But for the North Korea goes nuclear story, we would probably be discussing the MTP debate yesterday between Senator Jim Talent and his challenger, Missouri state auditor Claire McCaskill. I wonder if others agree that Jim Talent turned in the best performance of any of the GOP Senators who have been worked over by Tim Russert. Talent gave a welcome, forceful defense of the need to topple Saddam Hussein and I thought he made an effective point when challenged on voting to support President Bush’s positions a large majority of the time. Talent noted that his votes reflected his own philosophy and he was in public life, taking similar stands, before George Bush entered politics. He challenged specific McCaskill positions as weak in the face of the terrorist threat. Those who know him aren’t surprised that Jim Talent was smart, confident, and articulate. Let’s hope a majority of Missouri voters realize what a real talent he is.