December 17, 2005
D.C. -- Senior Defense Department officials say Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld has told them nobody should stay for just another year,
but that he wants them for the rest of President Bush's second
term. That is read as a signal that Rumsfeld intends to serve
out the next three years.
finishing his term would contradict wide speculation that he will
quit soon after this week's Iraqi parliamentary elections. That
is now considered unlikely even if he does not complete the full
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has said flatly there is
no truth whatsoever to reports he is about to move to the Treasury
to replace Secretary John Snow.
on whether to hold new elections for House majority leader to
replace Tom DeLay may not be made until the House Republican leadership
meets at Cambridge on the Eastern Shore of Maryland following
President Bush's State of the Union Address on Jan. 31.
it may be clear whether DeLay will be able to win acquittal from
Texas criminal prosecution in time to obviate an election. Majority
Whip Roy Blunt, who has been acting majority leader since DeLay's
indictment, probably would be challenged for the job by Rep. John
advised colleagues to keep Dec. 27 circled as the date when court
decisions in Texas may provide a clearer outlook on what lies
consultant Mike Murphy, who has been handling Massachusetts Gov.
Mitt Romney's exploration of a presidential candidacy, will not
run Romney's campaign if Sen. John McCain enters the race.
on McCain's 2000 campaign, but is not on good terms with the senator's
current political advisers. However, he says he will not work
for any candidate opposing McCain. Murphy has been based in Los
Angeles since guiding Arnold Schwarzenegger to California's governorship
Washington-based consultant Scott Reed held a Nov. 16 fund-raiser
at his office that brought in $200,000 for McCain's political
action committees. Reed also has ties to Romney and has not decided
whom to support in 2008.
National Chairman James Gilmore, the last Republican governor
of Virginia (1997 to 2001), may run for his old job following
Democratic victories for governor in the last two elections.
has been critical of this year's losing campaign by former State
Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. Gilmore was critical of Kilgore
and other Virginia Republican leaders for losing voters on the
tax issue in a state that has not been carried by a Democratic
presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Despite Kilgore's unimpressive campaign for governor, he is being
talked about as a candidate for Congress against liberal Democratic
Rep. Rick Boucher in southwest Virginia. Boucher has won election
for 12 terms, but Kilgore carried the district in the governor's
Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana to become the centrist candidate for
the Democratic presidential nomination were not helped by the
Nov. 30 ruling of Federal District Judge David Hamilton of Indianapolis,
a former Bayh aide, against the Indiana state legislature opening
its sessions with a prayer referring to Jesus Christ.
was governor of Indiana, Hamilton was his chief counsel and master
political strategist. Hamilton ruled, in response to a lawsuit
filed by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, that any prayers referring
to Jesus Christ by name, "Savior" or "Son of God"
are unconstitutional. He said that such a reference "amounts
in practical terms to an official endorsement of the Christian
religion." Hamilton was named to the court by President Bill
Clinton in 1994.
Republican Rep. John Hostettler of Indiana, a member of the House
subcommittee on the Constitution, contends the judiciary has no
power to kill the legislature's prayer. He plans to write President
Bush urging him not to enforce Hamilton's ruling.
2005 Creators Syndicate