Robert Novak

Immediately after the midterm elections, major contributors to George W. Bush's campaigns received invitations from prospective presidential candidate John McCain for an expensive Christmas party at the Corcoran Gallery in downtown Washington.

The invitation from Sen. and Mrs. McCain is for "a holiday reception" from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with "cocktail attire" specified. A free party at the Corcoran, providing valet parking, requires big bucks.

At about the same time that night a few blocks away, House members will be attending their annual White House Christmas party. Thus, Bush and McCain will be on receiving lines at the same time, one beginning a walk out of power and the other trying to start his way in.


The last remnants of the resigned Tom DeLay's once powerful congressional staff on Tuesday walked out of the office of his temporary successor, Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, because of exasperation with her. Sekula-Gibbs, a Houston City Council member and physician, was elected to serve in the lame-duck session but was defeated in a write-in for a full term.

The last straw for the DeLay alumni was when they were instructed by Sekula-Gibbs to make sure President Bush and Vice President Cheney were seated in the gallery for her swearing-in. The word on Capitol Hill is that she must have been really obnoxious for staffers to give up two months of easy pay.

Sekula-Gibbs's conduct raises doubts whether she will be the Republican nominee whose name will appear on the 2008 ballot in the strongly GOP Texas district.

Robert Novak

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

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