WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Capital Comment -- News notes, political rumors, and important events that shape politics and public policy in Washington and the world from United Press International.
West wing shuffle -- When Andy Card, President Bush's White House chief of staff, recently observed that the average tenure of an occupant of his job is about two years, tongues started wagging, thinking an exit might be imminent. According to one rumor currently making the rounds, Card will serve out through the holidays and into early next year, when he will either return to the private sector or run for Lt. Gov. in his home state of Massachusetts. His post would be filed by former Penn. Gov. Tom Ridge who would, in turn, be replaced as head of the Office of Homeland Security by Rudy Giuliani, by then the former mayor of New York. We can't say if this is true or not but well, stranger things have happened.
No spin zone -- Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, having conquered the best seller lists, may be setting his sights on a new place to make his mark - politics. We can't confirm it but are nevertheless hearing rumors that someone has been in the field in New York State testing O'Reilly's name in a head-to-head ballot test with the state's junior senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton. A race between these two media savvy titans would be one for the record books if it ever came off.
Just for the record -- Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R--Va., is spearheading an effort to have the names of all the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attack read into the Congressional Record. The freshman from Virginia says she is committed to getting it done, with or without help, no matter how long it takes.
Intolerance watch -- The University of Miami has suspended two members of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and placed a third on probation for stealing 9,000 copies of the campus newspaper, the Miami Herald reports. The issues "were snatched from the campus" because of a story saying fraternity pledges made anti-Arab comments after the Sept. 11 attack. "Upon learning about the negative article," the Herald says, " several AEP members decided to steal copies, which were valued at $5,000."
A fine kettle of fish -- The move by the national leadership of the Salvation Army to ban regional divisions from extending health benefits to the domestic partners of army employees was strongly criticized in the gay community. Now rumors are circulating of an Internet-based campaign to organize pickets at the all-too-familiar red kettles that dot the landscape of America's main streets and shopping malls over the holiday season in protest of the move.
Setting up house -- The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's most significant homosexual-rights group, is announcing they are to acquire a permanent home. An eight-story structure, located on the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and 17th Street in Washington, DC, will be renovated and serve as the new national headquarters for the organization.
Nice to have you on board -- Houston, Texas is now home to George and Barbara Bush, the former occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Never ones to shy away from politics, the two have proffered strong endorsements of Orlando Sanchez, the Republican candidate for mayor. Balloting for the run off is currently under way because of the state's early voting provisions and ends on Dec. 1 -- Election Day.
Notes from New Jersey -- In spite of a disappointing result in his race for governor, top aides to GOP nominee Bret Schundler are trumpeting their man's receipt of 12 percent of the black vote, higher then the statistical norm and four time better that what the last GOP statewide candidate, former U.S. Rep. Bob Franks, got in his run for U.S. Senate.
Also from the Garden State is news that former Schundler aide Paul Castronova intends to challenge incumbent GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen in the Republican congressional primary. Conservatives looking to flex their muscle in the state after the Schundler defeat think the conservative Castronova provides a good contrast to the liberal Frelinghuysen and reportedly have been able to get some major donor types to show an interest in the race.
Personnel notes -- Vince Randazzo, longtime aide to Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., gone from the House Rules Committee to the Business Roundtable as director of public policy... Illinois GOP House leader Lee Daniels is the new chairman of the state Republican Party... Cheney flack Juliana Glover Weiss is headed home shortly after a rigorous tour of duty in the Veep's office - she says she wants to spend more time with her children.
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