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War? But Tiger's in Town!

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And the Speaker During the Price Spike Was . . .

An eagle-eyed Senate GOP aide, perusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Web site, calls attention to her assertion there that "Americans are paying more than double for gas than when President Bush first took office."

She says the average price per gallon when he took office in 2001 was $1.47 and had reached $3.22 by May 21.

So that means gas prices went up by $1.75 a gallon over six years. But more than half of that increase, 90 cents, our source says, has come in the past six months -- the six months that she's been speaker of the House. Our source says the average price per gallon on Jan. 3, the day before she became speaker, was $2.32.

Maybe Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) can lend her a bike.

The Ever-Quoted Schumer

Sen. Charles Schumer's admirers spotted a spectacular coup by the always-there New York Democrat. The New York Daily News's online edition posted a sad announcement very early Monday.

" John D'Amato, who was managing Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign in New York, apparently suffered a fatal heart attack yesterday while jogging near his Staten Island home," the report said. "The 52-year-old political operative was taken to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

" 'I am deeply saddened by John's sudden passing,' said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). 'John was a true-blue Staten Islander who was as dedicated as he was effective at making Staten Island -- and all New York -- a better place.' "

Schumer was the only one quoted eulogizing Giuliani's campaign aide.

Romney Tie: It Could Be Yours

Hurry! You've got only until 7 p.m. today to get your bid in on a true campaign collector's item: A genuine pink -- maybe salmon, it's hard to be sure -- Mitt Romne y autographed tie. The diagonal pattern on the lovely tie is the former Massachusetts governor's actual, personal signature.

You could be the first person on your block to own this. It's available on eBay for a starting bid of $50. Even though it has generated no, that's zero, bids, this lovely tie is sure to be gone soon.

And you thought the McCain campaign was in trouble.

A Private Turn After 3 Decades

Bob Van Heuvelen, adviser and chief of staff for nearly a decade to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and before that a Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency lawyer, is going private after more than 30 years in the public sector. He's -- what else? -- opening a government strategy and consulting firm.


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