Man the barricades, it's Bush again

Now that we know who will be inaugurated in January, official Washington will soon begin planning its inauguration parties. So too will the city’s various and sundry police and security forces — and they may be quite a bit busier with a Bush inauguration than they would have been if Kerry won.
Now that we know who will be inaugurated in January, official Washington will soon begin planning its inauguration parties. So too will the city’s various and sundry police and security forces — and they may be quite a bit busier with a Bush inauguration than they would have been if Kerry won.
john shinkle
A trio of crestfallen supporters of Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign watched victory slip away as they monitored election returns at the Capital Hilton.

Now that we know who will be inaugurated in January, official Washington will soon begin planning its inauguration parties. So too will the city’s various and sundry police and security forces — and they may be quite a bit busier with a Bush inauguration than they would have been if Kerry won.

Sources familiar with law enforcement planning for the inauguration said a Bush win means that the D.C. Police Department plans to beef up its security presence around town much more significantly in January than if Kerry were the one taking the oath of office.

But another source, a former federal law enforcement agent, said such a difference would only hold true to the extent that a Bush inauguration means many more demonstrations and protests that require policing. More demonstrations equal more cops on duty and more crowd-control measures in place.

“It’s not as if they’d be all loosey-goosey” regarding security for a Kerry inauguration, he said.

A spokesman for the D.C. Police Department did not return phone calls.

A spokesman for the Capitol Police said they will definitely be involved in security for the inauguration, but plans are not being discussed yet.


The last word on Bush’s bulge

Call off the conspiracy freaks. Now it can be told: That mysterious bulge on President Bush’s back during the first presidential debate was not an electronic device feeding him answers, but a strap holding his bulletproof vest in place.

Speculation about the bulge on the Internet only increased since Georges de Paris, the Washington tailor who makes Bush’s suits, told The Hill last month that it was nothing more than a pucker on the back of Bush’s coat caused when he crossed his arms.

But sources in the Secret Service told The Hill that Bush was wearing a bulletproof vest, as he does most of the time when appearing in public. The president’s handlers did not want to admit as much during the campaign, for fear of disclosing information related to his personal security while he was on the campaign trail.

The suspicion that Bush was, indeed, wearing something under his coat was given further credence by Dr. Robert M. Nelson, a senior research scientist for NASA and Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis, who conducted tests while working at home on his own computers.

“I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate,” Nelson told Salon.com. “This is not about a bad suit. And there’s no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt.”


Author pens a ‘DaVinci Code’ for the capital

Ready for some conspiracy theories involving George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and other Founding Fathers?

Then get ready for the next book by Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, which will be set in the nation’s capital. Its plot is built around the murders of several current political leaders by someone with ties to the Freemasons, the secretive fraternity that included some of the Founding Fathers.

Brown’s publisher, Stephen Rubin of Doubleday, revealed the book’s title, The Solomon Key, during a lunch with reporters last week, according to The New York Times, but said there’s not yet a release date.

The DaVinci Code, about a secret society in Paris with ties to the Vatican, has been a publishing industry phenomenon, with more than 9 million copies sold in hardcover since March 2003. Brown has said it contains clues about his new novel, including the symbolism of Washington architecture.

Hmmm? Think it’s possible there might be a link between the commemorative block of marble the Vatican contributed to the Washington Monument during its construction, which was later stolen and dumped into the Potomac?


Early exit polls fool some, but not Hastert aide

While some Republicans panicked at news of exit polling results showing Kerry ahead of Bush in several battleground states, other Republicans were more sanguine.

Early on, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) wasn’t enjoying his election night dinner at the Palm as much as he expected.

Asked how the election looked from his vantage point as he and his wife, Wendy, and three friends finished dinner at about 7:30 p.m., Gramm said, “Things don’t look so good for the president.”

Gramm, who retired in 2001 after 18 years in the Senate, following six in the House, was obviously influenced by early — and inaccurate — exit polls that showed Sen. John Kerry doing much better in battleground states than he did when votes were tallied.

But about the same time at an election night party at Bobby Van’s steakhouse, John Feehery, spokesman for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), dismissed the gloomy portents of the exit polls.

Feehery said that nearly 60 percent of voters surveyed exiting the polling booth were women, a demographic that skews Democratic. He also accurately noted that at that point in the evening, about 7 p.m., Bush was better positioned, according to the exit polls, than he was in 2000.

That analysis proved to be correct in the hours to follow, as it became clear that Bush would win Florida and Ohio, two lynchpins of his electoral victory.


Kerry’s good-luck charms: Maybe he forgot the leprechaun

John Kerry’s defeat was due to many factors, but one of the most disappointing to him must be the failure of a bevy of good-luck charms he carried, and superstitions he heeded, during the campaign’s final days.

Kerry had been sporting a sharp Boston Red Sox cap on the campaign trail ever since the Sox won the World Series last Wednesday, perhaps hoping that some of the team’s curse-breaking karma would rub off on him.

For the last year, Kerry also has been carrying a four-leaf clover from a supporter in Iowa and a buckeye chestnut from Ohio. He recently added a guitar pick that Bruce Springsteen gave him at their joint appearance in Cleveland last week.

On Election Day, Kerry also wore his “lucky” tie that got him through his three debates with President Bush and had a clam chowder lunch at the Union Oyster House in Boston — John F. Kennedy’s favorite restaurant and an Election Day tradition for Kerry.


Dems put off by Edwards

Democratic insiders, still in shock after Sen. John Kerry’s excruciatingly narrow defeat, are unhappy with the lengthy and politically charged remarks that his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, made while introducing Kerry for his concession speech in Boston yesterday.

“It sounded like he was already positioning himself to run for president in 2008,” said a lobbyist who was one of Kerry’s top fundraisers and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “If there’s one thing we didn’t need at this time, it’s another campaign speech.” Noting that President Bush carried Edwards’s home state by a whopping 56-43 percent and helped elect Rep. Richard Burr (R) as Edwards’s successor, the lobbyist added, Edwards “may not be the person we want to head our ticket in 2008.”

Alexander Bolton contributed to this page.

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