And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Mary Called Clinton To Come to the Rescue
A late afternoon surge among black voters is credited with giving Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu the victory in Louisiana's Senate runoff on Saturday. What the Landrieu camp is trying to play down is the idea that the credit for that development belongs in large part to Bill Clinton. But Landrieu herself, worried that the turnout in black precincts was too light, called the former president herself on Saturday afternoon and asked him to place calls to Louisiana black leaders, to ask them to get voters to the polls. Clinton did it. The Landrieu camp is now crediting what they call a "team effort" to turn out the vote with saving her seat.
Discouraging Gore for 2004
Another prominent Democrat, Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, is urging Al Gore not to run for president. Dorgan was unhappy with Gore for failing to campaign in a number of Plains States, including his own in 2000. The senator told the Washington Post, "Al Gore is a fine person and I like him. My feeling is that our party must turn the page." Meanwhile, a new Marist College poll gives Gore only a narrow lead among New Hampshire Democrats and Independents, with 31 percent, with Sen. John Kerry from neighboring Massachusetts a close second with 28 percent. Other polls, however, show Gore with a strong lead nationally among Democratic voters.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder finds himself besieged with shirts sent by angry taxpayers who say his planned tax increases will take the last shirt off their backs. A government spokesman acknowledged that the chancellor's office had received 9,000 shirts, the senders apparently inspired by an Internet based campaign called "last shirt for Schroeder." The site also sells t-shirts, which read, "I am wearing this t-shirt because Schroeder has my last shirt." Meanwhile, a song mocking Schroeder's broken campaign promise not to raise taxes is at the top of the music charts.
Calmer Than the West?
Cairo, Egypt, symbol of the vaunted "Arab street," where talk of U.S. military action in the Mideast is supposed to stir rebellion, remains more docile over Iraq than many western cities. The AP reports from Cairo that while many Egyptians will doubtless object and demonstrate if there's war, "There's been little to indicate they will do so in the numbers or with the passion to threaten American interests."