First, Hillary and Newt on the Sunday news show circuit.
Hillary and Newt made the talk show rounds today. Hillary is cementing her position as front runner - laid out the details of a comprehensive health care coverage. Newt announced during a speech this week that Hillary had over a 90% chance of getting the nomination and an 80% chance of getting elected. Hillary, in an extraordinary streak, appeared on all five major news talk shows.
We could quibble, but I would guess that Newt's math is generally correct.
His motives - maybe a little trickier. He is on record that if his team gets $30 million of pledges, he'll run. And he knows that no one fires up Republicans like Hillary. Newt generates ideas like a forest fire generates sparks. He is bright, experienced and articulate. He is also pudgy and has an ugly divorce in his past. He would fire up the Dems even faster then Hillary fires up the Republicans. I'm wild about his point of view, real conservative opinions and small government approach. But, I'm extremely doubtful and the possibility that he could get elected.
Second was Alan Greenspan's book publication and the reporting thereafter.
Also making the rounds over the last few days was former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan. Also as smart as they come, adroit in his language and arguably one of the finest central bankers ever.
He talked straight about the economic policies of the Bush administration (full disclosure: in this blog I've been very critical of those very policies, or perhaps the lack of a policy). He feels that the loss of majority positions was not merely a result of Iraq, but also of profligacy of the reigning Republican majority. And that President Bush, by failure to veto anything, enabled the gargantuan deficits that won't hurt me that much, but diminish my (theoretical) grandchildren's prosperity.
This became great grist for editorial writers.
And the Bush administration came back with an all-time lame excuse - Dennis Hastert, Republican and former Speaker of the House and all-world financial profligate, didn't want the President to veto anything, so he didn't. Not exactly a position that one would expect from the leader of the free world.