Robert Novak

 "I do not like double standards," Nader said in a letter Tuesday to Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, chairman of the Black Caucus, that demanded an apology. Cummings told this column he was leaving the matter in Watt's hands, and Watt has denied making the comments.


 While President Bush again turned down an invitation by the NAACP convention in Philadelphia this week, a request to speak there by freshman Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was ignored.

 On May 25, Graham wrote to NAACP President Kweisi Mfume asking to speak about his proposal for Social Security modernization. "It's my hope," he said, "to find common ground and jump-start the national debate by reaching out to all Americans from across the political spectrum." Neither Mfume nor anybody else in the NAACP replied.

 A footnote: Privately, many Republican insiders think the president erred in rejecting the NAACP for the fourth straight year. They contend that getting booed and heckled probably would have been a political plus.


 The Oklahoma Republican establishment has broken a truce by running attack ads against conservative Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn after he took a big lead in the polls for the July 27 primary.

 "We can't count on Tom Coburn," concludes a new television ad for his primary opponent, former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys. It cites Coburn's votes, as a House member in the late 1990s, against military and intelligence appropriations bills because they contained pork barrel spending.

 The ad went on the air after a Coburn poll showed him leading party establishment favorite Humphreys, 51 percent to 26 percent. The two candidates had agreed not to attack each other so Democrats would not be given ammunition in a tough general election campaign.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

©Creators Syndicate