Robert Novak

Pelosi moved to change the rules so the House would not have to vote on a trade pact that is opposed by organized labor and has been pushed by President Bush. When asked to join in trying to block Pelosi's move, Washington's top business lobbyists declined. Without business opposition, Pelosi prevailed in the House Thursday 224 to 195 on a largely party-line vote.

The lobbies explained they do not like to get involved in a procedural vote, as this would be. The real reason, however, may be unwillingness to confront Pelosi, who will still be around when Bush is gone.


John McCain's presidential campaign has made clear to conservatives that liberal Republican Bobbie Greene Kilberg will not be running the party's national convention in St. Paul, Minn., this summer, as this column indicated March 22.

My sources had informed me that Kilberg, a longtime McCain supporter, definitely had been decided on as convention manager. This column's report created a firestorm of complaints from conservative activists and many McCain backers. The McCain campaign immediately responded that Kilberg was merely McCain's "liaison" with the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Since then, a McCain spokesman has downgraded Kilberg to "good friend" without a top staff position. RNC staffer Maria Cino is handling details of the St. Paul convention with an overall manager yet to be named by McCain.

Robert Novak

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

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