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Newsweek's doing that "halo" thing with FRIST photos now... [View All]

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Bush_Eats_Beef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-05 04:30 PM
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Newsweek's doing that "halo" thing with FRIST photos now...
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April 25 issue - Sen. Bill Frist is a heart surgeon who admires what he calls "the surgical personality": precise, sensitive to details, focused. He and his aides thought they had found a politically surgical way for him to participate in a nationally televised prayer service with fervent religious conservatives at a megachurch in Louisville, Ky., next Sunday. The topic: the need to ease the Senate filibuster debate rule so that the Republican majority can confirm President George W. Bush's most controversial judicial nominations. Frist's role: a brief, four-minute videotape stressing a secular argumentthat presidents deserve "up or down" votes on all picks. "The senator won't be talking about his own faith and won't be speaking from a pulpit," said an aide.

But even Solomon couldn't split this baby. The hemorrhaging began when the sponsor, Family Research Council, hit the Web with fliers and press releases dubbing the event "Justice SundayStopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith" and depicting a perplexed teenage boy weighing a Bible in one hand and a judge's gavel in the other. The flame-throwing messagefilibusterers are anti-Christianpredictably infuriated Democrats (and the editorial page of The New York Times, which had front-paged the story). But even some Bible-belt Republicans were troubled by Frist's involvement in the event. "Questioning a senator's motives in that way is a very dangerous precedent," Sen. Lindsey Grahamof South Carolina told NEWSWEEK. "That goes to a level where the Senate has never gone before. It is a very unhealthy turn of events."

So goes the saga of Bill Frist, who is in a never-ending and often messy struggle to harness the conflicting forces of his public life: between the soothing words he needs to utter as Senate majority leader and the strong preaching he needs to deliver as a GOP presidential wanna-be; between the science-based empiricism of medicine and the faith-based absolutes of the Gospels; between the hard-shell Southern base of the Republican Party (and his own base in Tennessee) and the Blue State moderates he'll have to appeal to should he manage to secure the 2008 nomination. All the vectors are crossing now, as Frist tries to win a dicey vote on watering down the filibuster rule. "If he wants to run for president, this is a test Bill Frist has to pass," said Richard Lessner of the American Conservative Union. Frist's appealand his predicamentare symbolized by his list of titles: "Majority Leader" on the floor, "M.D." on his office door, plus a new one some of his colleagues derisively call him behind his back in the cloakroom: "Reverend."
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