John McCaslin

Regarding retreat

Readers inundated us with mail after a profile appeared in this column on Rep. Adam Smith, Washington Democrat, who, while debating continued funding of the Iraq war, went so far as to say that George Washington "retreated a fair amount, actually."

"I don't know where we got this idea that the great leaders of our time only went forward," the congressman remarked.

Loretta Werres, a reader from Ocean View, Del., writes: "Although George Washington had to retreat many times as our leader of the army in the fight for independence, he retreated as a matter of expediency so that he and his men would live to continue the fight another day. He did not consider retreat as a permanent position."

Bruce Williams of Englewood, Fla., states: "I can't say that I am impressed by anything I just read about Washington Rep. Adam Smith, except that he sleeps in his office."

Mr. Smith sleeps on a pullout bed stored in a closet of his office.

We're ready

Topping the news today is a report that the majority of people in the southeastern United States are not prepared for the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts today.

But given long-standing drought conditions in this dried-up region of the country, some of the old-timers will be the first to tell you that a good hurricane or two is just what is needed to soak the crops and snuff out the forest fires.

Meet Mike

Unlike the majority of the 2008 presidential candidates, who toil for a living on Capitol Hill, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has few professional responsibilities that bring him to Washington — for now, at least.

But on Wednesday evening, one day after the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., we're told, Mr. Huckabee will arrive for his first official Washington campaign event — hosted by Rep. Don Young of Alaska, Rep. John Boozman of Arkansas, former Rep. Charles H. Taylor of North Carolina and former Arkansas Sen. Tim Hutchinson, now a lawyer in Alexandria.

The fundraiser, from 5 to 7 p.m., will be held at the Capitol Hill offices of the American Gas Association. And when it comes to a campaign war chest, Mr. Huckabee lags well behind the other major candidates, raising barely $500,000 in the first quarter of 2007.

John McCaslin

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

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