- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Hot-button issue

Hillary Rodham Clinton faces another hot-button issue in her tight Senate race today when she meets privately with members of the Orthodox Union in New York.
The Jewish group wants her to push for the release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, as her likely opponent New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has done. Mrs. Clinton has said she would not take a stand until the White House finishes its review of the case.
“The appearance is expected to be rough going for Clinton because of her controversial flip-flops on such important issues as a Palestine state, Clinton’s lack of response to Yasser Arafat’s wife’s false claims and the rest of her disastrous trip to the West Bank,” Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson said. “She wants to play both sides of all these issues and now she’s being called on it.”
Mr. Nicholson also criticized the first lady for holding the meeting in private. The decision to bar the media was made jointly by Mrs. Clinton and the Jewish group, according to a spokesman for the group.

Bauer blames Bush

Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer accused rival George W. Bush yesterday of playing “inside political games” to get the Louisiana caucuses canceled, denying Mr. Bauer a potential platform.
The Jan. 15 caucuses were scrapped Saturday by a party state committee dominated by the forces of Gov. Mike Foster, an ally of the front-running Texas governor.
Now the nation’s first results will come from the caucuses Jan. 24 in Iowa, where polls show Mr. Bush holding a wide lead among people expected to attend. Though just three of the six Republican candidates planned to compete in Louisiana, Mr. Bauer had hoped a victory would give him a boost heading into Iowa, the Associated Press reports.

Barbara Bush’s view

Barbara Bush thinks her son is saying a lot of right things in his run for president, but she also suggests he be a bit careful about his words advice she concedes she doesn’t always take herself.
“I’m glib and I think sometimes George is, which is to his detriment sometimes,” she said in an interview with USA Today.
The former first lady thinks her son was wrong to answer questions about whether he had been faithful to his wife, Laura, which he said he had.
“You’ve got to draw the line, and maybe he should have drawn it sooner,” Mrs. Bush said.
George W. Bush has declined to answer reporters’ questions as to whether he has ever used illegal drugs, and Mrs. Bush expects such scrutiny to increase in the coming year.
“Do I think he had a lot of fun at college? You betcha he did. You should work very hard at everything you do, but you also ought to have fun in life. He had a lot of fun, I imagine,” she said.
As part of her support for her son’s candidacy, Mrs. Bush has raised money for the campaign. But she said she’s not the most interested family member in the house.
Former President George Bush “is obsessed with the campaign, and I am not,” she said.

Gore-Hsia link

A newly discovered letter links Vice President Al Gore to an immigration consultant accused of making illegal contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Newsweek reports.
Mr. Gore made an appearance at a Buddhist temple in 1996, a visit arranged by immigration consultant Maria Hsia, who stands trial next month on charges of making illegal contributions to the DNC. She denies these charges.
According to the weekly, four months after Mr. Gore’s visit to the temple Mrs. Hsia approached him at another fund-raiser to help get the Buddhist temple designated as a “federally sanctioned testing center for Asian immigrants.”
Mrs. Hsia sent a letter, citing the conversation, to Gore aide Elaine Kamarck, who later faxed the letter to the Immigration and Naturalization Service requesting officials there to have the “right people get in touch” with Mrs. Hsia. The INS told Newsweek that it did not respond to the request.
However, the letter was never disclosed during the Senate’s investigation of charges of finance abuses by the Gore campaign.
The letter was reportedly misfiled with documents from a presidential panel on aviation security and turned up only after someone sued to have access to the aviation commission’s full records.
A Gore aide dismissed any suggestions of a cover-up of help given to Mrs. Hsia. And Miss Kamarck called the misfiling a simple “mistake,” Agence France-Press reports.

McCain’s new ads

Republican presidential candidate John McCain released three new campaign ads yesterday playing up his religious faith, compassion and heroism in Vietnam.
The three radio spots will play in stations in South Carolina, which is holding a crucial primary Feb. 19, less than three weeks after the nations’ first primary in New Hampshire.
“Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Bud Day recalls a special Christmas in a Vietnam prison,” begins the first of two spots which play on Mr. McCain’s experiences as a prisoner of war in Hanoi for 5 and 1/2 years.
It tells how Mr. McCain composed a sermon for the U.S. prisoners for Christmas in 1971.
“It was remarkably touching, moving evening. I don’t think a Christmas goes by that I don’t think about Vietnam. That Christmas of 1971 was the most touching experience of my life,” Col. Day says in the advertisement.
Mr. McCain is building his appeal in South Carolina on the votes of the state’s many servicemen and retired servicemen. He also needs to reach out to the powerful evangelical Christian community in South Carolina, where polls show him trailing Mr. Bush by a wide margin, Reuters reports.
The second spot, also featuring Col. Day, tells how Mr. McCain came home from Vietnam weighing only 95 pounds.
“His body was saying that it’s dying. John’s brain said, The hell I am.’ Being a POW forges you in fire. You get the clear picture on what you are, what your values are,” Col. Day says.
A third ad features Mr. McCain’s wife, Cindy, telling how they adopted a daughter, Bridget, whom she found in an orphanage run by Mother Teresa in Bangladesh.

The bridge to 2000

A Vietnam veteran who was hospitalized after scaling the Brooklyn Bridge while wielding a knife is challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the New York Senate race.
James “Jimmy” Earl McMillan filed his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Nov. 23, becoming the third Democrat in the race. He wants to debate Mrs. Clinton on health care, the homeless and 17 other issues.
The former postal worker notes on his Web site (www.uscandidates.com/ mcmillan2000.html) that he was taken to a mental hospital for observation after climbing the bridge when he was a mayoral candidate in 1993. He said he did it because “law enforcement agencies ignored the fact that someone was trying to kill” him.
Six other candidates including Mrs. Clinton’s most likely Republican opponent, New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani also have filed papers with the commission, an FEC spokesman told The Washington Times yesterday.
Mark McMahon, a Park Avenue surgeon, is running as a Democrat. Abe Hirschfeld, who offered Paula Corbin Jones $1 million to settle her sexual harassment suit against President Clinton, is running as an independent. Clark Gebman, Lionel Judah Rosenzweig and Thomas Loughlin have filed papers, but they did not state their political affiliations.

Gilchrest’s role

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, has announced that Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, Maryland Republican, will serve as his presidential campaign chairman in Maryland.

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