As George W. Bush's re-election campaign was launched Wednesday, the Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee -- Sen. John McCain -- conducted a hearing on climate change with testimony strictly from witnesses whose views contradict the president's.
The leadoff witness was Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who is not a member of the Commerce Committee. "I feel we are within reach of finally taking action to combat this global warming," Lieberman began. McCain is co-sponsor of Lieberman's global warming bill, which was a keystone of the senator's recent unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Lieberman was followed by a panel of five expert witnesses, all of whom disagree with the Bush administration on climate change. They included staffers from Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund.
The Texas Democrat who ran against Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is hosting a $1,000-a-ticket fund-raising reception for Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at the Hotel George in Washington on the evening of March 29.
Richard Fisher, though a Democrat, praised Lugar's unsuccessful GOP presidential candidacy in 1996. A Dallas financier, Fisher in 1997 was named deputy U.S. trade representative by President Bill Clinton.
In 1994, Fisher was the surprise winner of the Democratic Senate nomination to oppose Hutchison. He claimed to have been an adviser to Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who said their association was minor. Hutchison defeated Fisher by 23 percentage points.