Politics & Policy

A Beltway Thanksgiving

Politicians have much to be grateful for.

We all have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but there are some in the political world who will be especially grateful as they gather around the turkey.

#ad#For President George W. Bush, it’s the bird itself. After days of slogging (or, in his case, dashing) through Asia eating foreign food — and trying on local garb — 43 can relax in comfort at Camp David over some homegrown turkey and trimmings. And perhaps the tryptophan will, at least for the moment, make him forget about the thumpin’ he got and the one he may yet receive with the new Congress.

Despite the results, Vice President Dick Cheney is one Republican who is actually grateful about the passing of Election Day. This past cycle almost certainly marks the last time he’ll have to leave behind the policy papers and staff meetings to go shake hands, kiss babies, and sign autographs on the campaign trail. Judging by the look on his face when he engages in such activities, he’ll be happy to stick with the memos and conference rooms.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Speaker-in-Waiting Nancy Pelosi is thankful that Congressman John Murtha lost last week. Now she won’t have grainy video of her majority leader conspiring to accept bribes from Arab sheikhs playing on endless loop for the next two years.

Murtha also has reason to be grateful that he lost. Now he doesn’t have to completely toe the line on those pesky, some might say “crappy,” ethics rules.

House Minority Leader John Boehner is thankful that even though he’s no longer in the majority, he can still smoke in the Speaker’s Lobby — for now.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is just happy that AP reporter John Solomon will be taking a few days off for the holiday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is thankful that a certain top campaign-finance reformer in his own party could be soon leaving the Senate — but is concerned about where the senator could be taking his agenda.

Michael Steele, Katherine Harris, and Harold Ford Jr. are all thankful that the market for cable-news shows hosted by ex-politicians does not appear to be completely tapped.

Senator John McCain can give thanks to the lady sitting across the table. For every Thanksgiving she makes, Roberta McCain, the senator’s 94-year-old mother, shows just how strong the family genes are — and why electing a 72-year-old president may not be so crazy.

Governor Mitt Romney is thankful that HBO has decided to air the second season of Big Love — in the Spring of 2007, not 2008.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich owes a debt of gratitude to the calendar on the wall.  It shows at least ten or eleven more months before he has to admit he was only selling books this whole time.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is thrilled to see the steady demise of “old media.” It means all the less noses poking around his pre-9/11 record and post-9/11 business dealings.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is grateful that the media has unearthed at least one bit of oppo on Sen. Barack Obama — and hopeful that it’s not the last vice they, um, smoke out.


Obama is at least happy that he’s not the only prominent American tempted to sneak out for an after-turkey smoke.

Then there’s Rummy. He’s just thankful not to have any reason to get off the couch after he falls asleep watching Thanksgiving football.

Last but not least: For Democrats everywhere there are thanks that, for at least one day, John Kerry will have his mouth full and won’t be able to say anything.

 – Jonathan Martin is NRO’s political reporter.

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