Waiting for Uncle Ted
Some 200 reporters and photographers lined the hallway outside the rooms where Senate Democrats and Republicans were meeting, separately, this morning to debate the fate of Sens. Joe Lieberman and Ted Stevens.
At ten minutes after 11 a.m., a flurry of camera flashes started a stampede of reporters down the hallway. Lieberman? No - Stevens! He was immediately surrounded by dozens of cameras and microphones. "Can I just go to the bathroom?" he pleaded. One photographer had a shot of him walking into the men's room.
On his way back, Stevens was again besieged, and this time he paused to talk. He said that he hasn't really slept in four months. He said that he feels as if he's living multiple lives. "I wouldn't wish this on anyone, on my worst enemy," he said.
Was he pleased about his two-day reprieve before colleagues vote on whether to kick him out? "Uh, I don't like to say pleased, but I'm happy," he said.
What does he plan to say in his defense? "What do I plan to say? I plan to say it's a nice state. It's a really nice state."
And about his conviction on corruption related charges? "I'm still in the situation where there are motions pending and everything else on the trial," he said. "I'm not at liberty yet to talk about it."
The GOP meeting soon ended, and minority leader Mitch McConnell went before the cameras just off the Senate floor. He said nothing about Stevens in his opening statement.
But, of course, the first question was about Stevens. "The position of the conference was that that matter ought to be postponed until we knew the outcome of the election in Alaska," he said.
The second question was also about Stevens. "The position of the conference is that the matter ought to be taken up after we know the results of the election in Alaska," he repeated.
Another question was asked about Stevens. "Let me just say again, on the Stevens issue, the view of the conference was that it ought to be delayed until we knew the results of the election in Alaska."
A fourth questioner inquired about Stevens. "I don't know whether I should repeat the same thing four times or not," McConnell said, before deciding in the affirmative. "The conference agreed to postpone the matter until we knew the outcome of the election in Alaska."
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