Sometimes it’s hard to tell, when our old buddy Bob Novak scuttlebutts, whether he’s been interacting with actual people or talking to his fist like SeÃ±or Wences. And then, if there’s good reason to believe he’s not winging it on his own, you have to figure out if he’s sharing legitimate insider analyses or just passing on Karl Rove’s latest crateful of fat red herring to hapless readers. That’s what makes him fun to peruse.
If we got no-bullshit Bob in his latest political newsletter, then Republicans are in for an even more miserable 2008: “The private outlook for ’08 by Republican leaders is gloomy — not a Democratic blowout, but probable Democratic wins for President, Senate and House, with the best GOP chance being in the race for President. It may be premature, but Republican insiders are already talking about the outlook for 2010.”
Something that Novak himself has been talking about non-stop is Fred “Uncle Hulka” Thompson. Perhaps aware that he’s been a Thompson PR machine of late, Novak now asks aloud, “How viable is Thompson as a candidate?” He writes:
Republicans may want to be cautious about giving frontrunner status to someone who has not been tested in a single debate and has not won a single difficult election. Thompson is “the man who was not there” — he is where he is because no one like him existed in the field before now. He reaps the benefits of the political vacuum on the GOP side.
Then Novak dons his purple fedora and gold medallions and promptly starts pimping his man by taking jabs at the Democrats for squawking (thanks to the press) that Thompson was a power lobbyist for nearly twenty years:
The Democratic National Committee is evidently afraid of Thompson, or else its operatives at least perceive enough fear among Democrats that they can be frightened by him into giving money. The DNC sent out a fundraising appeal that demonizes the senator-turned-actor for his lobbying career. “In the real world, Thompson has made a fortune in a decades-long career as a Washington lobbyist,” reads the e-mail, referring to him as “lobbyist Thompson.”
Novak also predicts that NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg could go independent, the news of which had already made the rounds of the blogosphere last night. He foresees a potential Bloomberg run for the White House in ’08 with Oklahoma Democrat David Boren sharing the ticket:
According to New York political sources, the two discussed a role Boren might play in an independent Bloomberg campaign for President — generating speculation about a Bloomberg-Boren ticket. In introducing Bloomberg for his commencement speech, Boren praised the mayor’s record stabilizing his city’s budget and strengthening its economy after the 9/11 attack.
Buried in the middle of his latest report, Novak also makes a striking observation about America’s gas problem:
When it comes to energy, the public is upset over rising gasoline prices — not the failure of oil companies to invest in alternative sources of energy. U.S. demand for oil is at a record high, and gas prices are close to a record high, meaning that there is no public clamor for an energy bill that does not increase domestic production of oil.
He also remarks that “the clamor for ethanol, gasified coal, biofuels, solar and wind power comes almost exclusively from special interests that stand to gain from tax provisions and are otherwise economically unworkable,” a clear, Cheneyian “fuck yourself” to poor Ed Begley, Jr.
x-post: JAZZ from HELL