Leftovers Part 1: Revisiting the Year's Big Stories
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
On this day after Thanksgiving, DAY TO DAY is thinking about news leftovers. And by that we mean people who were newsmakers - big news a few months ago -but who we haven't heard from for a while. Here to bring us up to date on stories is NPR's Luke Burbank. Hey, Luke.
LUKE BURBANK: Hi Alex.
CHADWICK: So the first person we want to check in on is Mark Foley. He's the Republican congressman from Florida. He abruptly resigned in September after those allegations that he'd sent explicit, sexually-charged messages to under-aged congressional pages. Back in early October, the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, expressed his outrage to reporters.
Representative DENNIS HASTERT (Speaker of the House, Republican, Illinois): Congressman Foley duped a lot of people. I have known him for all the years he served in this House, and he deceived me too.
CHADWICK: So Luke, as we say, Mark Foley abruptly resigned, what happened to him?
BURBANK: Well, he's been lying pretty low the last, oh, a month and a half or so. He's actually been in rehab in Arizona, where he's being getting treatment for a problem with alcohol. He did make a kind of semi-public appearance last week. It was the first time anyone had seen him outside the facility. And it was for pretty sad occasion. He was in Florida where he was attending the funeral of his father who had been battling cancer. And at that funeral, he did make a kind of a public speech, and he thanked everyone there for supporting him, and he also tearfully - this is according to reports - thanked his father for standing by him, even recently when all these allegations came out.
And he is also being investigated, still, by the FBI. And also, the state of Florida has announced now that they are beginning to look into the matter, to see if he violated Florida state laws. So he may want to stay in rehab for two to five years because things are probably not going get better for him for a while.
CHADWICK: Okay, here's another name, Harriet Miers. Now, she was the White House Legal Council to President Bush, who he nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court a little more than a year ago. This is last October - here she is making a statement.
Ms HARRIET MIERS (Supreme Court Nominee): If confirmed, I recognize that I will have a tremendous responsibility to keep our judicial system strong.
CHADWICK: That's Harriet Miers, a little more than a year ago. She pretty quickly withdrew here nomination after it drew so much criticism it practically bordered on ridicule. Luke, where is Harriet Miers now?
BURBANK: Alex, she is right where she was before the whole Supreme Court nomination kerfuffle. She's doing her old job, which as legal counsel to the White House. She's the person who vets all things legal as they pertain to President Bush. And she has been keeping about as low profile after the nomination as she was beforehand. You know, no one knew very much about her, when she sort of popped up as this nominee.
And the second that she was no longer the nominee, she kind of went back to a very incognito lifestyle. She reportedly gets in early and leaves late, and has just sort of gone back to her - life working for President Bush. Now, she has been with President Bush since before he was even governor of Texas. So they have a long relationship, and there didn't seem to be any indication that she will go anywhere between now and the end of the president's term. So she'll probably around the White House for the next two years.
CHADWICK: Finally Luke, where is Harry Whittington these days? And listeners remember, he is the 79-year-old Texas lawyer and Republican mover and shaker -at least in Texas politics - who was accidentally shot in the face and chest by Vice President Dick Cheney while they were hunting last February on a Texas ranch.
Here's the Vice President describing it in a Fox News interview.
Vice President DICK CHENEY: I turned and shot at the bird. And at that second, saw Harry standing there.
CHADWICK: So that was a big history six, seven, eight months ago. Where is Harry Whittington?
BURBANK: I can tell you, Alex, as one of the reporters who was in Corpus Christi, Texas, trying to get some kind of comment from Mr. Whittington - he has really stayed out of the media spotlight the last few months. In fact, he made it serve his personal goal by not doing any interviews. As the media furor has kind of died down, he's gone back to his job as a lawyer in Austin. He still shows up for work everyday. He is in pretty good health, Alex. Probably as good a health as can be expected for someone who was, you know, shot in the face at age 79.
CHADWICK: NPR's Luke Burbank, coming back again later in the program. More of Leftovers, Luke?
BURBANK: Yes. I'll see you then Alex.
CHADWICK: All right. Thanks.
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CHADWICK: And stay with us on DAY TO DAY.
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