Reporting from her Washington base camp, ANA MARIE COX dishes the dirt on D.C.
GOING TO STAY HOME AND BAKE COOKIES? Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, dubbed the anti-Hillary by pundits, gives up his place in the first tier of 2008 Democratic presidential candidates to--wait for it--spend more time with his family. "I want to have a real life," he said. He really is the anti-Hillary now.
DEAD MAN BALKING Bloggers crack wise after imperiled House Speaker Dennis Hastert gives a press conference on the congressional-page scandal with a cemetery visible in the background. Two days later, images of Hastert's Jabba the Hut--like visage, at a fund-raising event in the company of President Bush, are splashed across papers. With Bush's approval rating hovering around 40%, we have a suggestion: bring back the boneyard.
IF IT FEELS BAD, DO IT Republican Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut has been critical of the Bush Administration's Iraq policy. But perhaps overly eager to shore up his conservative bona fides, he recently characterized the conduct of U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib as "not torture" but "a sex ring." Of course. With the hoods over the detainees' heads, we just couldn't see them smiling.
APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD Virginia Senator George Allen, the political gag gift that keeps on giving, is in the news again. This time it's over his alleged failure to disclose stock-option grants and other transactions in companies like Xybernaut, maker of, in the A.P.'s words, "a computer people can wear on their heads." Just what Allen needs: Dunce Cap 2.0.