woody Hayes.
When Ronald Reagan's former secretary of the Navy, James Webb, eked out victory against the Republican Sen. George Allen in Virginia, what did the Democrats gain? To be sure they gained control of the Senate. That has been widely noted. Less widely noted is the fact that they gained something infinitely more subtle, but delightfully more amusing as will become apparent in the months ahead. In Webb they gained yet another very unpleasant person as a conspicuous member of the party hierarchy. He will not be easily obscured. Webb now takes his place with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Howard Dean, Al Gore, Jean-Francois Kerry and so many other Democratic notables as a rebarbative blowhard with whom you would not want to share a gondola. Nor would a civilized American want to have any of these churlish cads to dinner or even as neighbors down the block. Just the other day one of Sen. Clinton's neighbors turned up with a gunshot wound. I would not be surprised if it were self-inflicted.
President Bush and top Democrats promised to get along Thursday -- the same day that a GOP Virginia senator's concession speech gave the opposition party the final seat they needed for total congressional control.
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, who has recently said he is considering a bid for his party's presidential nomination, now trails only Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on list of potential Democratic candidates in 2008, according to a new CNN poll released Wednesday.
The bitter Senate campaign in Virginia turned uglier Friday when the Republican incumbent pulled up sexual passages from novels written by his Democratic opponent, who called the move baseless character assassination.
It appears that another of the Clintons' 1990s goals has come a cropper, to wit, ending the "Politics of Personal Destruction." It is election time in the Great Republic, and that means that for a few months candidates for high office might be beset by charges that have never heretofore been an issue. If they do not respond to those charges with great adroitness, even deviousness, they might be defeated and perhaps spend the rest of their lives under a moral cloud.
When is a Senate race more than just a Senate race? When Democrats think they can score a trifecta by beating a Republican incumbent in the South, hobbling him as a possible presidential candidate and boosting the fortunes of one of their White House wannabes. That's the weighty challenge for novice politician Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam vet and a senior Pentagon official under Ronald Reagan who is challenging Republican Senator George Allen in Virginia.
On the eve of a showdown over what could be a historic overhaul of U.S. immigration law, congressmen drew lines in the sand Sunday, leaving it all but impossible to envision what kind of legislation might ultimately win passage.
Republicans, unlike Democrats, like to anoint their presidential candidates early. The leading indicator is often the GOP moneymen, who rush to get into the game at the first whiff of a winner. In 1998 and '99 they got behind a newcomer Texas Governor and made him the early, formidable favorite for the 2000 race. Now, although it's two years until the first primary contest of 2008, a surprising number of those very same people seem to be settling on a most ironic choice: Arizona Senator John McCain, George W. Bush's bitter adversary in 2000 and a mischiefmaker whose name has become synonymous with the cause of making money less important in politics.
They may be big names back home, but at this week's convention many top Republicans will cede the limelight to President Bush while busying themselves networking, raising money and energizing themselves for their own campaigns.