COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The popular wisdom that opposites attract is true in both romance and politics.
WASHINGTON -- The first question to Hillary Clinton from an audience member during Monday night's Democratic town hall in Iowa must have been a blow from one so young -- a potential new voter -- this close to the caucuses.
WASHINGTON -- Reports of Jeb Bush's political death may be greatly exaggerated. Not only is Bush essentially locked in a statistical tie for second place in New Hampshire, depending on which poll you prefer, but he's enjoying the benefits of being largely ignored by the media.
WASHINGTON -- Gee, wonder what Hillary Clinton has been up to?
WASHINGTON -- Americans looking for a Snuggy Bear and a blankey to ease their anxieties about the Islamic State will have to become more comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty.
WASHINGTON -- Surely he's finally gone and done it now.
DES MOINES, Iowa -- You can't drive far in these parts without seeing Ben Carson on a billboard, looking more like a man of the cloth than of the operating room.
The fascinating story of Dr. Ben Carson's attempts to ungild his lily by telling awful stories about himself -- he tried to stab a classmate, later identified as a "close relative," and hit his mother with a hammer? -- will be its own chapter someday, if not in a collection of strange campaigns then perhaps in a catalog of psychological classifications.
Masochistic/Narcissistic Conflation Syndrome? (I made that up.)
Soon after Wednesday night's Republican debate, the phone rang: "Did the fat lady sing?" asked the voice on the other end.
"Probably," I said.
Meaning, it is probably over for Jeb Bush.
The erstwhile front-runner had performed weakly, which was compounded by his recent promise to shed his Mr. Nice Guy persona. Instead, he seemed awkward and flimsy as he lashed out at his former protege Marco Rubio for having missed dozens of Senate votes in his pursuit of the presidency.
WASHINGTON -- The worst job in the world, it turns out, isn't the U.S. presidency but speaker of the House of Representatives.
"It's where you go to die," as one veteran Hill watcher put it to me.
In the wake of majority leader Kevin McCarthy's sudden withdrawal from his once-certain ascent to the speakership, several others are considering running for the job.