(Providence, Rhode Island) – As July comes to a close and Congress goes on its August recess, the world of politics is relatively quiet, although there are always some nuggets out there to chat about.
"Should he Stay, or Should he Go?" – Lots of people are debating whether former Congressman Anthony Weiner should get out of the New York City Mayor's race. This after more lewd pictures and texts surfaced from the man who goes by the pseudonym, "Carlos Danger." I say he should stay in this race and let New York voters issue the ultimate referendum. Democracy has a way of figuring this stuff out.
"Let's Make a Deal" – It sounds like a scene from the old Monty Hall game show. Former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden remains holed up at the Moscow Airport. Friday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised the Russians Snowden would not be tortured or executed if brought back to the U.S. No word from the Kremlin, but obviously someone is trying to make a deal so Snowden does not find asylum anywhere and before he leaks even more classified U.S. intelligence data.
"Another Farewell" – Last week we mourned the loss of a pioneering woman in the world of politics - Helen Thomas. This week we say good bye to another as former Congresswoman Lindy Boggs has died. Boggs succeeded her husband, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, after he died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1972. The plane and his body were never found. Instead of being paralyzed by grief, Lindy Boggs became a Washington, DC and Louisiana powerbroker in her own right. She later served as Ambassador to the Holy See at the Vatican. Her daughter is TV commentator Cokie Roberts.
"Vacation's All I Ever Wanted" – Congress is now in recess for the month of August, Members will always correct you if you call it a vacation. In their parlance it is the "district work period." This year Rep Scott Rigell (R-V) proposed canceling the annual Washington, DC shutdown. "We are in a serious, serious financial condition," said Rigell on the House floor, begging his colleagues to stay in DC and work. Guess who won out?
"Somewhere Down the Road" – Congressman Paul Ryan is now saying the House vote on immigration reform will not come sooner than October. If it doesn't happen by Thanksgiving, forget about it. No one wants to give the other side any advantage going into next year's midterm elections. My prediction: immigration reform is dead until 2015, when President Obama will be officially a lame duck.
"Testing the Waters?" – Governor Scott Walker, (R) Wisconsin has been on the road a lot, including trips to New Hampshire, Iowa and thirteen other states. There is a lot of speculation as to whether he's going to run for President in 2016. Walker, who is up for reelection in 2014, has already survived a recall vote. Unions and liberals despise him, and he'll likely face a challenging reelection effort. Conservatives love him. But Walker, never finished college, and would be the first President since Harry Truman without a college degree. Does that matter? Remember, in politics, opponents like to attack perceived points of weakness.