Morning TV chatter is circling around the likelihood that Osama bin Laden lived several years in his in-plain-sight compound.
How could the Pakistani government not know? many members of Congress are asking.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson isn’t one of them. Nor is Isakson yet buying into assertions from both the U.S. and Pakistani governments that there was no contact between the two about the Sunday raid that resulted in bin Laden’s death.
“You don’t land helicopters in a compound like that, in the middle of a foreign country, without some help and cooperation. So let’s just leave it at that,” said Isakson, in an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1) on Monday.
In other words, Pakistani claims of ignorance, and U.S. claims of lone wolf-ism may be a ruse for local consumption.
Isakson said he would wait until a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before he did any more speculating.
Politico.com this morning wonders whether the Osama bin Laden raid marked the end of Donald Trump’s presidential dreams:
The hope among establishment Republicans is that the succession of events will trigger an end to what they see as the silly season – that party activists will sober up and end their flirtation with the fringe.
“This is probably a wake-up call that the stakes of this game are very serious,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a veteran political strategist. “If the byproduct of this is that we get a little more serious about what it takes to lead the country in the Oval Office, then that will be a really good thing.”
Human Events has added former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich to the list of Republican candidates who will skip Thursday’s first GOP presidential debate in South Carolina:
Gingrich joins other top-tier contenders, such as Mitt Romney, in bypassing the debate, which is being sponsored by the South Carolina GOP and Fox News. Gingrich has indicated that an announcement concerning his candidacy will be made imminently, most likely within the next two weeks.
Those likely to attend the debate include former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, businessman Herman Cain, former Senator Rick Santorum, Rep. Ron Paul, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and potentially former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer.
Newt Gingrich, however, will appear at the state GOP convention in Macon next week – as will Herman Cain.
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and real estate magnate Donald Trump remain possibilities — but Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann have all taken a pass.
The Macon Telegraph reports a shake-up in the local political structure:
State Rep. David Lucas, D-Macon, announced Monday he will run for the District 26 state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Robert Brown, who will seek the office of Macon mayor.
In the wake of Lucas’ announcement, local optometrist James Beverly said he will soon launch his campaign for Lucas’ District 139 House seat.
Dorie Turner of the Associated Press put on her dancing shoes and went to Gov. Nathan Deal’s four-month delayed inaugural gala on Monday:
During the gala, attendees swarmed tables full of empanadas, hummus, cheeses and desserts as the band cranked out classic hits like “Electric Slide” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.” Tables were festooned with centerpieces of cotton plants and fresh flowers, while displays about cities from Dalton in the north to Valdosta in the south lined the ballroom at Cobb Galleria.
A tuxedo-clad Deal stood in the lobby greeting attendees as festivities got under way.
“We’re just pleased we’ve had such a good turnout even though we planned this for January,” Deal said. “It’s a good time to have this occasion and have this opportunity to celebrate with the legislative session over.”
…The governor took the stage Monday night, asking for the thousands in attendance to take a moment of silence for the 15 people killed in the powerful tornadoes that swept through Georgia last week. Then he and his wife danced to “Georgia on My Mind” and mingled with the crowd.
AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at a claim from U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said at a recent Atlanta Press Club luncheon that “one of three patients hospitalized are being harmed by the care they receive.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider