Jesse Ventura's Pick Not a Crucial Component

And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:

Republican Shift?
Remember those two late polls that showed a sudden, sharp shift in sentiment toward the Republicans when people were asked which party they planned to support for the House of Representatives? A New York Times/CBS poll on Sunday gave the Republicans a seven-point edge, and the next day, a USA Today/Gallup poll gave the GOP a six-point edge. Few thought those margins would hold, but UPI has looked at the nationwide totals for just the two major parties and found the Republicans got 53.4 percent of the House vote to 46.6 for the Democrats. Similar, though slightly smaller margins, favored the GOP in both Senate and Governor's races.

Memorial Turned Into Political Rally
The man who may have done the most to turn that Paul Wellstone memorial service last week into a partisan political rally has all but dropped out of sight in Minnesota. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says Rick Kahn, who begged the crowd to "win this election for Paul Wellstone," is not returning reporters' phone calls nor answering his door. But he did tell Newsweek on election night that his fiery speech "wasn't about politics. It was a public expression of my private grief." Newsweek said Kahn now fears he lost the election for the Democrats.

Decision Not So Decisive
Tuesday's election results have made the man Jesse Ventura named to serve out the final weeks of the late Paul Wellstone's Senate term a much less important figure. For a while, it appeared Independent Sen. Dean Barkley's decision about which party to align himself with would determine which party controls the upcoming lame duck session of Congress. But when Jim Talent won in Missouri, it gave the Republicans an instant 50th vote, because Talent will be sworn in as soon as his result is officially certified. That's because he was running in a special election to fill out the term to which Jean Carnahan was appointed when her husband died two years ago.

PC Problems Already
Sonny Perdue, the Republican State Senator, who was just elected governor of Georgia in a major upset, is already in hot water for political incorrectness. At a victory party in Atlanta Tuesday night, Perdue was jubilant after capturing the Georgia statehouse after 130 years of uninterrupted Democratic rule.


SONNY PERDUE (R), GEORGIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: I think there is an old expression -- free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last!


That, of course, is a famous line from Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream” speech, and King associates were quick to take offense. “Inappropriate," said the Rev. Joseph Lowery. "I didn't give a rat what he said, until he stole our line, with a confederate flag waving behind him." There was no such flag, but Perdue told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he is "sorry the reverend feels that way."