In the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of six seats to take control (counting expected independent victors Sanders of Vermont and Lieberman of Connecticut as organizing with Democrats), only Barnes was confident Republicans will hold the upper body -- but he didn't give a number. Kristol and Kondracke hedged their bets as both forecast a 50-50 split, which Vice President Cheney could break in favor of Republicans, or a 51 to 49 Democratic majority.
During the "Fox News Sunday" interview between Chris Wallace and Bill Clinton, the former president suggested ulterior motives for bringing up his administration's role in failing to prevent 9-11: "You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch's supporting my work on climate change."
Clinton also charged that Chris Wallace had not asked the same questions of the Bush administration:
"You launched it — it set me off on a tear because you didn't formulate it in an honest way and because you people ask me questions you don't ask the other side."
But in yesterday's "Political Grapevine" segment of "Special Report with Brit Hume," Hume said that Chris Wallace had indeed asked the same questions of Donald Rumsfeld.
As Mark Finkelstein reported earlier today, former Vice President Al Gore and billionaire CEO Richard Branson appeared together on Friday’s "Good Morning America" to discuss Branson’s decision to devote all the profits from his airline to combating global warming.
On Thursday, all three network evening newscasts covered the ruling by a federal judge against the Bush administration's controversial NSA spying program that involves warrantless monitoring of international phone calls when one participant is a terrorist suspect.
Was it Robert Novak who jolted aficionados of the vendetta-against-Joe-Wilson conspiracy theory, or was the message coming from . . . a Higher Authority? You be the judge, after having a look at the screen capture from this evening's Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC. Yes, that's a lightning bolt. No, it wasn't photo-shopped - it's the real thing.
On MSNBC's Countdown show on Thursday, substitute host Brian Unger suggested President Bush views American troops as "expendable" as he picked up on an erroneous report by the Washington Post that the new Iraqi government would offer amnesty to insurgents who had killed American troops.
Barnes proposed: “These questions tell you what reporters are interested in and not what is really important or what the American people would like to hear about.” Barnes mockingly recited what upset him: “The President just went on a trip to Iraq to demonstrate that he's not pulling out the troops right away. If you couldn't realize that that's what that trip was partially about, you're an idiot. And yet the first question was about a troop pullout. The second question was about getting out of Guantanamo. I mean, it just went on and on. Two questions about Karl Rove. Karl Rove has just been vindicated, and these questions were, 'Mr. President, now really, now he may not be indicted but he really did bad stuff, right? Tell us about it.' Come on. This is, these are obsessions of reporters that don't match the feelings of the American people." Barnes also zeroed in on “preening by some reporter with a gotcha question. Ridiculous." (Transcript from Hume’s show, and of several of the questions posed in the Rose Garden, follow.)
BRIT HUME: All right. When we come back with our panel, how did Tony Snow do in his first outing in front of the full press corps under the lights? More with the all-stars after a break.
(Clip of Tony Snow with Helen Thomas)