Gore's blast and Daschle's tirade did hearten liberal Democratic donors some of whom have begun threatening to withhold contributions unless the party stands up to Bush on Iraq. Singer Barbra Streisand's political adviser faxed a "confidential memo" to House minority leader Dick Gephardt, a strong backer of military action, urging Democrats "to get off the defensive." The memo pointedly noted that Streisand had delegated an intermediary to write it because the pop diva was busy rehearsing for a concert in Los Angeles that was expected to raise $4 million for House Democrats.
The shooting war may be months away, but the war of words has already begun. Bush will be ready with his own broadsides, including one about Saddam Hussein that he's been reluctant to use in the past. "There's no doubt he can't stand us," Bush told an audience at a fund-raising dinner in Houston. "After all, this is the guy that tried to kill my dad."