Winners, Losers and Young'uns

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 6, 2009; 7:58 AM

Here's what we don't know:

Who will replace Richardson at Commerce. Whether Burris will be a senator. Whether Caroline will be a senator. Whether Franken will be a senator. When Congress will cough up a stimulus package. Whether the Eagles can beat the Giants.

Here's what we do know:

Sasha and Malia started at Sidwell yesterday.

Now I was perfectly prepared to go off on a rant about the media's boneheaded failure to leave these two girls alone. They didn't ask to be in the spotlight. They're 10 and 7, for crying out loud. What is the public interest in trailing these young schoolkids and making it impossible for them to lead a normal life?

But then I went to Obama's transition site and there's an item on Sasha and Malia's first day of school, complete with family photos.

Which means either:

a) Barack and Michelle aren't as uptight over shielding their kids as we've been led to believe -- remember the "Access Hollywood" interview -- or,

b) The parents concluded that there was such voracious media interest in the girls that they had little choice but to feed the beast, perhaps in the hope that the photographers would back off if everyone had access to some family pictures.

I still think journalists ought to cool it when it comes to the new Sidwell students. Go crazy over something that really matters, like the family's new dog.

Maybe the administration will give the pooch its own blog.

As for the serial Senate standoffs, I've got to say, the situation is just getting weird. You have, you know, the daughter of a slain president who hasn't, you know, been in the public spotlight, or bothered to vote all the time, but, you know, she's a Kennedy. You have a less-than-inspiring African American picked by a governor caught on tape trying to sell the seat, but who now can paint the all-white Senate as faintly racist for not seating his man. You have the author of "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot," who has toned down his act and wound up on top in a byzantine recount that would be funny if anyone understood it.

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