COMMENTS: Political Potpourri

The investigation into the missing White House e-mails is slow to attract the attention of the networks. Yesterday Jim Axelrod alone covered the probe for CBS. Today only NBC assigned a reporter--although Kelly O'Donnell was chosen to lead the newscast. The "large volume" of missing e-mails, sent through Republican National Committee servers rather than official White House channels, may or may not have included discussions with the Justice Department about political considerations in the firing of those eight US Attorneys. Among the 22 White House aides who used RNC addresses was top operative Karl Rove, an "avid Blackberry user." O'Donnell quoted a statement from Rove's lawyer: "He never used political e-mail accounts to avoid creating a record."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is helping to keep the US Attorneys story alive by insisting that the deleted e-mails be retrieved. ABC's Jake Tapper (subscription required) took a look at the first 100 days of the Democratic-controled 110th Congress. The Democrats had taken office promising fresh legislation. Even though bills have passed both House and Senate--including stem cell research, a minimum wage hike, stronger homeland security and a timetable to pull troops out of Iraq--not a single one has been finalized and sent to President George Bush for signature. Instead, Tapper concluded, the real action during the first 100 days has been at oversight hearings and "chest-thumping stand-offs" with the White House.

CBS went on the campaign trail for its weekending political feature. Axelrod followed Mormon Mitt Romney as he campaigned among the evangelical Christians of South Carolina. His party line is that people "want a person of faith to lead the country. They do not care what brand of faith." Axelrod consulted his network's poll of voters and concluded "that is not true. After Islam, Mormonism is the faith most Americans consider a deal breaker in backing a candidate." When talking to voters, Romney "never once mentioned his religion by name."


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