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In the Loop

Hoosier Coach Cover-Up

By Al Kamen
Wednesday, March 2, 2005; Page A15

Indiana Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. (R), who campaigned around the state in a huge recreational vehicle in his successful run for the job last year, has a new -- okay, "gently used," RV -- and he wants you to help him decide the paint job.

RV One, as his mobile office is called, a 2001 Beaver Patriot Thunder with 21,000 miles, was donated to the state by Monaco Coach of Oregon, which has two plants in Indiana. Daniels is conducting an online poll with four options.

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The first, a snappy blue with the flag design on the side and back -- a torch with stars around it -- and a big INDIANA painted on the side, is quite nice.

The second is a bit too bucolic, with rolling hills and a silo on the sides and a yellow map of Indiana on the back.

The third design has a large "Office of the Governor" and "Gov. Mitch Daniels" painted on the sides and the back. This is way too tacky. Everyone knows who the governor is, for crying out loud.

The fourth, our favorite, is different shades of blue, has the torch and the American flag (going the wrong way but that can be fixed) on the back and sides, and a smaller, more tasteful, reminder of Daniels's title. It's very Air Force One-like. (Daniels would be only the second president from Indiana, following Benjamin Harrison, the Great One-Termer, who left office in 1893.) So go to www.votervone.com and pick your favorites. But hurry. Deadline's Friday.

DeMint on Another Leg

More breaking news from freshman South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's courageous foray this week to the "front lines" of the War on Terror.

By Sunday, we're told, the "DeMint Delegation" of Hill folks had gone where no congressional delegation had gone before. "Today's leg of the journey was historic," his office reported, "because the DeMint Delegation met with the leaders of all three major political groups in Iraq." Yup, all three.

But let's get to what matters most. "During a lunch briefing with military officials, DeMint was briefed on the ongoing operations in Iraq and discussed how to ensure that South Carolina contractors are included in the rebuilding of Iraq."

"Meeting with tomorrow's leaders of Iraq was both an honor and an incredible experience," DeMint said. "These are the guys that will be leading and making the decisions that will affect the future success of an Iraqi democracy."

For full audio of his observations, check his office Web site.

Bolton's Not Bolting After All, It Seems

There have been rumors of late and some news reports that Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz was going to be, or was a leading contender for, president of the World Bank.

No way that was going to happen. (The notion was too much even for this column.) But the hubbub forced Pentagon spokesman Lawrence T. Di Rita to issue a statement late yesterday knocking it down.

On the other hand, Carly Fiorina, recently deposed chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., is looking for work these days and would not cause the European members of the bank's board to revolt. Little light on the international development side, maybe.

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