Category Archives: Chris Dodd

The senators’ excuses for being MIA on Mukasey

Here is something I meant to post yesterday, but didn’t have time after I finally got the info I needed.

Friday morning, I was reading up on Mukasey’s confirmation the night before, when I noticed that not one of the senators running for president had recorded a vote. Since I still needed a topic for my Sunday column, I thought this might be it. I decided to put each of their campaigns on the spot, and write on the basis of the responses I got.

So I e-mailed contacts at each of the five campaigns. Under the heading, "Where was Sen. (blank)?" I wrote:

(contact name),

Why was Sen. (blank) (along with all the other presidential contenders)
recorded as "not-voting" on the Mukasey nomination last night? What was
more important? And what was the senator’s position on the question of
whether he should have been nominated?

— Brad

Unfortunately, the replies were slow coming in. The first was from B.J. Boling with John McCain at 11:51 a.m.:

Hi Mr. Warthen-

Senator McCain’s policy is to be present when his vote would affect the
outcome.  When Sen. Feinstein and Schumer decided to confirm Mukasey it
became clear McCain’s vote wouldn’t change the outcome. He has clearly
supported Mukasey’s nomination. (Please see Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham’s letter below.) Senator McCain was receiving the endorsement of
Sen. Brownback in IA.


I think BJ was confused; the Brownback endorsement was the day before. Anyway, I didn’t hear from the next campaign — Joe Biden’s — until 2:47 p.m.:


Tried to reach you by phone to discuss but got your voice mail so thought I would respond my e-mail.

Don’t know exactly where Senator Biden was late yesterday when the
Mukasey nomination came up on the Senate floor.  However, Senator
Biden had expressed his strong opposition to Judge Mukasey’s
confirmation (link to his statement…) and voted against
reporting the nomination out of the Judiciary Committee.  Further,
Senator Biden has previously indicated that he would not miss a vote in
which his vote would determine the outcome.  Obviously, the Mukasey
vote was not close giving the fact that six Democrats had announced
their support for Judge Mukasey well in advance of the actual vote
taking place.  Call me if you have any further questions.


Trip King

It should be noted that because I was swamped — it being Friday, and my having to switch gears and pursue a completely different column idea — I wasn’t answering my phone, which presented an obstacle to the campaigns. Amaya Smith kept trying to call me, mentioned that she was doing so in an e-mail. I explained that I’d rather have e-mail because I didn’t have time to talk, so she wrote:

Here is the Senator’s
statement opposing Mukasey
early on.

That was at 3:06. At 3:50, I heard from Michelle Macrina with Chris Dodd. She wrote,

At a time when the confirmation seemed assured, Senator Dodd was the first Democrat to voice his opposition to Judge Mukasey’s nomination based on his position on the Rule of Law. He registered his opposition repeatedly and urged his colleagues to do the same.

Zac Wright with the Hillary Clinton campaign was apparently having a bad day, and missed my first e-mail. After I e-mail him again, he responded at 6:14 p.m. with:

She’s made every effort to make her votes, as evidenced by having the best attendance record of the candidates running.  But she’s running for President and was campaigning in NH.  Had this been a close vote, she would have been there.

She’s already spoken out about her views. 
This is her statement from the Senate yesterday.

So those are their stories, and I suppose they’re sticking to them. If I’d had time to chat, I would have pursued the matter further with each, but I was multitasking, and this was a lower priority than cranking out pages. I’m just getting to this now.

What do y’all think?


Which candidate do YOU hate the most?

Ahillary             "NEVER? Whaddaya mean, ‘never?’"

Seems like I’ll stoop to anything to get you to click on a blog post, doesn’t it? Sorry about the headline. Tacky. I would never encourage you to hate anyone.

But my point was to share with you the results of this Zogby poll, which found that half the electorate says it would never vote for Hillary Clinton. She has the highest negatives, and Mike Huckabee and Bill Richardson have the lowest, going by that standard. (You may have already read about this, as it came out Saturday, but I’m just now getting around to checking the e-mail account the release came to). An excerpt from the report:

    While she is winning wide support in nationwide samples among Democrats in the race for their party’s presidential nomination, half of likely voters nationwide said they would never vote for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.
    The online survey of 9,718 likely voters nationwide showed that 50% said Clinton would never get their presidential vote. This is up from 46% who said they could never vote for Clinton in a Zogby International telephone survey conducted in early March. Older voters are most resistant to Clinton – 59% of those age 65 and older said they would never vote for the New York senator, but she is much more acceptable to younger voters: 42% of those age 18–29 said they would never vote for Clinton for President.
    At the other end of the scale, Republican Mike Huckabee and Democrats Bill Richardson and Barack Obama faired best, as they were least objectionable to likely voters. Richardson was forever objectionable as President to 34%, while 35% said they could never vote for Huckabee and 37% said they would never cast a presidential ballot for Obama, the survey showed….

Here’s the full list:

Whom would you NEVER vote for for President of the U.S.?


Clinton (D)


Kucinich (D)


Gravel (D)


Paul (R)


Brownback (R)


Tancredo (R)


McCain (R)


Hunter (R)


Giuliani (R)


Romney (R)


Edwards (D)


Thompson (R)


Dodd (D)


Biden (D)


Obama (D)


Huckabee (R)


Richardson (D)


Not sure


I got to thinking about it just now, and wondered for the first time which, of all the candidates, would I be least likely to choose at this point? Here’s how I would rank them personally:

Mind you, that’s just off the top of my head, based on what I know now, without any of my editorial board colleagues setting me straight on any of the calls. And I’ll admit I cheated on one — I can’t even picture "Hunter," much left summon up any relevant impressions, so I just sort of buried him in the pack toward the "less likely" end, hoping no one would notice.

How about you?

‘Prudence’ or ‘timidity’? Chris Dodd thinks he can win, too

Someone brought this Des Moines Register piece to my attention. It seems Joe Biden isn’t the only longshot on the Democratic side who thinks he can win.

Of course, Chris Dodd’s pinning his hopes on voters who look at prudence and see it as "timidity:"

Published October 2, 2007
Yepsen: 1st-tier Dems’ timidity on Iraq may create opening
David Yepsen
    Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd is the longest of long-shot candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. But he doesn’t seem too agitated about that.
    He’s an experienced politician. He knows how the caucus game often breaks late. Because of his 33 years of experience in Congress, he also knows something about U.S. foreign policy and the war in Iraq.
    He does get agitated about that, particularly when the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination appear to be in no big hurry to get out. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all declined in last week’s debate to say they’d have U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of their first term – in 2013.
    "I was stunned, literally stunned" to hear them say that, Dodd said in an interview for last weekend’s Iowa Press program on Iowa Public Television. "It was breathtaking to me that the so-called three leading candidates would not make that commitment. That’s six years from today."…

Kos makes SURE Dodd’s dead in S.C.

… As if that were necessary. I just got this from the Dodd campaign:

FYI – In case you missed it, MSNBC reported in its First Read that Chris Dodd earned a vote from Markos Moulitsas, founder of the influential Daily Kos, in a recent straw poll.

From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro
We reported earlier that Daily Kos held a Democratic presidential straw poll Sept. 24. Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas said he voted for someone and had the site’s viewers vote on who they thought he voted for. Turns out he voted for Dodd.

Kos: "I voted for Chris Dodd. Only 22% of you got that right? I thought it’d be more obvious than that. Not that this means he’s likely to get my vote in February. I don’t throw away my votes, so unless he’s become surprisingly competitive in January, I’ll be looking elsewhere. It just means he really outshone the other candidates these past few weeks and made me think, for the first time in a while, ‘THIS is how I want my nominee to sound.’

"Oh, and I won’t do an ‘endorsement’ in this race. I assume you have your own brains to guide you in that process."

Just what we need: A candidate that a self-proclaimed prophet of the loony left thinks is shiny.

Video for you Democrats, too

Well, it turns out that you don’t have to wait for tomorrow for video of, or at least about, Democrats:

I haven’t had time today to read or digest any of this stuff today — I was offered the chance to join a conference call with Obama on the subject, but was too tied up with previous commitments — so why don’t y’all dig into it and offer your thoughts? (A quick skim of the Obama statement wasn’t promising, I’m sorry to say. The "plan" part was stuff I’ve heard before, and it mostly looked like a vehicle for repeating over and over, in case you missed it before, that OBAMA OPPOSED THE WAR IN IRAQ FROM THE BEGINNING.

Finally — still mining the rich vein of e-mail I don’t have time to read, much less think about — here we have Chris Dodd (remember him?) taking shots at both Clinton and Obama (and why? because they actually have a chance of winning the nomination, unlike a certain white-haired gentleman I could name). Just click on the headline to get the full release text:


That’s all for now.

Dem bumper stickers ain’t soundin’ so dumb now

Just received this from the Chris Dodd campaign. No elaboration; this seems to be as deep as the senator chose to go:


For Immediate Release
September 7, 2007

 WASHINGTON — Today, Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd released the following statement on the proposed supplemental bill:
    "Now is the time for Democrats to stand our ground, stick to our principles and fight for an end to this war. I know when to make a principled compromise and this ain’t one of those times."

You’ll remember Chris Dodd. He’s the principled "friend" of Joe Lieberman who was so willing to sell him out for the sake of something so stupid and useless as party loyalty.

Now we know how debates can be stupider


    "I think this is a ridiculous exercise."
            — Joe Biden


If the frontiersmen who trashed the White House after Andrew Jackson’s inaugural had had YouTube, it would have looked like what we saw out of Charleston Monday night.

No, I take that back. The yahoos who had to be lured back out of the mansion with ice cream in 1829 were not this insipid. They were real; they were who they were, and I shouldn’t malign them by comparing them to the "Ain’t I cute" questioners on the "YouTube debate."

Gail Collins has it exactly right on today’s op-ed page, as I’ve said before (sorry; can’t show it to you — you know how the NYT is. You can’t have a serious debate with five or six or — come on, eight? — candidates on the stage. But there are worse things than the debates we had seen up to now — people who would occupy the most important job in the world being subjected to "Reality TV," and having to be deeply respectful of this abuse. (Certainly I think it’s a very important question," said Chris Dodd to the first one. It wasn’t.)

Joe Biden was only answering one of the questions that came out of this process in the quote above, but it easily applied to the evening — or most of it. Some of the questions were questions that should have been asked. But they would have been better asked by people who did not see themselves and the message. And they say politicians are narcissistic.

I like YouTube. I love YouTube. It can be fun. It can be useful. But unless it is applied much better than it was in this case, it cannot bring intelligence or coherence to a format that is far too fragmented and distracting already — the free-for-all debate among anyone and everyone who says he or she wants the nomination.

If you wish to learn what was said — and I certainly don’t blame you if you didn’t watch it — without the distractions of the posturing, mugging, simpering and snideness of the the questioners hitting you full in the face — here’s a transcript. But it doesn’t help much.

Did I get anything out of this debate? Yes. I saw once again that behind all the "I want to get out of Iraq faster than Cindy Sheehan does" posturing by this crowd seeking the affections of the angry base, serious people know that it’s not that simple. Obama: "At this point, I think we can be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." Of course, he went on to promise a quick retreat, but I think he knows better (at this point, I’ll grasp at any straw for hope that someone who might be president might have a clue). Biden: "You know we can’t just pull out now." Of course, he then quickly proposes a pullout, but at least he has a coherent plan. I think it’s an extraordinarily dangerous plan (creating an independent Kurdistan on Turkey’s border?), but it’s a plan.

I could go into other "issues," such as Chris Dodd’s white hair, or Anderson What’s-His-Name’s white hair, or whether John Edwards is better for women than Hillary Clinton (his wife says so, but let’s not go there), or how black Barack Obama is. But I think it’s safe to say that we’ll hear more about such things as the months grind slowly on.

Bottom line: We didn’t learn anything more from this than the middle-school slam-book stuff we had known before: Hillary projects presidential; Obama is smart and charismatic; Biden and Richardson are experienced, Gravel is certifiable, Kucinich is irritating, Edwards is a demagogue, and Dodd is uninteresting.

But hey; I can pander to the masses as much as the next guy: What did you think?


I knew there was something I liked about that guy from New Mexico

Sounds like one of the Democrats is ready to switch to the Energy Party. Hey, the more, the merrier. Meanwhile, ol’ Fred Thompson’s gettin’ all feisty with Michael Moore:

Democratic candidate Bill Richardson unveils plan to cut oil dependence, greenhouse gases
Eds: ADDS reference to Web site of Thompson video.
Associated Press Writer

(AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson on Thursday
laid out his plan for a dramatic shift in the way the U.S. uses energy,
proposing to all but end the country’s reliance on oil and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2040.

President Kennedy’s call for the Apollo space program, he said the
nation needs a "man-on-the-moon" effort to develop technologies that
will cut energy costs and halt global warming.

"I am issuing a
call to action, for Congress, the energy industry and the public," he
said in a speech to the New America Foundation. "I am calling for a new
American revolution _ an energy and climate revolution."

plan encourages people to drive electric and plug-in cars, promotes
public transportation and calls for increasing fuel economy standards
to 50 miles a gallon by 2020 from about 25 miles per gallon now.

also wants to fund programs to develop wind, solar and biomass energy,
and create a market-based system requiring utilities to emit less

Richardson has promoted his energy plan this week in campaign stops in California and elsewhere.

says his experience as energy secretary under President Clinton and as
the current governor of New Mexico give him a leg up on other
candidates, who also have rolled out energy plans.

Democratic front-runner, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, also has
called for an "Apollo program" on energy. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama
recently lectured automakers for investing in bigger, faster cars while
dependency on oil is jeopardizing U.S. security and the global
environment. And Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd wants to double the
average fuel economy for each automaker to 50 mpg by 2017.


(AP) _ Fred Thompson, the not-quite-yet presidential candidate, is
getting flattering buzz on the Internet. Now he’s returning the favor,
and piquing more interest in the process.

In a blog to be
posted on on Friday, the "Law & Order" actor and
former Tennessee senator praises the Internet as a way to send a
message beyond the Washington beltway.

Thompson has shown
himself to be well-schooled in the ways of the Internet. He knows what
sites are saying and he knows where to go to push his ideas.

week he engaged in a spat with producer Michael Moore over Moore’s
movie "Sicko," which depicts survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks seeking medical care in Cuba. Moore is now under investigation
for traveling to Cuba in possible violation of the Cuban economic

Thompson questioned Moore’s trip. Moore rebutted with
a challenge to debate, archly noting that Thompson has been described
as a fan of Montecristo cigars from Havana.

In a video posted
, Thompson shot back. Sitting in a leather chair in his
home study, he slowly puffs from a cigar and reminds Moore that the
Cuban government once thwarted a documentary filmmaker by putting him
in a mental institution.

"Mental institution, Michael, might be something you ought to think about," he says.

clip was shot with a small video camera and Thompson came up with his
own script, said Mark Corallo, his part-time spokesman. Simple and
cheap, it’s getting plenty of viewers.

"Whether or not the
Internet can elect any particular candidate in any particular race,
it’s clear that all of you and many friend across the blogosphere and
the Web are part of a true information revolution," Thompson writes in
his Pajamasmedia posting.

Pajamasmedia CEO and co-founder
Roger Simon said, "If he does run, and I suspect he’s going to, he is
going to be the most Web-savvy candidate yet."

Though Thompson offers no overt hint of his intentions, he signs off saying: "Hopefully, we’ll continue this conversation."


Associated Press writer Jim Kunhnhenn contributed to this report.

I just realized what it was that rang a bell for me at the top of that story. Last election cycle, Jennifer Talhelm was writing for The State, down in our newsroom. Nice kid. Young lady, I mean.

Puttin’ on the heat

We’re hearing a lot from groups that are using the wide-open presidential race to try to twistRamsburgh_2 candidates’ arms (gently, but insistently) to talk seriously about the issues that have been most assiduously avoided in this
country: health care, education, and the like.

Today, it was a group pushing the issue dearest to our hearts here at Energy Party

Visiting more or less under the auspices of Conservation Voters of South Carolina were the following:

Their message about the need for a rational, comprehensive energy policy is a most timely one, in three ways:

  1. Voters across the spectrum are ready to demand real answers from candidates.
  2. You can’t win the War on Terror without it.
  3. It’s necessary to save the planet.

Read more about their movement here.

NayakParticularly with Democrats Obama and Dodd starting to say some things that make sense (although Dodd’s "Corporate Carbon Tax" is a ideological copout — everybody needs to pay more for wasting energy, or you accomplish nothing), while Biden
long has done so, and McCain has been trying to do something for some time in the Senate, and even Bush (who’s he) getting on board, I’ll be listening with some anxiety to hear what some of these other folks who actually could be president have to say tonight.Timberlake

The conservation groups are not putting their collective imprimatur on anybody’s plan, much less endorsing candidates. They’re just insisting that candidates have a plan so we can have a real discussion for once, extending beyond ideological platitudes.

Here’s what I think: We’ll have to do every practical thing that any of theseChamblee candidates are talking about, and then a whole lot more, just to begin to get real and have the necessary effect to win the war, save the planet and other important stuff.

And yes, we should start with the plan Tom Friedman and other pundits keep pushing: A big ol’ honking tax to bring the price of oil up permanently. Most of the rest of a get-real energy plan would flow from, or at least be encouraged by, that essential move. Here’s a taste of his latest on that subject:

Everyone has an energy plan for 2020. But we need one for 2007 that will start to have an impact by 2008 — and there is only one way to do that: get the price of oil right. Either tax gasoline by another 50 cents to $1 a gallon at the pump, or set a $50 floor price per barrel of oil sold in America. Once energy entrepreneurs know they will never again be undercut by cheap oil, you’ll see an explosion of innovation in alternatives.

For the rest of the column, you’ll have to read the paper tomorrow.

Oh Dennis, you Menace!

A colleague shared with me today a photograph that provides the answer to two long-burning questions:Mrskucinich

Q1. Does Dennis Kucinich ever smile?
Q2. Why does he keep running for president when he doesn’t have a chance?

The answers are as follows:

A1. Yes. That’s his wife, Elizabeth, age … well, all I could find is that she was 31 years younger than he.
A2. It’s a great way to meet babes.

How do other candidates stack up on this critical issue? Well, Chris Dodd brags constantly about his young wife — that is, he brags about his young children, which for an old goat like him amounts to the same thing. But to his credit, he doesn’t give her her own picture page on his Web site (unless I missed it).

Both ladies, however, were briefly on display Thursday night — the backs of their heads, anyway. (Nice hair, huh? Hubba-hubba.):


Dodd got South Carolinians working for him!


Whenever your brain gets tired from wondering why poor ol’ Joe Biden still bothers when the national press won’t even talk about his candidacy, you can dig a little deeper and ask yourself, "Chris Dodd? What’s he doing here? Who’s he kidding?"

At least, I have had such thoughts, on the rare occasions when his presence has been brought to my attention.

But lo and behold, the man now has a South Carolina staff — and it actually includes people I’ve heard of before. Anyway, here’s the news:

Senior Advisor, Political Director, Press Secretary To Lead Palmetto State Team
For Immediate Release
Michelle Macrina
Christy Setzer

COLUMBIA – Senator and Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd’s campaign today announced the hiring of three experienced Democratic operatives to lead Dodd’s South Carolina effort.

Charleston native Ashley Cooper, a former top aide to U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings and an attorney in Charleston, will serve as Senior Advisor for South Carolina.

Gadsden native Heyward Bannister, of Columbia, will serve as state Political Director. Formerly the director of Fannie Mae’s South Carolina Community Business Center, Bannister directed President Clinton’s 1992 campaign and the 1996 coordinated campaign in the state.

Michelle Macrina, of Greenville, a former state Democratic Party executive director and field director of Senator John Kerry’s 2004 campaign in South Carolina, will be the campaign’s Press Secretary.

"No one knows South Carolina better than Ashley, Heyward and Michelle," Senator Dodd said. "All over the state, my campaign is attracting an effective, experienced and energetic team, and I’m happy to have Ashley, Heyward and Michelle to offer counsel and guidance."

A graduate of Clemson University and University of South Carolina School of Law, Ashley Cooper is making a name for himself in the regulatory and legislative law arena. After spending four years on Capital Hill as U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings’ Legislative Director and Counsel, Cooper joined SCANA Corporation as Assistant General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. He also has served as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina. He currently practices regulatory and legislative law and civil litigation in Charleston and Columbia, and has been active in local and statewide campaigns.

"Senator Dodd is very fortunate to have Ashley Cooper advising him in his South Carolina Campaign," stated Waring Howe, Jr., DNC member and Charleston County Democratic Party Chair. "By building on his work experience with Senator Fritz Hollings and his legal work now, Ashley knows the issues, knows the politics and knows the people of South Carolina."

Heyward Bannister has played a senior role in over 100 campaigns in South Carolina during his 27 years as a political and marketing professional. He was a co-founder of the first African-American owned public relations firm in South Carolina and is currently the owner and president of Bannister Company of Columbia (BANCO). He worked in President Bill Clinton’s Administration and was the White House Liaison for the Department of Veteran Affairs. Throughout his professional career, he has been active in many community organizations, including the Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, the South Carolina Educational Television Endowment, East Central City Consortium and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). He is a life member of the NAACP and an advocate of the SC Conference of Black Mayors. Bannister received both undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of South Carolina.

"I have known Heyward for over 40 years," stated former South Carolina State Representative Joe Brown of Columbia, "and I can honestly say that Heyward is one of the finest and most outstanding leaders that we have in South Carolina."

Formerly of Arkansas, Michelle Macrina has made South Carolina her home since 1998 at the request of U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings during his re-election campaign. She has worked on over 50 campaigns in 15 states, and she is currently the owner and president of The Macrina Group, a political and public relations consulting firm. In addition to working on numerous South Carolina campaigns from city council to governor, Macrina was the Chief Operating Officer and Acting Executive Director of the South Carolina Democratic Party and served as the field director for U.S. Senator Max Cleland of Georgia. She also was the National PAC Coordinator and Virginia Program Director for Clean Water Action in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of David Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN.

"I have worked directly with Michelle over a number of years, and she has a great knowledge of South Carolina politics," said Joe Erwin, Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. "With Michelle’s strong organizational and communication skills, Senator Chris Dodd is very fortunate to have Michelle on his Palmetto State Team."

"Many political watchers already know that Senator Dodd is building a strong team around the country," said Beneva Schulte, Dodd’s Communications Director. "Adding these three experienced activists to the team is another step in building a winning organization."

# # #

Paid for by Dodd for President, Inc.
PO Box 51882
Washington, DC 20091

And somewhere out there, the Monkees are still performing, hoping for that big comeback shot.

Here we go again

This came in today from the S.C. Republicans:


SCGOP Chairman Katon
Dawson’s Statement
on Democrat Fundraiser

Liberal candidates out of touch with South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Republican Party
  Chairman Katon Dawson released the following statement on tonight’s South Carolina Democrat fundraiser to be held on Capitol Hill:

“As South Carolina Democrats stand tonight with ultra-liberal Democrat White House hopefuls, they should think about the conservatives back home they continue to alienate. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd and John Edwards have long embraced higher taxes, federally-funded abortions and gun control and are out of touch with South Carolina voters. It’ll be interesting to see Jim Clyburn, John Spratt and other state Democrats jockey for face time tonight with these same liberal candidates they’ll try to distance themselves from next year.”

Set aside the partisan, ideological ranting, as offensive as that is. This is a political party; that’s what they do. But at least, it seems to me, they could do it in English. I had to respond thus:

"Democratic." Here’s how it works: Joe Biden is a Democrat. It was a Democratic
fund-raiser. The first is a noun, the second is an

I don’t know what’s so tough about that.

Yeah, I know I’m trying to turn back the unthinking tide with a teaspoon. But sometimes, I’ve just got to try. One of these days they’ve GOT to get it, right?

Enough, already!

All right, I’m just going to give the top bits from some of my latest e-mail releases. If you’re interested in more, click:

Congressman Barrett honored for pro-life, pro-family votes
WASHINTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Gresham Barrett was recognized as a “True Blue” Member of Congress by the Family Research Council (FRC)Action and Focus for his Second Session 109th Congressional voting record. A handful of “True Blue” awards were given to the Members of Congress who demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment through their consistent votes on defense of family, faith and freedom… (more)

Prepared Floor Statement on Iraq
Senator Christopher J. Dodd

January 26, 2007
Mr. President, about a month ago I met a bright young West Point graduate in Iraq named Brian Freeman.   He was a bright, passionate young man who felt deeply about what was happening in Iraq.  He said to me, “Senator, it’s nuts over here.  Soldiers are being asked to do work we’re not trained to do.  I’m doing work that the State Department people are far more prepared to do in fostering democracy, but they’re not allowed to come off the bases because it’s too dangerous here.  It doesn’t make any sense.”… (more)

Congressman Clyburn Announces Staff Visits to Sixth District Communities
(Columbia, SC) – Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn today announced his staff will hold regular office hours throughout the district to meet with constituents.  Clay Middleton has joined the staff as Low Country Area Director and will serve Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Georgetown counties.  He will join Kenny Barnes and Carlton Askew in holding regular office hours in Sixth District communities… (more)


This week’s SCETV Senate teleconference hosted by President Pro Tem McConnell on Thursday, February 1st, at 9:30 a.m., will feature Senator Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence), Senator Clementa Pinckney, (D-Jasper) and Senator Jim Ritchie, (R-Spartanburg).  The topic of the program will be the South Carolina State Ports Authority… (more)

"Commerce Clips"
We are pleased to bring you another edition of "Commerce Clips," a weekly mailing that keeps you up-to-date with the latest in economic development and business news from across South Carolina. Please enjoy learning about what’s going on across the Palmetto State with this week’s installment of Commerce Clips!… (more)

Press Availability with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates at the Pentagon
SEC. GATES: Well, welcome.
Just a word first. I apologize for the crowding. I would like to try
and do this on a regular basis. I’d like to try it perhaps once a week.
Frankly, I would prefer a more informal setting than the dais and the
big sign behind me and so on. I realize this arrangement probably
cramps some of you, and so we’ll look for another opportunity, just
have an evolution here in terms of what meets your needs and the kind
of more informal setting that I would prefer…. (more)

And so forth and so on…. Anybody getting anything out of this, or shall I turn off the firehose?

Biden vs. Dodd in S.C.

As you know, while the national media falls all over itself recording each breath, each blink of Barack and Hillary (do we really need last names; we know them too well for formality), some other Democratic candidates, largely ignored, have been working their posteriors off here in South Carolina.

As readers of this blog know, no one of that ilk has been working the state harder than Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware. Well, last week, on MLK Day, he and brother aspirant Chris Dodd of Connecticut were both working the same crowds in Columbia.

As I review some of my video from that day (sorry to be so far behind), I thought I might share with you something that struck me that day.

You’ll remember Mr. Biden’s over-the-top performance before the Columbia Rotary in November. I wrote about it at the time, in addition to providing some very low-quality video from 35my phone.

Welcome to another edition of Bad Cinema, as I present the same candidate speaking in a room with insufficient lighting last week.

Here’s what struck me: Before the Rotary, a group that he perceived to be largely Republican, he waxed populist on that nasty Mexico down there sending us all their poor and their drugs. I’d never seen him like this before. He had given a spirited performance at the Galivants Ferry Stump Meeting back in May, but it was nothing like the energy he poured into Rotary.

But in front of the Columbia Urban League and the NAACP and related groups, he was completely — if you’ll excuse the phrase — vanilla. Bland as they come. Like a high school kid trying to win a Daughters of the American Revolution oratory contest or something. Quotes from JFK’s inaugural speech and the like. Very safe.

By contrast, Chris Dodd went the red-meat route, including a headline-grabber about the Confederate flag delivered on the State House steps.

Now, admittedly, I missed some of the Biden speech at the Dome. But I heard all of it at the Urban League breakfast, and the low energy he displayed was notable. So I’m noting it.

I’m not sure what it means.

None of this is meant to express a preference for Chris Dodd because he chose to be more interesting or anything. He’ll have to do a lot more than that before I forget how he chose his party over my boy Joe back during the campaign.