Capitol Hill Bureau Chief
Good morning, Capitolists! The House gavels back into session tomorrow, while the Senate will be back at work next week. The Capitolist is already on the job, but its seems like most Washingtonians are spending their time reading a certain book
between conference calls and staff meetings.
Here's what's making news in the Capitol on the day before the real work begins:
* Is Reid the New Lott? Not Likely.
After word surfaced over the weekend of Harry Reid's positively offensive remarks about then-candidate Barack Obama's "Negro dialect," Democrats, including President Obama, circled the wagons to protect the Senate majority leader from the fallout. While Republicans are demanding to know why Reid shouldn't lose his leadership post the way Trent Lott did in 2002, the Capitolist would remind Lott fans that Lott's wayward praise
for Strom Thurmond conveniently came as President Bush was eager to install Bush-loyalist Bill Frist in the top Senate slot. Bush called Lott's remarks
"offensive and wrong," and fellow Republicans failed to defend Lott enough to help him save his job.
* Labor Unions Putting a Hit on the "Cadillac Tax."
As the surtax moves closer to reality, Big Labor is moving to stop it from affecting millions of its members who receive high-cost health care. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka goes to the National Press Club at 12:30 today to talk about it, while a whole gaggle of union bosses will be at the White House this afternoon to discuss the matter directly with the president.
* Uncle Sam Headlines the Car Show.
The Detroit Auto Show kicks off today, and the event will get started with a speech by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who is speaking at the time traditionally reserved for the biggest "reveal" of the auto industry for the year. In addition to LaHood, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference in the afternoon, and Tea Party protesters will picket against government bailouts for the industry. It's like Detroit on the Potomac. Check out the New York Times' live Twitter feed from the show HERE
. In case you're wondering, the Times also reports the LaHood and Pelosi groups flew commercial.
* Perfect Timing: Hillary Hits the Road.
Just in time to avoid discussing "Game Change" revelations that she originally turned down the secretary of state job because her husband creates "a circus" everywhere he goes, Hillary Clinton leaves today on a 10-day trip through Pacific nations.
* Sad News for Joe Biden.
The vice president, now known affectionately as Joe O'Biden by the Capitolist, is in Delaware today for the funeral of his mother, Jean Biden, who passed away late last week at the age of 92.
* Bay State Smackdown.
Red alert political junkies: Set your DVR for 7:00 pm EST to watch the final debate between Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley and her fast-rising Republican opponent, Scott Brown. Watch it live on C-SPAN
Join the Capitolist on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.