“Hardball” host Chris Matthews gives his take on the day’s top political headlines.
Craig staying in the Senate
Larry Craig looks like he’s finished as a U.S. Senator - in 2009. After being denied a chance to change his guilty plea by that judge in Minnesota , Craig said “When my term has expired, I will retire and not seek reelection. I hope this provides the certainty Idaho needs and deserves.” This means that Republicans will spend a full election year with Larry Craig actively engaged in their caucus.
Romney’s Mormon faith
Hard-nosed columnist Bob Novak, who proudly wears the mantle “Prince of Darkness,” says that presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon, must talk about his faith soon or it’s all over. Newsweek put the well-sculpted Mitt on the cover this week with a look at his candidacy and his faith. Novak reports today that, within the Romney campaign, “the consensus is that he must address the Mormon question with a speech deploring bias. Campaign sources say a speech has been written, though 90 percent of it could still be changed. It’s not yet determined exactly what he will say or when he’ll deliver a speech that could determine the political outcome in 2008.” That’s all according to Novak, who generally has a good inside feel for Republican politics, especially the intramural hatreds.
Ron Paul rakes it in
Elsewhere in the Republican presidential field, Ron Paul, the anti-war libertarian Texas doctor, reported raking in more than five million bucks for the third quarter. Instead of courting conservatives, maybe Republicans should worry about their libertarian friends, the ones who like less taxes and less government, but don’t like their wars. That five million is almost as much as the well-known John McCain has raised.
Kissinger tells all
And now some gossip! Fifty years of journal writings by the late Arthur Schlesinger are out. Our friend Jonathan Alter at Newsweek had an early look and the best stuff is what Henry Kissinger told Schlesinger. Apparently, President Ford said to Kissinger about President Nixon, “Sometimes I wish I had never pardoned that son of a bitch.” And Kissinger called Don Rumsfeld “the rottenest person he had known in government.” Oh Henry! Ouch.
Brad Pitt’s political picks
And finally, Hollywood heart throb Brad Pitt tells Parade magazine that he has no desire to run for office, but he thinks George Clooney and Ben Affleck should. Well, Ben Affleck plays Hardball again next week, we’ll see if he’s got the bug to run.