Power Outage

House leader TOM DELAY'S indictment upends the Republicans' to-do list and their outlook for next year's elections. Can they recover in time?

The news that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay had been dreading for months was brought by an aide, who interrupted DeLay's weekly lunch with Dennis Hastert in the House Speaker's office. DeLay absorbed it, and then the man widely called "the Hammer" on Capitol Hill (though rarely to his face) did what he does best: he hit back. "All right," DeLay replied. "Let's go. Let's go fight." Less than three hours later, before a roomful of reporters, DeLay addressed a Texas grand jury's charge that he and two political associates conspired to funnel $155,000 in illegal corporate campaign contributions into Texas legislative races....

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