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From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:

On Senator Johnson and the Senate

JEFF BIRNBAUM: [S]hort of his being thrown out of the Senate or his dying, he will maintain that seat, if history is any guide. And so the chances, I think, of the Democrats losing control, though very narrow control, of the Senate are slight.

MORT KONDRACKE: [W]hat happened in 2000 when it was, in fact, 50-50, is that the Democrats insisted and there was a deal reached . . . for a power-sharing arrangement whereby here would be equal numbers of members of each committee and equal budgets and stuff like that. Now, this is an eventuality that could take place and Republicans might say let’s cover this eventuality or the Democrats might say let’s cover this eventuality just in case. Now, I don’t know that that’s going to happen, but it could happen.

FRED BARNES: I agree with Jeff, I think . . . slim to none chance, really, that there will be a change in the control of the Senate. But here’s what I wouldn’t advise people about. There is a long history of the doctors reports about politicians from the president on down about doctor’s reports being untrue. You really have to be wary of them. . . .

[Johnson is a] conventional liberal with a few exceptions and so I — look, don’t think it’s going to have much impact at all and he may be out for months and Republicans will say he has to either come in and vote or he should resign or something and he won’t.

On a Surge of Forces in Iraq

BARNES: I mean, you don’t build them up just to sit in chairs around the city. You have them — the classic counterinsurgency strategy is to protect the people, to build up areas where people are safe and expand and expand, and it’s what General Abrams did in Vietnam with great success and it has worked elsewhere, but you need the troops to get in there.

Then after you create security, then you go to the political objectives, then you would have to insist that the Iraqi government create a national reconciliation between the Shiites and Sunnis and so on. General James Keane, who was the vice chair of the Army, has developed this plan [and gave]  a short briefing on it when he . . . met with the president on Monday and he has given briefings to the National Security Council, at the State Department, and elsewhere.

I happened to hear one today. And it is what, I think, the president’s going to do. It is a strategy for winning. And the one thing the president wants to do, and believes is quite possible is winning in Iraq.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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