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Invented: The Standing Column

Well, looks as if it's happened seven times, though only twice in the past 102 years. John F. Kennedy won in 1960 but lost Ohio, and FDR lost Ohio in 1944 but got a fourth term.

Before that, a string of distinguished presidents -- Grover Cleveland (twice), James Buchanan, James Polk and Martin Van Buren -- won the presidency without winning the Buckeye State.

_____In the Loop_____
How to Sweep an Accusation Under the Rug (The Washington Post, Aug 16, 2004)
2 NDU Students Get 'Equivalent' of Rejection (The Washington Post, Aug 13, 2004)
Enter and Win: What Makes Alan Run? (The Washington Post, Aug 11, 2004)
A Nomination on Hold (The Washington Post, Aug 9, 2004)
English, a Battleground State (The Washington Post, Aug 6, 2004)
More In the Loop

Parked at the Park Service

Better late than never. . . .

This news release just in yesterday from the National Park Service. It's a statement by NPS chief Fran P. Mainella on the death of Laurance S. Rockefeller:

"I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Laurance S. Rockefeller. The National Park Service and this nation have lost a dear friend and a committed conservationist. His legacy will endure throughout all time and continue to touch the lives of many generations."

He died July 11. Sometimes news travels fast; other times, not so fast.

Delegating Justice

Some Cabinet officers traditionally take a pass on political conventions. This year, for example, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft decided to skip the GOP gala in New York. But that didn't mean he had to hunker down in his office here. No, he was required to attend a symposium on crime and corruption.

And where might this have been? A Loop Fan called Thursday to say he spotted Ashcroft sightseeing and shopping in Bellagio -- no, no, not Las Vegas, but the real one, on spectacular Lake Como in Italy.

The symposium, sponsored by a consulting think tank called the Ambrosetti Group, featured lots of heavy hitters, including Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar of former Coalition of the Willing member Spain.

We hear Ashcroft & Co. took a pass on the exquisite Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni to stay in Cernobbio at the stunning Villa d'Este, which features a swimming pool floating on the lake, red clay tennis courts etched into the mountainside above and dancing on a lakeside veranda.

It's only $720 a night for a cheapo double, and about $2,014 a night for a one-bedroom suite, but the breakfast buffet is spectacular. And besides, it's not far from George Clooney's place on the lake.

Curiously, Ashcroft failed to take along his chief flack -- whose name even ends in a vowel -- Mark Corallo, who could have pointed him to a few good restaurants.

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