Rick's Pick

John McCaslin

5/18/2009 11:18:47 AM - John McCaslin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can thank Washington lobbyist and political consultant Rick Davis, chief executive officer of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, for being the ultimate pick to become the Republican vice presidential candidate.

"It was all his doing. He was completely snowed by Palin," a source close to Mr. McCain confided to Inside the Beltway over the weekend. "He was totally taken by her."

Otherwise, according to the source, Mr. McCain "wanted Lieberman all along" - referring to Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent - until such time it was agreed by powers-to-be that adding a woman to the GOP ticket would improve whatever chances the GOP had of defeating Democrat Barack Obama.

OBAMA'S GAME

Men's Journal, one of the more popular magazines available at newsstands, recently featured a glowing cover story on Barack Obama the in-shape athletic jock.

Now the magazine's editors have published a pair of letters, sent in by readers Jim Koepke of Minneapolis and Skip Schmidt of Columbus, Ohio, neither of whom, suffice to say, were impressed with the reporting.

Mr. Koepke: "I'm sad that you seem to have joined the media lovefest for Barack Obama. With each issue, you slide toward left-wing, politically correct eco-nonsense. I don't recall a cover of George W. Bush biking. And Dubya could probably kick Obama's [expletive] in a footrace."

Mr. Schmidt: "You might see a jock when you look at Obama, but I see a scrawny cigarette-smoker who plays basketball."

JOE'S FINE

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's most recent, much-publicized re-election campaign has been fined $50,000 by the Federal Election Commission.

A complaint filed with the FEC had charged that Mr. Lieberman's campaign, Friends of Joe Lieberman, spent more than $387,000 in cash payments, each of which exceeded a $100 limit allowed for petty-cash disbursements. It was also alleged that Mr. Lieberman's campaign treasurer, Lynn Fusco, failed to disclose and maintain written records of the disbursements in question.

Mr. Lieberman lost his Democratic Party primary election in 2006, but won re-election after filing as a third-party independent candidate. While mostly voting today with Democrats in the Senate, Mr. Lieberman endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain for president over Barack Obama in November.

DOMED CITY

We already knew that 100 senators and 435 congressmen go to work every day in the U.S. Capitol -- when all of Congress' seats are filled. Now we know how many visitors come to the U.S. Capitol each day to witness democracy (and socialism, of late) at work.

Thursday afternoon, we're not sure exactly during what hour and minute, an unknown person, perhaps a child or senior citizen, became the one millionth visitor to walk into the new Capitol Visitor Center, which only opened its doors just 5 1/2 months ago, on Dec. 3.

Whereas the current congressional body has extremely low approval ratings among Americans, we can tell you that more and more citizens are coming to watch their elected representatives conduct business: compared to this year's million, there were only 467,800 visitors to the U.S. Capitol during the same period one year ago.

The peak visitors' day thus far in 2009: Monday, April 20, when 19,500 people - six times the population of Nome, Alaska - entered the U.S. Capitol building.

ELITE SIX

Hats off to Heritage Foundation President Edwin J. Feulner Jr. for receiving the Charles H. Hoeflich Lifetime Achievement Award from the national educational organization Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

Mr. Feulner, who heads the nation's leading conservative public policy organization, is an ISI alumnus and currently an ISI trustee.

Since 1953, there have been only six recipients of ISI's Lifetime Achievement Award - William F. Buckley Jr., M. Stanton Evans, and philosopher Gerhart Niemeyer among them.