Frist's house calls

When Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a surgeon, is out on the political trail, the road almost always leads to a hospital.

Frist’s focus in these stops is on medical-liability issues, said spokesman Nick Smith. Smith recently moved over from Frist’s Senate press shop to Volunteer PAC, Frist’s leadership political action committee (the name inspired by the University of Tennessee Volunteers).

Once the Senate wraps up, Frist — a potential 2008 presidential contender — will spend much of the time stumping for GOP Senate candidates in the best position to help keep the majority and as a Bush-Cheney ’04 surrogate.

Most of Frist’s political appearances in September — excluding fundraisers — have been in hospitals:

• On Sept. 16, Frist hit Cincinnati for a roundtable with doctors, making the rounds with Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and then headlining a funder for him.

• The next day, Frist flew in a chartered plane to touch down in four cities to help two Republican Senate candidates. He keynoted funders in Tulsa and Oklahoma City for Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnJohn McCain was a taxpayer hero The White House can — and should — bypass Congress to kill Obama-era spending Trump cannot be 'King of Debt' when it comes to government MORE and then headed west to lend a hand to Pete Coors in Colorado. Frist toured a hospital in Denver and then hit Colorado Springs.

• Frist jetted to Iowa on Sept. 18, where he sat down with the board of the Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Cedar Rapids for the Bush campaign, followed by a press conference … on medical liability. In Des Moines, Frist visited the Blank Children’s Hospital with GOP House candidate Stan Thompson and held a roundtable with doctors.

• In Ames, Frist keynoted a funder for Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa).

The Des Moines Register ran a story after the visit to the state — whose first-in-the-nation caucus is crucial to presidential hopefuls — saying that Frist said “he hadn’t ruled out running for higher office.’’ Said Frist, “I think anybody who gets to this level of the United States Congress thinks about it.’’

• Last weekend, Frist traveled to Georgia to help the Senate bid of Rep. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonTrump blasts Tester at Montana rally: 'He loves the swamp' Renaming Senate office building after McCain sparks GOP backlash GOP senator warns Trump: Anyone who trash-talks McCain 'deserves a whipping' MORE (R-Ga.) in Atlanta and then headed to Macon for a funder for Republican House candidate Calder Clay and a tour of the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Next house call for the doctor: Florida, this weekend, for Republican Senate candidate Mel Martinez.

Journeys with Nancy: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the proud mom Tuesday night at the screening of daughter Alexandra’s “Diary of a Political Tourist,’’ debuting on HBO on Monday, Oct. 11.

“Diary,’’ about the major 2004 Democratic presidential candidates, is the follow to her 2000 documentary “Journeys with George.’’ Also at the Mayflower Hotel fete: Jen Durbin, part of the “Diary’’ production team, with her father, Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin: ‘No reason’ for people to remember Kavanaugh at party accuser describes Durbin: Kavanaugh's accuser is not being treated respectfully Grassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap MORE (D-Ill.).

In one scene, at a congressional party at the White House, President Bush kids Alexandra that he made her famous and asks her if she made a lot of money off him.

Enough, said Alexandra, that she was a real “beneficiary of your tax cut.’’

Retort from Bush: “Tell your mother that.’’

Rep. Pelosi stumped in Des Moines last Saturday for Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) and on Sunday was in New Jersey for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) funders. On Monday, Pelosi — with House Dems Charles Rangel (N.Y.) and Dick Gephardt (Mo.) — scooped up $250,000 for the DCCC at a Manhattan reception starring Tony Bennett.

Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. E-mail: lsweet3022@aol.com