It’s Wednesday and that means Robert Novak Time, in which yours truly gets Bob’s exclusive newsletter, chock full o’ blab, tattle, and book plugs. So what craziness does the Novester have for us today? How about President Gephardt?
Yes, Novak makes the claim that had former House Minority Leader Rep. Dick Gephardt “not run out of money very early” in the 2004 election season, he not only might have won the Democratic nomination… he could’ve “quite possibly” won the election. Not quite sure what the hell Novak’s talking about there. If I remember right, Gephardt had zero chance of winning the nomination—much less the election—because he was washed-up and out-of-touch, pro-war, jealous of upstarts, flip-floppier than a fish stuck on a pier, and out of money.
Sifting through the Fred Thompson bits and immigration pieces, I also find this little gem. Novak comes to the defense of Rep. Patrick McHenry, the immature, prematurely-graying, yapping Republican chihuahua out of North Carolina. To wit:
[O]ne anti-earmark amendment succeeded. The member punished for his fight against earmarks was [McHenry], a young conservative firebrand in his second term representing a district in Eastern North Carolina. McHenry had sealed the deal for himself with his fight to make earmarks more transparent, but he headed to the House floor to defend from one of [GOP Rep. Jeff] Flake’s amendments a $129,000 grant to the Perfect Christmas Tree project in Mitchell County, North Carolina.
… It took McHenry very much by surprise when Flake’s amendment passed by a large margin, 249 to 174, with support from more than 140 Democrats who had never previously dreamed of voting against any earmark.
The message was clear: Any member who opposes our corrupt system of favors and earmarks becomes persona non grata with the appropriations committee and his pork-barreling colleagues. It is, naturally, out of the question for such an uncooperative member to get his own earmarks. McHenry was humiliated but given a lesson on congressional power.
Novak also heaps it on Sen. John “Old Yeller” McCain, who felt with his kowtowing to Bush in ’04 and brazen vote-trolling at Liberty U. that he had the Bush base sewn up. Novak has to break it to the old boy, on behalf of Rove: Get out, we don’t need you.
In advance of the bad news, McCain boarded a plane for Iraq. He is making his sixth visit there to celebrate Fourth of July with the troops. McCain has vigorously denied rumors that he is dropping out of the race for President, but he had such a terrible week, capped off with the financial news, that any further campaigning could be considered futile.
Sorry, Senator, you were never really in the picture. Do you forget who you’re dealing with?