Robert Novak

The three proposed Fed governors -- financier Larry Allan Klane, banker Elizabeth A. Duke and economist Randall S. Kroszner (now serving on the board) -- all were nominated in May. Hearings were held by August, but the Banking Committee has taken no action on them.

No hearings have been held on other nominations referred to the Banking Committee: two members of the Council of Economic Advisers, director of the Federal Housing Finance Board, president of the Government National Mortgage Association and under secretary of commerce for international trade.


Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, starting early on his bid for election next year to a fifth term from Kentucky, is running a television ad that omits one spoken word: "Republican."

McConnell does not flaunt his GOP credentials in a heavily Democratic state where Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher was just defeated for re-election in a landslide. The ad features an endorsement by Alben Barkley II, grandson of a Kentucky Democratic icon, Vice President and Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley. "Mitch McConnell is helping build a new Kentucky," says the grandson, as he connects the Republican leader to "the Barkley legacy."

McConnell is not listed among the most seriously threatened Republican incumbent senators for 2008, and the strongest prospective Democratic challenger -- Rep. Ben Chandler -- has announced he will not run for the Senate. But facing what could be a dismal year for Republicans with unexpected defeats, McConnell is preparing an aggressive campaign.

Robert Novak

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

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