Liddy Dole & the Lament of the Lumbee Nation

Supporting federal recognition of an ostensibly anti-gambling Indian tribe is like lobbying for high-dose Viagra for a eunuch. But there's the wife of the little blue pill's best-known pitchman, Sen. Elizabeth "Liddy" Dole (R-N.C.), carrying water for the Lumbee Indians, who are recognized by the state of North Carolina but only "acknowledged" by the feds. Full federal recognition, which will bring between $77 million and $100 million into tribal coffers before the first pull of a slot machine. "This is about fairness" says Dole, and not the inevitable casino that will grow up on I-95 in the Tarheel State.

Her odds of success in a post-Jack Abramoff world? Slim to none. Bet on the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation and proprietors of the $150 million-a-year Harrah's Cherokee Casino to keep the Lumbees far away from federal status.--Nick Gillespie


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