The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

This and That From the Jolt Headed Your Way


A pair of highlights from today’s Morning Jolt . . .

So What Do We Owe the Debt Commission?

I didn’t have high hopes from this bipartisan panel that’s supposed to save us from the deficit; bipartisan commissions of former lawmakers are traditionally the last resort of lawmakers who have run out of real ideas. Only the 9/11 commission, broke with tradition and generated a report that everyone wanted to read, and it’s hard to imagine a subject more dramatic or more likely to have high levels of public interest. Since then, we’ve heard from or heard demands for more commissions on every major issue — Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 financial crisis, and finally, the oil spill. Does anyone remember anything useful coming out of any of these? Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton generated more widely-ignored sequels than Freddy Krueger . . .

John Boehner, Coming Soon to a Flight Near You

This seems like a good idea, and a wonderful contrast with his predecessor, but it’s easy to see some complications down the road: “House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday he intends to take commercial flights home when he moves up to speaker in the new Congress. ‘Over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on commercial aircraft, and I am going to continue to do that,’ he told reporters. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, took heat in 2007 when she started flying an Air Force jet that could go nonstop back to her congressional district in California.”

There’s a brief discussion of the security concerns, but there’s probably a 99 percent chance that it will never a major issue. But you can imagine the day it is, right?

“This is terrible! A terror attack has incapacitated the President and Vice President! Where’s the Speaker of the House? We need him to take the oath so that we have a commander-in-chief to oversee and authorize the military response!”

“He’s stuck in a holding pattern over Akron, because of a weather pattern over the Appalachians, wedged in coach between a traveling salesman and that hyperactive rapper who Mitt Romney incapacitated with the Vulcan neck pinch, trying to get his seat to recline.”

Also note that I’ve heard from a Bushie I trust that the story of President Bush telling Gordon Brown he was willing to endorse Barack Obama, mentioned in yesterday’s Jolt, is untrue, denied by the former president himself. I suspect that this is an off-the-cuff joke being wildly stretched.

Tags: George W. Bush , John Boehner


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