Political Posturing: Where Have All the Moderates Gone?

we burn the crosses shaped like this Specter's future up in the air. Frist calls Specter's comments "disheartening," suggests rules could be changed if Democrats start blocking votes. McCain: "I believe that Arlen has done a good job. I think he'll be confirmed." [WP, WP, WSJ, LAT, WT, USAT]

Senators hope to wrap up spending matters; tension expected with administration. House GOP aide: "You're not going to see us throw overboard all these programs that we've cared about for years because the administration wants to fund a bunch of new stuff." [NYT, LAT, WT]

McCain supports Goss' shake-up of "dysfunctional" CIA; internal tensions concern lawmakers. [WP, WSJ, LAT]

Loss of moderate, Southern Democratic senators leaves more polarized Congress. Professor: "They've lost the white conservatives. They're now losing the younger, white moderate voters, who are now much more likely to be Republican than Democrat." [NYT]

Opening of $165m Clinton library creates forum for Democratic strategizing: "Virtually everyone who is anyone in the Democratic Party will be at the same place at the same time -- at a critical time." Most pressing, is Hillary electable? [WP]

Europeans come to terms with Bush, see mutual benefit of achieving big-picture goals. Bush dons tuxedo for Rice's surprise party at British ambassador's residence; makes orchestrated call to Chirac. [NYT]

Brownstein reexamines Bush's victory and finds little to it; Bush needs impressive term to secure future Republicans, break historical trends. [LAT]

Hagel --an anti-abortion, pro-school prayer, pro-vouchers Vietnam vet who voted against NCLB, Medicare reform, and is critical of the Iraq war-- plans to run like McCain in '08; will introduce bills for private Social Security accounts and alternative to Kyoto Treaty. [WP]

Collins emerges as key moderate as group gains clout. Snowe: "I think the view that moderates as a group should be jettisoned from the party wouldn't bode well for the future." [WP, BG]

Rod Paige resigns. [USAT]

Liberals invited to Canada; seminars hosted in blue states. [BG]

Chicago Tribune correspondent on the state of Kerry's marriage during the campaign: "A lot of these things just don't happen in plain view of reporters. And few people within the campaign were willing or able to discuss the state of the candidate's marriage. The only thing that was apparent was that Senator Kerry's wife tended to put crowds to sleep while speaking." [WP]

[Freddie Lee, Fox/Reuters]


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