And speaking of InDecision 2004...none other than Bill Clinton appeared on The Daily Show last night, a big coup for Jon Stewart (except for the shot of them shaking hands and Clinton towering over Stewart by at least a foot, ouch!) Posted by Hello Bill was his usual charming yet knowledgeable self, holding forth on the dirty tricks of the Republicans and the strange reticence of the Democrats to fight fire with, uh, smarter fire. Speaking of smart, Clinton's big applause line was, "Democrats win when people think." Ouch again! He went on to quote some GOP colleague who said, in admitting the lowdown tactics used against Clinton, "Yeah, we play dirty, but if we played fair y'all would win all the time." Memo to Tom Daschle: it's official, we have nothing to lose! Somebody light a fire under that guy!

And in other political interview coups yesterday, NPR's afternoon host Michele Norris made mincemeat of Illinois GOP puppet-candidate Alan Keyes on the air (click on that link, it says it all). As you may have heard, there's such a dearth of Republicans in Illinois to run for Senate against Dem star Barack Obama that they had to import one (and a black man at that!) from Maryland. Norris first asked Keyes about his statement in 2000 that Hilary Clinton's Senate run in NY was a "corruption of federalism," that he would "never imitate." [Note: Tim Russert used this same quote on Sunday's "Meet The Press" in an interview with Sen. Dennis Hastert R-IL, who actually said, "Uh, I was out of town when they made that decision" to make Keyes the candidate!] Keyes slithered out of that one by saying he wasn't "imitating" Hilary's carpetbagging, instead he's responding to "the call of the Illinois voters." Next, Norris asked if Keyes thought race was a factor in selecting him to run. "Yes, I definitely think it was," he replied -- because race would be "taken off the table" by having two men of the same race on the ticket. Uh, OK. But the trap is laid: Norris asked, "How can you square your consistent opposition to affirmative action programs, and selection criteria based on race rather than merit, with your being chosen as a candidate?" D'oh! Keyes totally backpedaled, insisting he'd been chosen for his "unique, individual" strengths and views on the issued, not his race. Sure. This one is shaping up to be very interesting -- I'll be in Illinois in a few weeks, I'll be sure to check out the political scene.

UPDATE: Check out this withering editorial on Keyes in today's NYTimes, comparing him (unfavorably!) to Mighty Mouse and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and calling him a "professional unsuccessful candidate." Yee-ouch!

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