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2008 Watch: Bill Frist Won't Run

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) will not run for president in 2008.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
Sen. Frist was widely expected to run for president in 2008. Today he will announce that he had decided against a run. (Getty Images file photo)

Frist issued a statement on his Web site this morning announcing the decision (read the full text below). His decision was first reported in Hotline's On Call blog. He will not immediately endorse any of the other candidates pursuing the race, a source close to Frist said.

Frist's decision not to run closes the loop -- for now -- on a political career that was defined by its quick rise to the heights of Republican politics. After beating Sen. Jim Sasser (D) in 1994, Frist became chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2002 cycle and spearheaded Republican gains in the chamber that year. Following that election, he was handpicked by the White House to replace embattled Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who was forced to resign following comments that were interpreted as racially insensitive. Frist did not run for reelection this year, honoring a two-term pledge he made in his '94 campaign.

Frist's tenure as majority leader was a rocky one. He was widely criticized for his prominent role in the Terri Schiavo case and seemed to struggle to reconcile his duties in the Senate with his role as leader of his party. In March he delivered a flat speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference that had pundits wondering if he could ever make the starting gate of a presidential race.

Frist's departure frees up a number of money men who had signed on with him as well as key campaign talent, people like Alex Vogel, a longtime Frist adviser and former general counsel at the NRSC. Watch to see where these folks jump in the coming weeks for a sign of Frist's endorsement intentions.

FRIST'S STATEMENT:

November 29th, 2006 - Nashville, TN -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement:

"My dad in his later years wanted to impart some wisdom to his grandchildren and great grandchildren he would never meet. One thing he wrote that has stuck with me- in fact been a clarion call to me - was "there is so much good to do in the world and so many ways to do it."

"Politics is a noble occupation. Medicine is a noble profession. Service to others underlies both.

"The people of Tennessee elected me twice to the U. S. Senate, and I was humbled and honored by their support and every day I did my best to serve them with integrity and common sense.

"Twelve years ago, I pledged to the people of Tennessee that I would serve two terms in the Senate - to serve as a true citizen legislator - and then return home. I said I'd come to the Senate with 20 years experience in healing, spend 12 years serving in Washington, then go right back to Tennessee to live where I grew up. I've never deviated from that commitment. And I will do just that.

"In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close. I do not intend to run for president in 2008.

"Karyn and I will take a sabbatical from public life. At this point a return to private life will allow me to return to my professional roots as a healer and to refocus my creative energies on innovative solutions to seemingly insurmountable challenges Americans face.

"We have been blessed with the prayers and support of countless individuals around the country who have shared our vision of making America a better place. We thank you and pledge to represent these values in our daily lives and wherever our journey takes us next.

"I especially thank Karyn, who has honored me with her love every step along the way. And to our sons- Harrison, Jonathan and Bryan and our extended family: your support and love has sustained me both in and out of politics.

"That call from my father still rings true, so we will explore ways to continue to serve outside of politics. Politics for us was never an end-- it was a means-- a means to serve our country and humanity, to improve lives. And for that opportunity I am truly grateful.

"Karyn and I will seek the best opportunity to serve. I may eventually return to what I've done for most of my adult life, heal through medicine and health.

"In the short term, I will resume my regular medical mission trips as a doctor around the world to serve those in poverty, in famine, and in civil war. I will continue to be a strong voice to fix what is broken in our health care system and to address the issues of clean water and public health globally. We will stay actively engaged in policy issues affecting the lives of Americans.

"The time for Karyn and me to leave Washington has arrived and we do so with tremendous respect for the institution of the Senate and for my colleagues, for our government, for our President, for the genius of the American people, and for the enduring principles of freedom and liberty upon which our country has prospered."

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 29, 2006; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Voters Are Hot on Giuliani, Cold on Kerry
Next: Romney Staff Moves Aimed at Bolstering Beltway Cred

Comments

It has been reported that those in the early Civil Rights campaigns initially wanted equality and fairness for treatment and money dispersements. They did not necessarily want to be bused way out of their neighborhoods, or be a minority at majority white schools. Some blacks have even expressed that they would have prefered attend a majority black school, rather than be socially isolated in a white one. So, I don't understand why what Frist said could be too far from the truth.

Posted by: Toy | December 19, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I predict that Vice President Cheney will resign for some reason and Frist will replace him and have a hugh advantage over others in the race for the Republican nomination in 2008.

Posted by: Bill in Brea | November 30, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse

The political world's loss is now the Medical profession's loss. I don't want this guy as my representative or as my doctor.

Paul Muxworthy.

Posted by: J Paul Muxworthy | November 30, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

My vote goes to those who support the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. According to the Borgen Project, it only costs $40-60 billion to end poverty and we have spent over $300 billion in Iraq. Ending poverty improves stability and security; the war in Iraq has done the opposite! I'll vote for pro-global stability politicians!

Posted by: flagrl118 | November 30, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

One less republican zealot to worry about.

Only God can create an idiot like the Frists and company of the Republican party. Too bad we will have to endure the other idiots in 2008.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2006 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Bill Frist has a lot of negative images connected to his name... not the least of which is the cat killing episodes he committed in college. This information is all over the internet; it's a campaign killer for him.

Posted by: Guy Fox | November 30, 2006 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Get the troops out and drop The Bomb on Iraq and be done with it. This chaos will go on for years.

Posted by: fosterjr2004 | November 29, 2006 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Zouk. How can you show such disregard for a particular demographic of our Country that suffers more than anyone?

300 Million / 50 = 6 Million People = 2% of US Population.

Forget that 6 MILLION PEOPLE, a significant portion of which are adults, earn below $7.50 an hour. They don't matter - they can't even provide a minimum donation for their preferred Presidential candidate in 2 years time.

Forget also that a far larger number of people are forced to work over 16 hours a day with more than one job, once again earning less than $7.50 an hour, who are technically "above" the poverty line.

After all it's their fault isn't it? It's not like they were born into poverty, or were forced to abandon education at a young age in order to provide for their family? Thank god no one below the poverty line had THAT happen to them...

Republican controlled Congress has ensured that the Earned Income Tax Credit was scaled back, but we shouldn't bother providing any counter balance or economic incentive for these people. After all they are just the POOREST PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY.

Republicans didn't have the guts to push through minimum wage increase legislation because they were afraid it would aggrivate their BIG BUSINESS donors. How spineless, how absolutely heartless.

You're disgusting.

Posted by: Concerned | November 29, 2006 9:15 PM | Report abuse

For a political holy roller whose family generated a portion of their wealth by permitting the hospitals they own to perform abortions, Bill Frist finally got the clue and is now going private.

One could vomit over the stands he took as the Senate Majority Leader, including the attempt to keep Ms. Schiavo alive on life support systems.

Good riddance!

Posted by: Richard Bock | November 29, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

isee the loser zouk crawled out of his hole to prove Glen's point.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I am amused that the Pelosi Dems will be able to enact their entire agenda for the nation in a quick 100 hours. I guess the ideas from the Dems are really in short supply. and the biggest one is to raise the min wage to $7.50. Regardless that it only covers 2% of the population and most of them are teenagers and that most businesses already pay more. Talk about a laughingstock of a law. and then there is ethics reform. this will surely be difficult with those shining stars of ethics Abscam Murtha, Secrets-for-sale Hastings, Pay-my-relatives Reid, Freeze-the-money Jefferson, Mollohan, two-Pacs pelosi (you mean you can't do that ooops) and the rest of them who just haven't been caught yet. Ha ha ha. good luck with that. the internal strife in just selecting a pres candidate will be enough to kill this loony leftist wing of the party once and for all. and don't even get me started on the wish to lose the war by any means necessary.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 29, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I am still around but this site is populated by the most incorrigible morons i can imagine. If you think that calling every one you encounter, who happens to be an R, every nasty name under the sun is enlightening to anyone, then I will leave you to your downfall.

this blip in history, wherin the conservative - right majority has been stalled by the mess that was called compassionate conservative and instead turned out to be a spending spree worthy of the old time Dem leadership, will soon relinquish.

this is actually the last gasp of a dying lefty party which may reemerge as a more centrist, Clinton style party that steals conservative issues and repackages them for appeal to the modest left of center northeasterners.

but really, this site is pitiful in its anguish and myasmic slime throwing. Still no ideas from a Dem about how to solve the actual problems the Americans face - like failing government retirement programs, failing government schools, failing government health care just to name a few easy ones. And I will gove you a hint, more government is not the answer.

but even in victory, few of you have exhibited what it takes to govern, instead you resort to threadworn methods of insults, fact-twisting and innuendo. Frankly, I am bored by this and choose not to participate until someone with half a brain emerges to point out something intelligent. the leading lights o thios blog seem incapable of independent or original thought. you are still talking about things from years ago that only you care about. Seriously - GET A LIFE.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 29, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

November 29, no Frist is not with us, thankfully. The reason it appears that he is, is the same reason that he and those like him are in power to start with. It's no secret that the rethuglicons rely on the ignorance of their followers, and i do mean follwers, to gain and abuse power. They know that there are plenty of mindless sheep in this country, and they can say things like, Iraq is not in a civil war, although the rest of the planet says it is, and there are those that will actually buy this. The reason they sound like their leaders, is because unable to formulate rational, independent thought, they have no choice but to parrot what their masters have stated. It's astounding, astonishing, and at the same time utterly pathetic.

Posted by: Glen | November 29, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

i swear every time i look at that photo of frist it just cracks me up...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Will, I love Gore and Dean, obama I'm not sure about yet... but since the media clearly can't stand a populist like either gore or dean, how do you keep them from trying to destroy them all over again? You know how they're just part of the corporate echo chamber--they like Hill because she's pretty accomodating to the corporations.

But Dean and Gore are another matter. although it's true, Gore still won even though they tried so hard to take him down.

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

'Okay, it is a sad state of affairs for political junkies when any conversation about a senator comes back to something he said four years ago' --

--although to be fair, sometimes one thing they say [like macacca and lott] just sums up their entire worldview so welll..

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't see any credible candidates on the R side yet.

Right now on the D side it's Gore, Dean, and Obama. Hillary won't make it thru.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | November 29, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I think "flu shot" Bill's decision to withdraw was the correct one. Martha Stewart's deal was nothing compared to illegal business activity by "flu shot" as a US Senator! By comparison, Bill should get 2 years in prison if one uses Martha's case as a comparison!

Posted by: Cole | November 29, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

(We posted this brief obituary at highwayscribery:)

Billy We Hardly Knew Ye

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced that he was junking his plans to run for president. (linked here to "The Fix").

Frist's bail-out was a natural by-product of the Nov. 7 Bush-buster election. A senator of little import, the Bushies picked him to run the "sweetest little club in world" according to their usual criteria of loyalty to the family creed and mediocrity.

He couldn't even deliver on those, pulling the rug out from Bush on stem cell research with an eye to his presidential run, and failing to be even mediocre in steering GOP legislation to the (p)resident's desk.

Like Dan Quayle's, Frist's rise was quirky and unnatural, as the administration dispatched with the party's natural pecking order in search of someone who looked good on paper (doctor instead of lawyer), but was dull enough not to outshine the guy at the top. Once the guy on top was gone, or in this case de-fanged, each was left hanging in the wind with naught but a fancy title on their resume to show for doing the Kennedybunkport shuffle.

Frist will not be missed, because we hardly knew he was there. Bush stands a better chance of getting something out of the Democrats whom, however many their flaws, come prepared to govern rather than to obstruct and de-fund.

During his tenure Frist oscillated between absent and demagogic. His shameful rush to the stage in the GOP production of the "Terry Schiavo Story" helped seal his fate and that of the party as a bunch who shot first and let God sort it out.

The American people were more patient and deliberate in coming to judgement. Frist's drop from the presidential sweepstakes is evidence of their final verdict.

Posted by: highwayscribery | November 29, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Okay, it is a sad state of affairs for political junkies when any conversation about a senator comes back to something he said four years ago. Come on folks, the Iowa caucuses are only 13 months away!

Posted by: Zach | November 29, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Ed,

If I am correct, the dixie crat platform was segregationist. It wasn't racist leanings, it was the platform. I am not sure how a statement saying that if he had won the presidency in '48 we wouldn't have had all these problems does not appear to be an endorsement of that platform. Did he mean it? I tend to believe that he was trying to be cute at an old guys birthday party. However, that doesn't mean that the clear connotation of his remarks weren't racial.

Below are what purport to be two prongs of the dixiecrat platform in 1948.

We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one's associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to learn one's living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights.

We oppose and condemn the action of the Democratic Convention in sponsoring a civil rights program calling for the elimination of segregation, social equality by Federal fiat, regulations of private employment practices, voting, and local law enforcement.

Posted by: TG | November 29, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

So who now is the southern candidate to balance the Republican ticket with either a westerner (McCain), or one of the two northeasterners (Romney and Guiliani)? Newt? Huckabee? Perdue? McConnell? Sessions? The first two are actually guesses, the last three are just throwing names out.

Posted by: Zach | November 29, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Warm Feelings for a Lucky Few by Dan Balz of Washington Post November 29, 2006

With a presidential race on the horizon, seven American politicians -- led by former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) and Obama -- have reason to be happy: Americans have "warm" feelings toward them.

The quarterly "thermometer" poll by Connecticut's Quinnipiac University asks voters to rate their feelings toward individual politicians on a scale from 0 to 100.

With a rating of 64.2 for Giuliani and 58.8 for Obama, the two prospective 2008 presidential candidates lead a pack that includes Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at 57.7, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at 56.1, former president Bill Clinton at 55.8, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) at 52.7 and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (R) at 51.1.

Rounding out the top 10 are former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.). President Bush ended up in 15th place, with a rating of 43.8, and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who is considering another run for the White House, finished last in the field of 20 with a rating of 39.6.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. The interview of 1,623 registered voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 13-19


###############no reason to add or delete anything, but a chance to inform the FIX that Frist was never in the top tier for Republican leadership or viablitiy as president.

Posted by: Joan | November 29, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how so many people want something to be true, so they just manufacture whatever it is they want to hear.

What Trent Lott actually said was:

"his state was proud to have voted for Strom Thurmond in 1948". "And if the rest of the country had followed our lead," Lott added in remarks at Thurmond's 100th birthday party, "we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years either."

Strom Thurmond was reknowned for his "segregationist leanings" way back in the 40's and 50's, (quick name three politicians who didn't lean that way during the same time period?) but seeing as how he (Thurmond) was elected time and again, and that by most accounts, he served the people of Mississippi well, any attempt to tar either Lott or Frist as racist (particularly in view of both their records on race issues) seems like the desperate reaching of small minded bigots.

Posted by: Ed Weirdness | November 29, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Hussein is to Obama what Morman is to Romney. Maybe a bit overstated but the point is that there are a lot of folks out there that operate solely on perception. It is not a good name for a liberal however narrow minded our perceptions are.

As for Gingrich and his free speech comments, I couldn't agree more with Drindl. Isn't the price of freedom a little insecurity. Or, isn't a free society by its terms dangerous? Will leave free or die be replaced with die or live free? Crazy.

On Lott, when I here "we voted for you and were proud of you" I don' think racism. But if it is true that he also said, "and we wouldn't have had so many problems over the years if you won" it is hard not to call that racist. Everyone knows Thurmond's platform was segregationist so those are pretty racially charged statements. Much like you can't look at Allen's "macacca" moment and think of something other than a statement that if you are dark skinned or look foreign that you are somehow not authenically american.

Posted by: TG | November 29, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Frist was just another political mediocrity who cloaked his ambition in piety and platitudes. Doesn't the Bible predict "..and the Frist shall be Last"?
Modnewt has Gibson's and Richard's number. Remember that the wise Oinophilus said: "Philosophy teaches how man thinks he thinks, but drinking shows how he really thinks."
Here's looking at you, Frist.

Posted by: Colin | November 29, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

irish -- i'm clappin my hands and humming, how bout the rest of you?

'The Saudi's have no shame and our Vice President is so wedded to the oil industry and its gilded welfare that he let's them get away with it, nay, may even encourage it.

The Vice President flew to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with King Abdullah. The visit was heralded with the appropriate fanfare from the Vice Presidential office as a meeting with "...a strong ally".

No mention that this ally is channeling some $4 billion a year to madrassas, and Wahabbi influenced mosques and cultural centers around the world with their volition to preach hatred of America and the West. A mindset that is all too often tolerated and encouraged while jihad is lionized. No mention of what the administration would want us not to remembe, that the majority of the 9/11 murderers were Saudi citizens. Nor, for that matter that in the early stages of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, Saudis were largest contingent of foreign "martyrs" and continue to be a factor.

With the Middle East in the throes of a historic tectonic shift whereby, according to the New York Times, "power seems to shifting away from the Western allied Sunni Muslim countries of Egypt and Saudi Arabia to the Shiite state of Iran". With the emerging ascendancy of a Shiite majority in Iraq, more than ever has the United States become the de facto protector of last resort to the Saudi regime.

While American soldiers are dying in Iraq, with American taxpayers footing the billions upon billions of this sad enterprise, the Saudis have benefited enormously with the tripling of oil prices since the beginning of hostilities and the relative safety from a Hussein-free Iraq.

And yet, and yet on the very day that Vice President Cheney was meetingwith King Abdullah Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi felt himself sufficiently emboldened, in spite of the the Vice President's presence, to proclaim that OPEC might cut oil output again when it meets later this month if the group's 1.2 million barrel per day cutback agreed in Qatar last month failed to balance the market (read prices slipping under $60 barrel).

That the Saudi's would have the willingness to flag their monopolistic proclivities in Cheney's presence evidences two things:

- First, that the Saudis have shown total willingness to rig the price of oil to the highest limits possible even at risk to their own longer term interests alienating the customers and markets that are the source of their long term security.

- Second, the realization that the administration is in the total thrall of the oil industry, that monopolistic behavior by the Saudis to ratchet up the price oil is not even a topic of discourse between ranking members of our government and Saudi Arabia's. That Saudi Arabia's willingness to risk crippling our economy at this moment in time is not an issue worthy of a heated discussion between the Vice President of the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, and Saudi Arabia's King, borders on the incredulous. It clearly shows an abject submission of our government to the interests of the oil industry well ahead of those of the nation as a whole.'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymond-j-learsy/vice-president-cheney-vis_b_35153.html

Posted by: drndl | November 29, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Virginians for Romney the Nazi, thanks for posting. I too am saddened that Herr frist dropped out. His ideals were indeed impeccable, not that I agree that impeccable is the proper word choice to describe ones ideals. Frist could have continued to advance the agenda of replacing the Constitution with the Bible, which we need because there are so many evil sinners that don't see the errors of their ways. Can we just delcare bush/cheney supreme dictators for life, scrap the Constitution, and start the ethnic cleansing? Enough already with these liberals that think America should be a free society and a democracy. It's our way or the highway sinners!
Yeah you're another bright bulb.

Posted by: Glen | November 29, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone feel like joining hands and singing "Kumbaya" after reading the 'fosterjr" post??? or how about just humming it real loud???

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | November 29, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I am thankful when people like Glover Park post. They bascially confirm that the repuglicons have nothing of substance to say, so instead of debating, disputing a point or proving it wrong, which they can't because they're wrong 100 per cent of the time, they utter a bumper sticker cliche, or say, what about such and such on the other side? Hey genius, the fact that Byrd was in the KKK doesn't negate the fact that Strom was a racist. The fact that Kerry made a gaffe, doesn't excuse Lott's. Can you think at all? It's just like the morons who say what about Bill Clinton when you bring up Mark Foley. Interpretation: GOP congresspersons are allowed to molest teenage boys because Bill Clinton had sex with an intern. Gee, I guess the rest of us aren't quite bright enough to think that way. Committ yourself, you're lack of a brain renders you a danger to yourself and others. I think even george bush may be smarter than you. And that is one dumb man.

Posted by: Glen | November 29, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

This is all too early. Who care if Frist is running or not. We are still stuck with Bush and Cheney and they have made it quite clear that they are not going to change course in Iraq. This in spite of the fact that the American people spoke overwhelmingly of their desire to get out of Iraq in the just conducted elections. So, Nancy Poloski and other Democartic leaders, you spoke a bit too soon. It *IS* time to talk of impeaching these mad men and heeding the will of the American people. This is supposed to be a democracy and the will of the people is suppdedly paramount. Impeach Bush if necessary, do whatever it takes, get us out of Iraq. Now!

Posted by: MikeB | November 29, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Frist is a disgrace to Princeton University which educated him and to the medical profession as a whole. A more ignorant Republican is hard to find -- unless you go right to the top with George W. Bush.

Posted by: candide | November 29, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

wonder if mr. frist is with us today? some posts sound like they were written by him...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

umm, grow up foster. when politicians stop being egomaniacs and crooks, i will stop critciizing them. and pray tell me how i am to blame for how 'politics' has gotten out of hand? maybe they should try getitng their hands out of the till.

as far as the damned world falling apart, the damned world is ALWAYS falling apart in one way or another and it's no different now than it ever was.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Praise the Lord!

Posted by: janugent | November 29, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

My God people - shut up! The man has just retired from politics. If you like the man or not, he's finished. He's going back to his profession of medicine. Who cares what words he chose or how he rhetorically resites his decision. Have some respect for the man and for his career in the Senate, like it or not. This is why the damned world is "falling apart" because people are so overly critical of eachother that it's disheartening. Each of us is human and we all have made mistakes, regardless if you think you're perfect. Whatever happened to honor thy fellow man? Or respect thy neighbor? Politics has gotten way out of hand, and the public is as much to blame as the politicians themselves.

Posted by: fosterjr2004 | November 29, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

meuphys: "he fooled an electorate that is not as liberal as everyone thinks it is into believing that he would leave the MA status quo (pro-choice, public funding, allowing gay marriage, etc.) intact..."

Oh meuphys, you're so wrong on so many things, but let's start with the basics.

1. Romney promised to allow no change to the abortion laws in MA. He has followed through on that.

2. Part of Romney's 2002 campaign platform was AGAINST gay-marriage.

Posted by: get real meuphys | November 29, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'd just like to say that I am really angry about Cillizza's comments to close his chat today. Dude, we have to worry about beating Oregon tonight before even thinking about beating Duke. Come on man, don't be looking ahead. Oregon is a decent team and it should be a good game tonight.

Posted by: Chris | November 29, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse

sujay + drindl - as a massachusetts resident, i am emphatically opposed to Romney for President. what a self-satisfied, preachy, elitist... etc. and just to prove that I'm not just name-calling, I will add "dishonest." as a candidate for governor, he fooled an electorate that is not as liberal as everyone thinks it is into believing that he would leave the MA status quo (pro-choice, public funding, allowing gay marriage, etc.) intact. Then, as the political winds shifted in the years after his election, he suddenly found JAY-zus and started publicly ridiculing the state he was elected to lead, all to kiss up to red-state prejudice (what some would call "traditional moral values.") Romney cannot be trusted - and who remembers the Salt Lake Olympics that wasn't in them? whoop-dee-doo. as far as i can tell, the only real-deal candidate so far among the GOPlutocrats in Chuck Hagel -- not on the same page with him personally on most issues, but he seems to outclass the others integrity-wise. Before 2004, I would have begun the list with McCain, but his getting in bed with Dubya during 2004 turned me off on him permanently.

Posted by: meuphys | November 29, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank God. Not that he had a snowball's chance in hell to begin with. I'm just glad I don't have to listen to another politician who can't speak like he isn't reading off a teleprompter.

Posted by: Charlie | November 29, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

A lot to overcome.

Looking at the Quinnipiac poll, he was not very likeable for the few who knew who he was.

Starting out with low name ID is one thing. But to overcome both at the same time is hard and expensive.

Posted by: RMill | November 29, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Chris, glad to see you back and feeling good.

I hope Dr. Frist continues to heal people. The United States excels in researching and developing innovative treatments and cures. His gifts are best used in the field in which he exhibited a good deal of talent.

Posted by: Nancy Kirk | November 29, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed to see Frist out of the WH Race. He's a good man with good ambitions and impeccable ideals. He could have brought a lot of good issues to the platform.


http://virginiansformittromney.blogspot.com

Posted by: Virginians for Romney | November 29, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

While I see some justification in looking on Lott's remarks at the Thurmond event as just being kind to the old guy, there is more to Lott. His entire career he has supported and been supported by white supremacist organizations in Mississippi, first the White Citizens Councils and more recently their successor groups. It was not one remark at one event that defined Lott, but his entire political history.

Posted by: larry | November 29, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

i don't give any of them a pass, D or R. Gisbon and Richards were vicious and disgusting too and they deserve whatever they get.

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Now that the republicans have lost the house and senate the money is better in private life - that is the reason. No more graft, kickbacks or set-a-sides.

Posted by: Leesburg | November 29, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on where the money people who were behind Frist might go to?

Rob
http://robwire.com

Posted by: Rob | November 29, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what people have to say these days to be considered racist. Sheesh... even Michael Richards (Kramer) and Mel Gibsons rants can be disavowed... "that wasn't the true me" and "I don't know where those aweful evil thoughts came from." I think Lott, Richards and Gibson are all racist jerks, but if Kramer and Mel can get a pass, then Lott's more nuanced statements are easily defended (as proved by Glover Park).

Posted by: ModNewt | November 29, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I wondered how long it would take for people to catch on to Obama's middle name. Completely ridiculous - unfortunately, it is an 'image' thing. . . and if the Dems want to take the White House, they need to be very selective, without playing it safe. . .
hmm. . .that's hard to do.

Posted by: star11 | November 29, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

glen-- too bad the king of jerk is not around any more ... you would have loved him.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If I were a Republican candidate in '08 I would not want his endorsement. Frist is toxic.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | November 29, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Glover Park, do you realize how ridiculous your comment is and what it says about you? Here's what you're saying in a nutshell. Since John Kerry put his foot in his mouth several years later about a completely different topic, that means Lott's comments never happened. Although I'm sure it wasn't your intention, I just don't think you're that smart, quite the contrary in fact, thanks for alerting the rest of the planet as to why george bush and the neocons have been able to get away with so much. If it weren't for geniuses like you, they'd never have gotten anywhere close. You should be proud. Look Mom! I can't think! I let others do it for me! I've learned all of the GOP dirty tricks, which they have to rely on since their agenda is anathema to the common man. When someone points out what weasel scumbags my heroes are, I try to turn it around on them just like my heroes do! Yes Mom! I'm a mindless sheep! rush limbaugh, sean hannity, karl rove and the rnc think for me! It's easy! Look ma, no brain!

Posted by: Glen | November 29, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

My friend from Princeton who graduated with Frist's son told me the whole campus knows that his son is gay. Wonder how dad will take that...

Posted by: Greg-G | November 29, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Comments from his redneck son according to this article by washpost: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/21/AR2006082101508.html


Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call discovered Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's son, Jonathan, declaring membership in the "Jonathan Frist appreciation for 'Waking up White People' Group" on his Facebook page. The Vanderbilt University student also claimed membership in a group where there were "No Jews Allowed. Just Kidding. No seriously."

Posted by: bethesda | November 29, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Fist is not running because he does not want to clean up bushes mess, and be knows it might be a wait of time, and no sane independant voter would vote the repulicans back in(i know i am one). Middle of the road voters(dem. rep. and indpendents) determine the elections.

Posted by: MB | November 29, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

One more thing "In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close."

According to Leviticus 20:10 "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

So, Billy, are you going to run over to Don Sherwood's house with a bag of rocks or what? Or are you just selectively using the Bible in your usual fast-food, hypocritical way?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 29, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

sorry last post got a little mangled...but basically, pakistan is saying we should all surrender to the Taliban. This is our ally that we have given so much US taxpayer money to? The Taliaban?

Is this the most bizarre, botched foreign policy the US have ever had? I'm afraid it is.

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

No more "Passion of the Frist." Guess the wingnuts will turn to Brownback or Newtie. But I thought he was Karl Rove's preferred candidate? Anyway, good riddance!

Posted by: Progressive | November 29, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

sujay--jwhaddya think about Hagel? I'm a dem, but I'd like to know more about him. He seems like what McCain pretends to be - a straigh shooter.

Also Mitt is being sued, I believe, along with Bechtel, for the criminal negligence of the Big Dig project [no inspections, no oversight] that caused a woman's death.

and the latest incredible FUBAR:

'Senior Pakistani officials are urging Nato countries to accept the Taliban and work towards a new coalition government in Kabul that might exclude the Afghan president Hamid Karzai.


Canadian soldiers at the scene of a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar. Support in Canada for the Nato mission is fading
Pakistan's foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, has said in private briefings to foreign ministers of some Nato member states that the Taliban are winning the war in Afghanistan and Nato is bound to fail. He has advised against sending more troops.

Western ministers have been stunned. "Kasuri is basically asking Nato to surrender and to negotiate with the Taliban," said one Western official who met the minister recently.'

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Glover Park, let's cut out the Revisionist History bit.

If Lott had simply wished Thurmond "Happy Birthday!" and thanked him for years of service; it would have been what you say and okay. But Lott didn't simply do that.

Kerry caused problems for himself by leaving out part of a joke. Lott stepped over the line when he added more than was necessary.

Cliff posted the quote so there's no need to do it again; except add context.

From a CNN piece at the time: Thurmond ran as the presidential nominee of the breakaway Dixiecrat Party in the 1948 presidential race against Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Thomas Dewey. He carried Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and his home state of South Carolina...During the campaign, he said, "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches."

Thurmond's party ran under a platform that declared in part, "We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race."

Thurmond eventually moved away from his segregationist position..."

Lott didn't thank Thurmond for changing over the years; he thanked him for what he was in 1948. That was the context. Other sources reflect the same thing.

That was insensitive; and you're whistling past the graveyard if you think it was not insensitive coming from a Senator whose state is more than a third African-American.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 29, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Frist should travel to medical schools around the world to teach future MDs his renown "medical diagnosis by video" techniques (Patent Pending).

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

One more step toward a Romney nomination. Not that I'm a big fan (I'm not), but he's my early favorite for the nod. He can raise $$ and can point to some successes as governor of Mass., both substantive (health -insurance law) and procedural (worked fairly effectively w/Democratic house and senate in Mass., of all places). If the far right can get past the Mormon thing, he's in.

Things don't look so good, in contrast, for the other big names. Rudy won't get out of the blocks b/c of the Christian Right, and I think a lot of people have McCain fatigue (including, reputedly, McCain himself).

Posted by: sujay | November 29, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

'Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.'

Well there goes the First Amendment. I guess the terrorists have won -- since, as Newt expains it, they hate our freedoms. So now we're going them all up.

It must feel good to be Osama bin ladin right now...

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Both Frist and the country are better off with him on 'sabbatical' from public life.

Posted by: bsimon | November 29, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse


'On Tuesday's "Hardball," prissy Republican pundit Ed Rogers unveiled an edgy, sophisticated strategy to frighten people away from possible '08 candidate Sen. Barck Obama, D-Ill: Pronounce his full name in an odd, stilted way, with heavy emphasis on the middle one. Maybe we should just start a "Hussein Watch!" feature where we keep track of this now -- lord knows we're going to be hearing it a lot in the future'

His middle name is Hussein, a very common name in a lot of the world. But repugs have to have SOMETHING to use again him, so this is what we've come to.

Watch for Fox and ABC and MSNBC and all the other reliable wingers to start pronouncing his name Barack HUSSEIN Obama...

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Judge -- you've done a fine job. But I have to say--

"Karyn and I will take a sabbatical from public life. At this point a return to private life will allow me to return to my professional roots as a healer and to refocus my creative energies on innovative solutions to seemingly insurmountable challenges Americans face."

What an incredibly smug, pompous, overblown, condescending bag of wind. What a big fat zero. Healer? How about charlatan, phony, fraud and crook?

Posted by: drindl | November 29, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"I will resume my regular medical mission trips as a doctor around the world to serve those in poverty, in famine, and in civil war."

Heck, why travel? Just call them up on a video screen Terri Schiavo-style and diagnose their problems without ever leaving your chair. What's the matter, Billy? It was good enough for Terri Schiavo it should be good enough for the poor, starving Third World.

Let me guess: your travel itinerary won't include a stop in Iraq to help the victims of that CIVIL WAR, will it?

"I will continue to be a strong voice to fix what is broken in our health care system" by advocating for private medical accounts that really only work for the rich and end up screwing the poor. Brilliant! That'll help a lot.

"...address the issues of clean water" by hypocritical relabeling exercises that allow industry to look good while continuing to pollute the water.

"...and humanity, to improve lives" only if by 'life' you are referring to fetuses. As for everyone else the standard GOP shorthand applies: "life begins at conception and ends at birth."

I could go on but I'll let drindl take over.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 29, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Lott never said the country would be better off with segregation, anymore than Gore said he invented the Internet. Lott said, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." It could be interpreted as supporting segregation, though he denied this. I disagree with Lott on about everything, but I think he probably was just paying a compliment to Thurmond, rather than endorsing segregation.

Posted by: Cliff | November 29, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

That's bullsh*t! All Lott tried to do was compliment Strom. He just phrased it badly, just like Kerry.

And careful bringing up segregation Grand Wizard...oops, I mean Senator Byrd.

Posted by: Glover Park | November 29, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps he caught wind of his 8% polling numbers...Never really got why he was ever considered "presidential material"..What did he do?? Perhap some repugs are realizing that the fundie "base" ain't gonna take them to the promised land...

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | November 29, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

'At least one Iraqi leader says otherwise. "It's worse than a civil war. In a civil war, you at least know which factions are fighting each other," lamented a senior member of Iraq's government in an interview a few hours after Johndroe's comments. "We don't even know that anymore. It's so bloody confused."

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I must say I am shocked! Obviously there was room in the Republican field for a fourth candidate the Christian Right doesn't trust.

Posted by: Zach | November 29, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Lott's comments were inflammatory and racist. How can you believe otherwise? He said the US would be better off with segregation. Do you believe that's true?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Frist's comment weren't racially insensitive. They were as artfully phrased as Kerry's comment before the elections about Bush and Iraq and education.

Posted by: Glover Park | November 29, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Frist was D.O.A.

But what's with your weird description of the Lott brouhaha?

"...Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who was forced to resign following comments that were interpreted as racially insensitive."

Are you saying the comments somehow weren't racially insensitive? The problem was just because some people "interpreted" his comments as racially insenstive? What's with that?

Posted by: Derek B. | November 29, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

'Business interests, seizing on concerns that a law passed in the wake of the Enron scandal has overreached, are advancing a broad agenda to limit government oversight of private industry, including making it tougher for investors to sue companies and auditors for fraud.'

LOL --guess 'business interests' think it's time for another Enron, hmm? Time to shake down some more poor American working suckers...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

You neglected to mention Frist's many legal problems involving insider stock trading and so forth... he may end up in jail rather than the WH...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

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