Steve Forbes celebrates Byrd's death; Blago flirted with Oprah; Charlie Crist's flack attacks

Dana Milbank
Copyright 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010; 4:41 AM

Steve Forbes, the publisher and one-time presidential candidate, demonstrated the perils of writing a eulogy in 140 characters or less. "Good news," he Tweeted on Monday, about 10 hours after Robert Byrd, the longest-serving member of the Senate in history, was pronounced dead. "Financial reform bill may still fail b/c of loss of Byrd vote 2nd thoughts from Sen Brown." That one definitely put the "twit" in Twitter. If Forbes wishes to apologize to Byrd, he might wish to get in touch with Alabama congressional candidate Rick Barber, who, according to a new campaign ad, has the ability to speak to the dead. He communicated with Abraham Lincoln in the ad, getting Honest Abe to label the Obama agenda "slavery." For good measure, Barber tossed in images from Auschwitz. *** When last we checked in on the Rod Blagojevich trial, our hero was attempting to get himself named ambassador to the United Nations. But even this high title would not do justice to the creative genius that is Blago. In Monday's installment of wiretap tapes, Blago is heard suggesting that the Illinois Senate seat be given to Oprah Winfrey. "That's crazy," aide John Harris -- not our friend from Politico -- tells him. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Blago also suggests California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Harris informs him that "picking somebody outside of Illinois has a whole host of problems." Blago, dropping F-bombs and apparently lifting weights during the conversation, suggests Harris find him some African-American candidates, "maybe a black Albert Einstein." *** Conservatives hate lawsuits and the trial lawyers who file them -- until, that is, they want to sue somebody. In Florida, two donors to Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate campaign have sued Crist to get their money back now that Crist has quit the Republican Party and is running as an independent. Tort reform -- and conservative demands for the end of frivolous lawsuits -- can wait until these aggrieved parties get back the $5,300 combined that they gave Crist. Crist can't be surprised that his former supporters are angry enough to sue. His former mouthpiece is now using her mouth against him. Amanda Henneberg, Crist's former campaign spokeswoman, now has a job with the Republican National Committee, and her duties include bashing Crist. Henneberg, who once sang the praises of Crist, accuses Crist of "singing the praises of the Obama administration." -- Sketchy moments compiled by Matt DeLong, Dylan Matthews and Felicia Sonmez.

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