Byline: Greg Pierce, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has taken the first step in a 2008 presidential bid, Republican officials said yesterday.
The former mayor filed papers to create the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Exploratory Committee Inc., creating a panel that would allow him to raise money for a White House run and travel the country.
The four-page filing, obtained by the Associated Press, lists the purpose of the nonprofit corporation "to conduct federal 'testing the waters' activity under the Federal Election Campaign Act for Rudy Giuliani."
Mr. Giuliani was widely praised for leading the city during and after the September 11 attacks. He has said for months that he would wait until after the 2006 elections to decide whether to embark on a White House bid.
Now that's close
Democrat Joe Courtney's lead in Connecticut's 2nd Congressional District dropped to 66 votes yesterday after officials discovered he was mistakenly given 100 extra votes over Republican Rep. Rob Simmons, an election official said.
"It was human error," said Lebanon election moderator John Bendoraitis. "It was strictly misreading one number on one machine."
The discovery significantly tightens one of the closest congressional races in the nation. Preliminary Election Day returns had Mr. Courtney winning by 167 votes out of nearly 250,000 ballots cast.
It was one of 10 races across the nation that remained unresolved in the days after Election Day, and the only one in which a Democratic challenger had the lead, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Courtney claimed victory on Wednesday and was in Washington yesterday to attend orientation sessions. Mr. Simmons has not conceded the race.
More than 30 of the 65 towns in the district were recounting their votes yesterday. Others had already completed their recounts, and the rest must finish by the weekend.
"When Republicans won the House and Senate in 1994, President Clinton was badly shaken," Fred Barnes writes in the Weekly Standard.
"At a White House press conference, a reporter suggested Clinton might no longer be 'relevant' as a leader. It took weeks for Clinton to recover his composure. It turned out, of course, that he was as relevant as ever as a national leader. Presidents always are," Mr. Barnes said.
"If President Bush was shaken, he didn't show it. He waited only hours after Democrats had captured Congress last week to assert himself. And he instantly changed the media story from an Election Day repudiation of his presidency to his removal of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He followed that with a press conference at which he listed the issues where compromise might be reached with congressional Democrats. This was before he'd met with either Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.
"Bush is a lame duck, but only technically (he won't run again). He intends to be a very live duck in his final two years in the White House. When he talked to Henry Paulson, then the CEO of Goldman Sachs, last spring about becoming Treasury secretary, he promised to push hard for a serious agenda no matter what the outcome of the midterm election. The result was bad for Bush, but he plans to keep his promise.
"Is Bush suffering from delusions of grandeur? Not really. True, he'll have to make concessions, probably painful ones, on legislative initiatives. And his prospects for getting conservative judicial nominees through the Senate are slim. …