Ben Smith at Politico is reporting that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is going to head the Democratic Governors Association. O'Malley is my governor, so I feel some pride of place in his rise to national prominence. Additionally, he is a fellow alumnus of the Catholic University of America. If he is not yet on your shortlist of presidential candidates for 2016, he should be.
We continue our examination of a potential presidential run by Sarah Palin with comments from Mark Silk, a professor at Trinity College and author of the blog Spiritual Politics that has become daily reading for those of us concerned about the estuary where religion and politics meet.
No one should judge the likelihood of a major political figure running for president without visualizing that person getting up in the morning, peering into the mirror, and murmuring, “I could be looking at the next POTUS.” Based on such a visualization, I’d say Sarah Palin’s running.
Our friends at Sussidiario have published a must-read - as in, stop what you are doing and read it right now - article by Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete regarding incoming Sen. Marco Rubio's apparent dual religious affiliation. Rubio self-identifies as both Catholic and a member of a "non-denominational" church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Pope announced this morning that he had accepted the resignation of Bishop John "Mort" Smith of Trenton. Bishop David O'Connell, who had been coadjutor since July, assumes the helm of the gem of a diocese in central New Jersey. Here is the statement Bishop O'Connell issued on the occasion. A lion has been born.
Yesterday, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut gave his final speech on the floor of the Senate, where he has served for thirty years, following his father who served Connecticut as its senator for twelve years.
Dodd's storied career included principal authorship of such important pieces of legislation as the Family and Medical Leave Act, permitting family members to take time off after the birth of a child or during a major illness without fear of losing their job. He helped shepherd the health care reform law through the Senate after his great friend Sen. Ted Kennedy took ill and died. He has been a champion of aid to our brothers and sisters in Latin America throughout his career, starting with hiw own service in the Peace Corps.
Advent is the season in which the attention of the Church focuses most naturally on the Blessed Virgin Mary. In our own country, the seasonal focus on Mary is furthered by the coincidence of our nation’s patronal feast, the Immaculate Conception, falling within the Advent season. As well as the most observed feast of the year in the United States, Our Lady of Guadalupe, lands in Advent too: In my neighborhood, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the only feast commemorated with fireworks and they go on for a good fifteen minutes after the close of Mass.
Advent is the season of expectancy as the Holy Father said during his Angelus talk Sunday, and we all await the birth of the Savior, but Mary was the only one who was “expecting.” She was free from the stain of original sin, but not from the emotional or the hormonal or the social or the psychological anxieties that attend childbirth, and hers was an age when childbirth was a dangerous moment for both mother and child. This act in the human drama that we call Christmas can be seen in many ways, but it must always be seen first in a very practical, historical way, as a recollection of the birth of that child by that woman.
According to Salon.com, incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner has been keeping strange company, to wit, Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue. Terry is so out-of-control, he has been banned from the premises of the USCCB and its meetings.
Mr. Bohener is admirably pro-life - although the rest of his policy positions are less admirable. But, he should know that the mainstream pro-life community considers Terry an extremist who has defended the murder of doctors who perform abortions. He is no pro-life hero and Mr. Boehner should find better uses for his time.
We continue our examination of the delicious prospect of a presidential candidacy by Sarah Palin. Today, we hear from Catholic University's Matthew Green, who is a professor of politics and a fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies.
Professor Green: I’d say the odds are better than even that Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012. She remains a major media presence, thanks in no small part to the actions of others – whether it’s an unauthorized biographer who rents a house next door or her daughter’s “success” as a nationally televised ballroom dancer. Given all the buzz that surrounds Palin, and her Alaska-sized ego, I think she’s unlikely to pass up the chance to put her hat in the ring.
I never took the LSAT and avoided the GRE by getting into grad school via the seminary. (Breathing? We'll take him!) But, I could spot the flaw in Michael Gerson's logic in this morning's Washington Post. Gerson writes, "Third, some House leaders want to begin laying the foundation for entitlement reform, since large, unfunded entitlement commitments are the main cause of the American fiscal crisis." Hmmm.