By Colleen King, Hardball producer
Asecurity detail came through the hall and the camera flash bulbs started going off. All of a sudden Vice President Cheney walked quietly past all of the reporters (we are standing behind velvet ropes). He was wearing a dark suit and smiling. Dozens upon dozens of senators followed him in line, in pairings you might not expect: VT Sen. Patrick Leahy talking with Ohio Sen. George Voinovich. Senators Snowe and Landrieu side by side. Texas Republican John Cornyn chatting with John Kerry.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski walked in with Sen. Ben Cardin, and between them was Sen. John Warner. Mikulski said: The Democrats are protecting John Warner!”