Yesterday I was pedaling away on a stationary bike at my gym watching C-SPAN (yes, watching C-SPAN while working out ... GET OVER IT!) when I saw Tom Daschle telling a gaggle of reporters that Bob Torricelli had denied or disavowed (maybe recanted?) a press report that he would vote for a $1.4 trillion tax cut compromise.
I didn't know quite what to make of that until I read the Washington Post this morning.
As regular readers will remember, a while back Talking Points speculated over why Torricelli was bucking his caucus on the tax front when he had legal troubles that would make you think he needed all the friends he could get.
Well, maybe Bob's been reading Talking Points. Or maybe his legal troubles have just gotten a whole hell of a lot worse. Because according to the Post, Torch got up yesterday in the Senate Democratic caucus meeting, protested his innocence and basically begged his colleagues to stick by him.
What a fun moment that must have been.
Torricelli has never been very popular with his colleagues. He's bucked the caucus on various fronts (though he did real good for them raising money last election cycle). Having to get down on his knees and beg like that must have been rough. (The Times, for what it's worth, has Torch sounding more combative and less pitiful.)
Which brings us back to Torricelli's suddenly seeming to find religion on the tax issue.
I can just imagine the private meeting between Torch and Tom Daschle before the Caucus met, with the one-time maverick and high-flyer in need of help from the big man. Maybe it went down like in the opening scene from one of my favorite movies, with Daschle telling Torch ...
We've known each other many years, but this is the first time you came to me for counsel, for help. I can't remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let's be frank here: you never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.Or maybe not.
Anyway, you get the idea.
I think the Dems have another vote locked up on the tax debate.