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For Bush, U.S. is still on top

You knew it had to happen.

Anyone giving a speech at On Top of the World would succumb to the temptation to pun.

So it was that President Bush, in his speech at the Clearwater condominium complex Saturday, could not resist saying that "America is still on top of the world."

Ladies and gentlemen

Sidney Colen, developer of On Top of the World, introduced the president, after some words by state Rep. Sandra Mortham, R-Largo, and actor Gerald McRaney, star of the TV show Major Dad.

Colen said he did not plan to run for president himself, but he did admire the way the congressional sergeant of arms introduced the president. So he introduced Bush in a similar fashion _ without a microphone, shouting, "Ladies and gentlemen . . . the president of the United States."

Bush said he was happy Colen would not join the field of presidential candidates. "It's been confusing enough here as it is."

Overheard

After McRaney said some kind words for Bush, some wag in the press gallery quipped, "Major Dad just became Colonel Dad."

Meanwhile

At one precinct after last Thursday's runoff election, the election workers brought everything back to the County Courthouse that they needed.

Except the ballots. About 130 of them. They went back and got them, and counted them that night, said Supervisor of Elections Dorothy Ruggles.

Food for thought

Last week, Pinellas County Republican voters elected a new tax collector: W. Fred Petty.

No Democrat filed for the office, which means that the Democrats, the independents and the people in minor political parties didn't get a chance to vote.

Put another way, 52 percent of the voters had no chance to elect the tax collector. They also have no choice about whether to pay their property taxes.

Didn't somebody throw a tea party over something like this?

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