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Scoops in Review: When You Heard it Here First

For the last two and a half years, I have written a weekly column for the FOX website. I’ve had a great deal of fun and from time to time have actually scooped the regular media.

However, at the end of this month, I will no longer be writing the column. The decision was entirely mine and is due to growing commitments to my law practice and to American Votes, an organization to which I serve as president, which will play a very active role in the 2008 campaign.

There are only so many hours in the day and I didn’t want to continue the column if I couldn’t do it justice. There will be two more after today and I promise to make them as interesting as possible. Also, I want to thank all of you who have sent me emails about my various columns. We haven’t always agreed but at least we opened a dialogue.

Looking back, I am particularly proud of my “scoops.” I was the first journalist of any kind to suggest that President Bush was considering appointing Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. Harriet and I served together as federal court clerks 37 years ago and I knew that the president held her in high regard. Her name ultimately was withdrawn from Senate consideration, but you heard it here first.

In September of 2005 (more than a year before the election) I wrote a column urging House and Senate Democratic campaign committees to field full slates because I thought Democrats had a chance of re-taking both chambers. And then in October of 2006, a month before the election, I predicted that Democrats would pick up 30 seats in the House (a bulls eye one month later).

Earlier this Fall, I lamented the fact that so many voters were refusing to consider voting for Mitt Romney just because he was a Mormon. I even ran an entire column devoted to very specific comments from readers about why Romney’s Mormon faith would make it impossible for them to support him. After months of refusing to address this explosive issue directly, the Romney campaign last week finally discussed the role of religion in the 2008 presidential race.

I even went out on a limb several months ago and predicted the exact date of this year’s Congressional adjournment. I predicted Friday, Dec. 21st when others were sticking to much earlier departures. It’s a little thing, but I may have just nailed this one.

Not all of my columns have been profound. I’ve done book reviews and movie reviews dealing with political subjects. I have written obituaries for some of my favorite Texas politicians – Ann Richards and Lloyd Bentsen -– to name two. I even wrote about my fraternity reunion at the University of Missouri. FOX has given me great latitude to deal with cultural as well as political subjects.

And I want to thank FOX for letting me express my opinion freely. Whatever editing did occur usually dealt with style rather than substance. I realize not everyone at FOX agreed with my take on political events and personalities but they let me have my say without interference.

As a former journalist, I enjoy writing. And as a practicing politician for 40 years (my first campaign work was the 1968 presidential race), I have quite a bit of experience to draw upon when placing current events in an historical context.

I don’t intend to stop writing, though I won’t be doing it quite as often for a while. I may even submit an occasional piece to FOX for its website. What I am going to do is to follow the advice I recently gave to a friend when urging her to retire from the very demanding job of being a school principal -– be like Sandy Koufax and go out at the top of your game.

You will get two more columns after this one. I already know the subject for one of them. I intend to write a review of the new movie, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which I will see at a benefit performance for the Disabled American Veterans on Dec. 12.

The movie stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts and officially opens on Dec. 25. It’s about the amazing life of my former Texas colleague, Congressman Charlie Wilson, and my only concern is that Hanks’ portrayal of Wilson will not be outrageous enough.

Hanks, in the previews I’ve seen, comes over as too subdued. The real life Charlie Wilson, in responding to a question about why he always hired beautiful (and brilliant women) for his Congressional staff, was reported to have said, “I can teach them to type but I can’t teach them how to grow tits.”

I’ll try to find an equally compelling subject for my final column the end of this month.

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Martin Frost served in Congress from 1979 to 2005, representing a diverse district in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. He served two terms as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the third-ranking leadership position for House Democrats, and two terms as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Frost serves as a regular contributor to FOX News Channel and is a partner at the law firm of Polsinelli, Shalton, Flanigan and Suelthaus. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from the Georgetown Law Center.