I have to say that wherever you looked this week on the political front lines, there was a Wow! factor. Starting with the election of a BLACK man as the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, who came out chanting about the need to broaden the party's geographic base and to do something completely different:
"We're going to bring, we're going to bring this party to every corner, every boardroom, every neighborhood, every community, and we're going to say to friend and foe alike, we want you to be a part of us, we want you to work with us, and for those of you who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over."
Well, maybe the last part isn't straight out of the Obama template, but obviously Republican slyboots have decided to learn from the ways of their prime adversary by importing his organizational skills and replicating his modes of thought.
Usually the coolest of the cool, Obama himself was seen publicly blasting as "shameless" the Wall Street CEOs who made off with $18 billion worth of bonuses at the end of last year, after their companies had received government bailouts. Obama called it "the height of irresponsibility." After which, my fav Republican (sometimes it's hard to choose), Rudy Giuliani, countered that big bonuses are good "economic stimulus," free-market style. That money gets taxed as income, he went on to explain, and gets taxed again when somebody buys something with it. "Welcome back, Rudy!" quips Virgil, who is standing nearby, wagging his alligator tail. "The mosquitoes were heinous at dusk, Rudy, so you best stand aside now, this is a man's job."
Meanwhile Sarah Palin will be attending a dinner tonight at the Alfalfa Club in DC, (Virgil has not been invited, much to his chagrin, since he really does love his alfalfa) mostly because Barack Obama will be there, too. Rather like the girls on "The Bachelor," she is hoping for some one-on-one time. But why, a blogger wanted to know, would she want to "pal around" with a terrorist?
Then there is the imminent reemergence of Samantha Power, the Harvard University professor and Pulitzer Prize winning author who worked for Obama during his campaign--until she insulted Hillary Clinton, calling her a "monster" who would stoop to anything to get elected, and was immediately dropped by the campaign. Power is soon to be named as a senior foreign policy aid to the White House. As it turns out, this will mean working closely with Secretary Clinton, to whom she has apologized, her voice vibrating on the plastic window screen and releasing rainwater from the squares.
And last but not least, no doubt inspired by the spontaneous paternosters and entreaties at tribal wakes, Obama has invited assorted members of Congress over to the White House to watch the Superbowl--hoping, I suppose, for a woodland renaissance.