Sen. John McCain's win over Mike Huckabee in South Carolina was no landslide, but stands as by far the most important win in his quest for the presidency. It means that McCain by any measurement is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.
As American banks go hat in hand to foreign financial institutions and governments, begging for capital to help them get out of the mess into which their subprime loans have landed them, the question arises as to whether the United States should permit nations like China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the banks they control to acquire part ownership of our leading banks.
The French have long tolerated adulterers, liars and hypocrites in their politics. A simpleton is another matter, and President Nicolas Sarkozy's public frolic with a former model and singer of heavy-breathing songs does not speak of emotional complexity.
The Democratic nomination for president will likely be decided by the subtle pulls of ego against duty that tug at the conscience of John Edwards. He manifestly can no longer win - but he helps Hillary Clinton if he stays in the race and boosts Barack Obama if he pulls out.
With Barack Obama nipping at her heels in Iowa, Hillary Clinton went on the state's public television Dec. 14 to say: "I've been vetted. ... There are no surprises." That was the first use in presidential campaign politics of an unusual word.
There was another Hillary in the news last week. It was Edmund Hillary, the mountaineer who in 1953 became the first human to reach the top of Mount Everest -- alongside his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay. The New Zealander had died at 88.
It was probably inevitable. A woman running against a black: How could gender and race not be an issue? Even if she was running as the most experienced candidate and he was running a campaign to transcend race, dynamite ultimately explodes.
Two days before his decisive victory in New Hampshire, John McCain was asked by Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press": "Do you believe that voting against the Bush tax cuts was a mistake?" Sen. McCain replied quickly, "Of course not."