Robert Novak


Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, won private praise Wednesday from several conservative Republican senators when he launched an attack on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Emanuel attacked McConnell's plan to keep federal spending at President Bush's recommended level but find room for individual earmarks by cutting everything across the board. Emanuel said McConnell is "fighting for earmarks over funding for cancer cures, the veterans' health care crisis and 50,000 new American teachers." He charged that McConnell's "own re-election campaign would come first."

That is precisely what anti-earmark Republicans have been saying in private but do not want to say publicly for the sake of party unity.


The endorsement of Fred Thompson's presidential candidacy by Morton Blackwell, longtime Republican National committeeman from Virginia and a prominent conservative activist, was announced Tuesday a silent month after it was made.

Blackwell's support had been sought by Thompson. After due consideration, Blackwell decided Thompson was the best conservative who could be nominated. He so informed the Thompson campaign of his decision but then heard nothing until Tuesday's announcement.

The intervening month was a time when Thompson could have benefited from good news. Several Republicans trying to help Thompson have found their overtures rebuffed.

Robert Novak

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

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