Robert Novak

House Democratic leaders seeking to show that George W. Bush does not care about war veterans discovered that the president has not mentioned them in his last four State of the Union speeches, since U.S. troops intervened in Iraq.

The last Bush mention of vets in a State of the Union Address came in 2002, when he asked Congress "to approve an historic increase for veterans' health" -- a request followed by applause.

Bush's omissions irritate officials at the Veteran Administration, who take pride in advancements in veterans' health care in recent years.

Leaving D.C.

Republican hopes that Gil Gutknecht, who was upset for re-election in Minnesota last year after six terms in Congress, would try again were dashed this week when he quietly put his Capitol Hill condo up for sale at $229,000.

"The congressman is leaving it all, even the Select Comfort 'The Numbers Bed,'" said the Internet sales ad. It offers garage parking for an additional $30,000, claims the unit "gets tons of sun" and concludes: "Perfect for a Politician, Investor or 1st Time Homebuyer!"

Gutknecht, a member of the big Republican class of 1994, won his southern Minnesota district with over 60 percent of the vote in 2002 and 2004. He lost by 6 percentage points in 2006 to Democrat Tim Walz, a high school teacher making his first campaign for public office.

Robert Novak

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

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