By Marc Campos

"Hi, I'm Matt Santos
running for president."

By Marc Campos

Played by actor Jimmy Smits, The West Wing's Matt Santos went to New Hampshire to kickoff his longshot campaign for president. It was a rocky start. He clashed on a number of occasions with Josh Lyman, his campaign manager. He supports real education reforms. He wants to extend the school year to 240 days plus. He offended New Hampshire voters by saying the state looks like folks that just got off of the Mayflower - mostly white. He looks determined to rewrite the book on how to campaign for president - hey you have to if you are a Latino congressman from Houston. Toward the end of last night's episode, his campaign started to shape up. Is the storyline realistic? W did it.

Speaking of politicians, give Mayor Bill White credit for making major adjustments to his freeway tow policy. Now they are free for up to one mile. The city is going to pay the tab that will cost taxpayers around $300,000 annually. A lot of elected officials would have stubbornly ignored the public outcry. Mayor White heard it and positively responded.

News flash! Bulletin, bulletin! We interrupt this program in order to bring you this special news report. The federal government is urging Americans to lose weight by consuming fewer calories and exercising more. Wow! The feds finally figured out what just about every American already knows.

In Austin, the deal cutting has begun. We're not talking about the legislature. Two of the corporations that were indicted by a Travis County grand jury in the ongoing investigation of illegal corporate contributions have apparently cut deals to cooperate. The corporations, Sears and DCS, Inc., will do their singing in exchange for having their charges dropped. Commentary predicted earlier that the indictments would produce deal cutters. Now let's see if more indictments are produced.

January 13, 2005, 9:00AM

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