- How many Republicans do you think are secretly applauding - and concurring with - GOPer Chuck Hagel's outburst yesterday in the Senate over Bush's Iraq plan. Calling Condi Rice a liar is usually Russ Feingold/Carl Levin territory. Will we see more Republicans (say,Dick Lugar) follow CH's lead and bring their Iraq qualms out in the open as the surge fizzles? More importantly, Hagel may become the McCain of '04 to Dems in the presidential hunt. Look for a symbolic offering of the VP position from whomever might win the Dem nomination.
- 2008 candidate Joe Biden also spiced up the Iraq hearings - as well he should, considering he's chairing the proceedings. He blasted Bush's surge plan, calling the whole thing a "tragic mistake". His rhetoric is no doubt even more heated than usual to garner some '08 support from an angry public, but it might not be working. New polls show Biden is viewed unfavorably by most voters and has him getting hammered by GOPers McCain and Giuliani in a general election showdown. And he's still in the single digits in Dem primary polls, well behind even John Edwards. But Biden '08 rolls on, getting a new campaign manager (A big FL Dem - Luis Navarro) and heading off for MLK Day festivities in SC next week.
- House Dems are doing somewhat well in their "100 Hour" strategy. With the minimum wage and stem cell bills already completed, Dems are now targeting oil company subsidies, and are aiming to slash student loan costs. And they still want to strangle Iraq funding. That;s not really a smart move, but getting out of Iraq was the reason they got elected in the first place.