John McCaslin

With Florida being battered by one of the worst hurricane seasons in memory, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is appealing for help - although it is not in need of batteries and bottled water.

"Two major hurricanes in Florida and possibly a third one on the way have made running a political campaign difficult and have seriously hampered fund-raising efforts at a critical time," reveals Sen. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, chairman of the DSCC.

Politicians, in other words, can't appeal to voters who are continuously boarding up their homes and even being evacuated in advance of approaching storms.

Corzine says the weather is the biggest obstacle for Betty Castor, who won the Aug. 31 Democratic primary and is running neck and neck with Republican opponent Mel Martinez.

VETERAN VALENTI

A well-deserved rest for Jack Valenti, who has just retired after 38 years at the helm of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Before landing at the MPAA just one block from the White House, Valenti was in charge of herding reporters during President Kennedy's fateful trip to Dallas - riding just six cars behind the president in the motorcade.

One hour later, the Texas native was aboard Air Force One with a somber and newly sworn President Johnson, at that instant becoming the president's special assistant.

What readers might not know is that Valenti has a distinguished military career. During World War II, he was pilot-commander of a B-25 attack bomber, flying 51 combat missions with the 12th Air Force. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with four clusters, the Distinguished Unit Citation with one cluster and the European Theater Ribbon with four battle stars.

SPIRITED REPORTER

Viewers of the Fox News Channel will recognize Kelly Wright - who, let's just say, is not your typical Washington reporter. He was headlining the Cotton Club before Capitol Hill.

The Emmy Award-winning reporter began his journalism career in 1977 while serving in the U.S. Army.

"I anchored, wrote and produced a daily five-minute newscast about the 24th Infantry Division/Fort Stewart, Georgia," he says, before becoming a reporter for the Patriot, an Army newspaper.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.