Many of the Democratic congressmen who ousted Republicans in marginal House districts last year privately express concern about the impact on their re-election prospects if Hillary Clinton is nominated for president.

Because of the strong possibility that Clinton indeed will be the party's candidate, these congressmen will not openly express their fears. But they dread her impact from the top of the ticket.

Clinton's opponents don't raise the question in public. But there is such underground talk in Iowa, the state opening the battle for convention delegates, questioning her ''electability.''


Larry Craig's Republican Senate colleagues and their staffers were not surprised by the revelation, shocking to nearly all of Washington, of the Idaho senator's arrest and admission of guilt on disorderly conduct charges in an airport men's room.

According to Republican sources, there have been reports for many years of errant homosexual behavior by Craig, a social conservative opposed to gay rights. That reputation may have been behind his failure to win traction in bidding to become Senate Republican whip in 2002.

The quick reaction by Senate Republican leaders Wednesday in stripping Craig of his committee assignments is just the beginning.


Democratic politicians do not take seriously the Democratic National Committee's decision to strip Florida of all its delegates to the 2008 national convention because the state violated party rules by scheduling an early primary election for Jan. 29.

Insiders predict the party's presidential nominee, nearly certain to be selected well before the convention in Denver next summer, will restore all the delegates for such an important state.

Florida and Ohio, the two biggest swing states, decided the presidency for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Furthermore, serious Democratic candidates are expected to campaign actively in Florida, though no delegates theoretically would be at stake.

A footnote: Florida's rebellion could make 2008 the last year the DNC sticks to the jerry-built system of letting Iowa and New Hampshire vote first. There is considerable talk of revising the entire structure for 2012.


Tom Coburn, who in three years as a U.S. senator often has tried to force colleagues into politically difficult decisions, plans to offer this choice when the Senate reconvenes after the August break: Do you want pork or infrastructure?

Coburn is drafting amendments to kill earmarks to the transportation appropriations bill, with the funds transferred to repairing rotting structures. That asks senators whether, in the wake of the I-35 bridge collapse in Minnesota, they insist on keeping pork for their districts.

Writing in Human Events Aug. 10, Coburn noted: ''The Federal Highway Administration declared the [Minnesota] bridge 'structurally deficient' in 1990 and directly warned Minnesota officials. Yet, since 1990, Congress has shown more devotion to pork-barrel spending than repair work.''


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's impressive performance in Republican presidential debates has advanced him as an ideal vice presidential nominee, as judged by supporters of front-running GOP hopefuls Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.

The nomination of Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, or Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, would mark the first Republican nominated for president who was not from California or the South in 56 years (except for appointed President Gerald Ford). As a conservative Southerner, Huckabee is seen by Giuliani and Romney backers as an ideal ticket balancer.

Huckabee has been distrusted in the conservative movement because of his record of raising taxes in Arkansas. However, he has signed the anti-tax pledge circulated by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.

He also has been vigorously supported by backers of the Fair Tax, which would repeal the federal income tax and replace it with a national sales tax.

Date Title
9/28/07 Congress raises limit again as U.S. debt nears $10 trillion
9/28/07 Coburn targets gun-rights measure
9/27/07 Plan would close drug center
9/27/07 Bush at odds with right wing on NCLB
9/27/07 Congress agrees to raise U.S. credit limit
9/27/07 Coburn Lifts Hold on Suicide Prevention Bill
9/27/07 Congress set to add 4 million people to insurance program despite Bush veto threat
9/26/07 Bill on Gun Restrictions Bogged Down
9/26/07 DeMint Bill Gains Support
9/26/07 DeMint Bill Gains Support
9/26/07 Senate Looks to Fix Travel Rule
9/26/07 Senate Is Next Stop After House Passes Stopgap Funding With Little Debate
9/25/07 GOP: Earmark Rules Too Lax
9/25/07 Coburn Blocks Gun Background-Check Bill, Citing Concerns About Privacy, Spending
9/25/07 CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight on raising the debt limit
9/24/07 Opinion: The new Hillarycare
9/21/07 D.C. Tuition Aid Program Might Get Income Test
9/21/07 Opinion: When Will They Learn? Oh, the things Republicans in Congress let you pay for!
9/20/07 Senate Panel Approves Bill to Require Reports of White House-DOJ Contact
9/20/07 Senate Expected to Vote on Debt Limit Increase Before Columbus Day Recess
9/20/07 Army tests of rival carbines postponed
9/19/07 The Senate's G.O.P. Bomb Throwers
9/18/07 Editorial: Funding congressional pet projects leaves infrastructure across country at risk
9/18/07 Income cap of $1 million proposed for D.C. tuition aid
9/17/07 Money for kid’s health in jeopardy
9/17/07 ‘Hotlined’ Bills Spark Concern
9/17/07 Showdown Over Spending
9/15/07 Editorial: United Nations messes
9/14/07 Editorial: Public projects starve while Congress porks out on ‘earmarks’
9/14/07 Editorial: This little piggy
9/13/07 Coburn: Troop withdrawal is not an option
9/13/07 Funding for bridges served with side of pork
9/13/07 Another Coburn amendment dies
9/13/07 $8B in pet projects clogs bills; In wake of bridge tragedy, road 'earmarks' seen as a crack in funding system
9/12/07 Senate Rejects Proposed Amtrak Cuts
9/12/07 Dems writing stopgap spending measure to last into November
9/12/07 Cincinnati Red and Montana Should Fund Minor-League Stadium Before U.S. Pays, Coburn Says
9/12/07 Senate Rejects Attempt to Waive Wage Rules for Work on ‘Deficient’ Bridges
9/11/07 Healthy Medical Reforms
9/11/07 Democrats, GOP Mapping Approps Strategies
9/10/07 Opinion: The Senate's Ethics Sleight of Hand
9/9/07 Column: How the Swiss do health care
9/7/07 Going Coconut over Florida earmark
9/7/07 Coburn says public should get 'disgusted'
9/6/07 Coburn stands by blockage of vet bill
9/5/07 Editorial: Health Care and Taxes
9/4/07 Opinion: Backers of health plan for kids have other motives
9/4/07 Unfinished business awaiting Congress: Pay raise, Defense bills
9/4/07 Debates in Congress expected to heat up
9/4/07 MPO to consider rescinding vote to return 'tainted' money
9/2/07 Current record