John McCaslin

As Socrates put it, virtue does not come from money, but from virtue comes money.

That said, one thing is certain as we approach the 2008 presidential election: It won't be the common man — or woman — leading the country, though Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois comes closest.

After examining the personal fortunes of the leading presidential candidates, Money magazine reported yesterday that the top seven contenders are worth a collective $391 million. Here's the rundown of net worth:

Republican Mitt Romney: $202 million

Democrat John Edwards: $55 million

Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani: $50 million

Republican John McCain: $40 million

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton: $35 million

Republican Fred Thompson: $8 million

Democrat Barack Obama: $1 million

The economy, again Has the "American dream" passed you by?

The dream in this case being that all American workers have a paycheck that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure and dignified retirement and the opportunity for the next generation to be better off.

Today, with less than a month until the first votes are cast in the presidential race, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake and Change to Win Chairwoman Anna Burger will release a memo about the "loss" of the American dream and how they say it could shape behaviors of 2008 swing voters. Mrs. Burger's organization, founded in 2005, is a partnership of seven unions with 6 million members, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and United Farm Workers of America.

Miss Lake, for the record, is considered one of the Democratic Party's top political strategists.

Cabinet and chairs

Samuel R. Berger surfaced yesterday to announce that former Sen. Warren Rudman, New Hampshire Republican, is joining Stonebridge International, the global business firm for which the former Clinton national security adviser is co-chairman.

The former two-term senator, who was offered a Cabinet post by President Clinton, had served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. As Mr. Berger put it yesterday: "Few have emerged from both public- and private-sector service with more universal respect."

Phil who?

Quick, what's the last name of Dr. Phil?

Actually, nobody is really expected to know, and given the TV psychologist's popular ratings, don't look for his catchy moniker to change any time soon.

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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