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Bill Frist: The Reviews Are In

Several of The Fix's loyal Iowa sources were in attendance when Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist addressed the state Republican Party's annual Ronald Reagan Dinner over the weekend.

Sen. Bill Frist speaks at a news conference before the Republican Party of Iowa's Ronald Reagan Dinner in Des Moines on Saturday, Oct. 22. (AP Photo)

Reviews were somewhat mixed, suggesting that Frist's first major speech since allegations of insider trading may have slowed the momentum of his budding 2008 presidential campaign.

On the positive side, Rose Kramer, a member of the Republican state central committee, said it was the first time she had seen Frist in person and she came away "greatly impressed with him as a person of great conviction and certainly a man of great intelligence."

Kathy Potts, chairwoman of the Linn County Republican Party, said Frist received applause several times during his remarks, including standing ovations when he was introduced and when he finished speaking.

Others, who did not want their names used, said the speech did not light up the room and was boring. "I've seen him speak before, and he was much, much better last time," said one attendee who didn't want his name associated with a negative remark about a party leader. "I also didn't see him work the room at all -- before or after the event -- or even during it while people were eating and there were no speakers."

Frist met with both Potts and Kramer before his speech in smaller, more private gatherings and took pictures with some in the crowd after he finished his address, they said.  Potts said Frist was particularly inspired by the story of Emma Nemecek, a Filipino woman who is seeking a state House seat in the Cedar Rapids area.

If you were at the speech, I'd love to hear your opinions. Either post in the comments section or e-mail me.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 25, 2005; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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...and take Cheney with you.

Nice summary of Frist's legal problem. The Blind Trust crap is just a smokescreen. Same tactic is being used for outing Plame - pretend everyone knew she was undercover, so what's the big deal?

Don't bother us with the silly perjury felony stuff. Perjury was a "high crime" good enough to impeach Clinton, but now its not really a crime.

I'm just glad that we gave up so many civil liberties to these vindictive crooks. I'm sure they would never do a sneak and peak secret search for political purposes. NO, these neo-con-artists have real ethics, they draw a firm line at outing spies.

Posted by: DumbDumberDumbya | October 27, 2005 12:14 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: RD | October 25, 2005 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I watched Senator Frist's entire speech on C-Span. He was very good. His speech was well received and he did work the crowd for quite a while after the speech.

Posted by: Florida Democrat | October 25, 2005 7:38 PM | Report abuse

It is quite amazing watching this whole conservative, religious Republican wasteland fall to pieces. Like the Berlin Wall. I am so happy! I remember those dark days after Bush's brother stole the election for him...God bless America and the rope that comes with it....Now all we gotta do is find some leadership. Not easy.

Posted by: VirginiaDem | October 25, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Frist lifted Edwards' speech about ordinary people at his Iowa speech. When Frist talked about a mother in Des Moines is worrying, etc. the language was exactly the same as Edwards.

Posted by: Stolen Speech | October 25, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Long Beach for outlining the methedololgy of these kinds of cases. It seems that whether the trusts were "blind" or not is now a moot point in both theory and reality.

If investigators find incriminating evidence in the telephone records, how soon would they present their findings to (yet another) grand jury? Will we see this thing play out in the run-up to the 2006 elections? Will libs like me be able to keep their shirts on? Guess we'll find out!

Posted by: james | October 25, 2005 3:34 PM | Report abuse

This BOLD, RELIGIOUS Republican Party are/is starting to fall apart because of their """LIES!""" Th American people have had enough. He can invest some of his holdings in the Tom DeLay Exterminating co. in Sugarland, Texas. He can also drive ONE(1) of the exterminating trucks with THE HAMMER and Rick Perry. They are both going DOWN. Thank you very much for your time. JUST ME...DANNY B...

Posted by: Danny(Danny B...) BYROM | October 25, 2005 2:49 PM | Report abuse

You can watch the entire speech in Real Player: rtsp://

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | October 25, 2005 1:47 PM | Report abuse

All one has to do is to watch C-Span's recording of the event. The Senator spoke with College Republicans, Teen Republicans, and several other guests before departing.

Posted by: Dinner Guest | October 25, 2005 1:29 PM | Report abuse

speaking as a 17 year veteran of the securities industry at major NYSE member firms I can clearly see Mr. Frist's insider trading culpability from reading the weak MSM reporting alone...

"Blind trusts" do NOT matter, nor protect an investor from insider trading.


I'm sure the investigators with subpoenas for Frist family telephone records have a crystal clear, magnified view of the wrongdoing... telephone records always nail these criminals.

Mr. Frist is going to prison just like Martha Stewart went to prison. In fact their cases read nearly identical.

He owned HCA stock all over his immediate family's accounts, and his family is on the board of HCA... He sold days before horrible public news would be released and lower the stock price. Its pretty obvious -and the family telephone records will provide the trail of proof - that he got the coming bad news from family on the board of directors and directed his advisors to sell to limit his risk.

THAT, folks, is the classic definition of an insider trade.... "Privileged Information" being used for personal gain.

The worst white collar criminals are the imperious ones who think they are above the law.

Posted by: Long Beach, CA | October 25, 2005 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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