Woodrow's due

John McCaslin
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Posted: Mar 09, 2006 12:05 AM

He has a beat-up Potomac River bridge named after him - one of the most treacherous spans a motorist can cross in this country - but no official presidential library overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration.

His birthplace and adjoining property in Staunton, which includes a library and museum, is overseen by the private Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation, which was chartered in 1938 by the commonwealth of Virginia to purchase and preserve the site.

Now, if a Virginia congressman has his way, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States (1913-1921), will receive proper national support for exhibits and other materials to create an official presidential library.

Republican Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte has introduced the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Authorization Act, to honor a "statesman, scholar and president" who faced "economic crisis, democratic decay and world war."

Goodlatte's legislation mandates a public-private library partnership in which a private entity raises at least twice the money to be allocated by Congress.

Once the library is complete, the legislation states, the federal government will have no role or responsibility for the operation of the library.

THE FIELD

Time to check in with oddsmakers tracking Republican and Democratic horses as they approach the 2008 starting gate for the White House.

The latest Political Derby "Jockey Wire" forwarded to The Beltway Beat shows that Virginia Sen. George Allen remains the Republican favorite. Although Allen doesn't poll as well with the general public as some of the horses trailing him, "D.C. insiders still rate him No. 1," according to the wire.

Behind Allen, in order of Republican popularity, are Arizona Sen. John McCain (given his popular ethics reform platform, he "owes [(ormer lobbyist) Jack Abramoff a steak dinner," says the wire), former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

On the Democratic track, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton remains so popular that she owns first, second and third place. ("She can still walk down any street in any major American metropolis and Democrats practically throw their wallets at her," notes the wire.)

In her rearview mirror, in order, are Old Town Alexandria resident and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner ("Though he's still an unknown across most of the country, the self-made gazillionaire won't have problems buying his way onto the backstretch."), Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. ("He has already acknowledged Hillary as the one to beat and is formulating a strategy to do just that.") and finally former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.

LAND OF OZ

Suffice it to say, Pakistan is not Kansas.

Security concerns and challenges abounded throughout President Bush's journey into the belly of the terrorist beast, with wary eyes cast around every corner Bush turned - right up until his presidential luggage was loaded aboard Air Force One for his return flight to Washington.

Consider the official White House pool report of the departure: "If anything had happened to Air Force One, the congressional inquiry would have opened with this question: 'Now where did those luggage trucks with the tin trinkets hanging off the fenders, mirrors and bumpers, and the circus tents for covers over the Noah's Ark-like bows erected atop the cabs, lighted inside with a hot red glow, come from? Who hired those guys?'"

FULL CIRCLE

"We need Saddam (Hussein) or somebody like Saddam back in that country. It's been held together by somebody like him for the last 300 years, and we're not going to do it by democracy." - Former CIA field officer Bob Baer on controlling the increasing unrest among opposing factions in Iraq, on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

DRIFTING RIGHT

More proof the National Black Republican Association (NBRA) is gaining power is seen in the pages of its first issue of the Black Republican magazine, which highlights the increasing role of black Republicans in American politics and the GOP.

Meanwhile, more than 40 NBRA members attended a recent Grassroots Activist Campaign School conducted by the Leadership Institute in Arlington. That came on the heels of the NBRA hosting its Celebration of Pioneers Dinner, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Booker T. Washington and the 150th anniversary of the first Republican Party convention.

Guests on hand included Gloria Jackson, great-granddaughter of Washington, and Florida Republican senatorial candidate Rep. Katherine Harris, who read a greeting from President Bush.

TOOK EVERYTHING

A motion for contempt has been filed by the National Rifle Association against New Orleans and its mayor, C. Ray Nagin, for failure to comply with a temporary restraining order to end the city's "illegal" gun confiscations.

The motion includes an order that all seized firearms must immediately be returned to their rightful owners.

"With looters, rapists and other thugs running rampant in New Orleans, Ray Nagin issued an order to disarm all law-abiding citizens," Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, recalled of the wake of Hurricane Katrina. "With no law enforcement and 911 available, he left the victims vulnerable by stripping away their only means of defending themselves and their loved ones."

BROKE-BAD OSCAR

There are some who will say that I'm narrow,
But I feel from the depths of my marrow:
The Best Actor award
Should be held in regard
And not go to a gay caballero.

- F.R. Duplantier