- The Washington Times - Monday, August 14, 2000

Not a problem

If the Gore-Lieberman ticket is elected in November, Inauguration Day Jan. 20, 2001 will be on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Sen. Joe Lieberman, Mr. Gore's running mate and an Orthodox Jew, strictly observes the Sabbath.

"If you are elected vice president of the United States, Joe Lieberman, on Saturday you'll have to take the oath of office, get in a motorcade, celebrate with inaugural balls. Can you do it as an observant Jew?" Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," asked the Connecticut Democrat yesterday.

"Well, as my mother would say, Tim, if she were here, 'Sweetheart, we should only have such a problem.' "

Mr. Lieberman quickly added there is "no problem." He acknowledged he "normally" does not ride or use electricity on the Sabbath because "it's the way to protect the Sabbath as a day to stop, to thank God for the fact that we're alive, that the world was created."

"But you'd make an exception for the inauguration?" Mr. Russert asked him.

Mr. Lieberman did not answer that question directly. "Probably what I'd try to do, as I usually do when public service or the public interest is not on the line, I'd probably stay down around the Capitol. I'd certainly participate. I'd, you know, do my prayers on my own," the senator said.

Mr. Russert asked Mr. Lieberman if he might walk on Inauguration Day, rather than ride in a limousine.

"If the Secret Service says it's OK, I'd take a walk and be proud and thrilled to take a walk from the Capitol to the White House to watch the parade," Mr. Lieberman said.

'Masters of deceit'

Jesse Jackson warned delegates to the Democratic National Convention Saturday that the Republican candidates for president and vice president are "wolves in sheep's clothing" who could neutralize voters who normally vote Democratic.

The veteran civil rights activist and two-time Democratic presidential candidate showed up at a meeting of the Democratic National Convention's Rules Committee to offer his words of caution.

"There was a song we used to sing," Mr. Jackson said of his work in the civil rights movement. "Keep your eyes on the prize."

Democrats, he said, are up against "masters of deceit and diversion" this year.

"They are wolves in sheep's clothing," he said referring to the message of inclusion at the recent Republican National Convention.

"We didn't see Trent Lott, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Dick Armey," said Mr. Jackson, referring to Republican members of Congress. He is scheduled to speak to the full convention tomorrow night.

For the Gipper

As President Clinton prepares his farewell address to the Democratic convention tonight, he has looked across the political aisle for inspiration former President Ronald Reagan.

White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said Mr. Clinton has studied Mr. Reagan's speech to the 1988 Republican convention for clues as to how he might handle the rhetorical transition to Vice President Al Gore, who is running to succeed him.

"He looked at it as the most recent example of a second-term president whose vice president was running to succeed him," Mr. Lockhart told Reuters.

He downplayed the influence Mr. Reagan would have on the president's speech, which is expected to be his last major political speech before a wide audience. "He knows what he wants to say and he's known it for quite some time, and he's had eight years to figure it out."

Mr. Clinton is expected in his speech to review accomplishments of the last eight years, outline differences between the parties and make an enthusiastic case for Mr. Gore's election.

In 1988, Mr. Reagan was passing the torch to Vice President George Bush, father of this year's Republican nominee, Gov. George W. Bush of Texas.

In his speech, rapturously received by the party convention in New Orleans, Mr. Reagan echoed a line from his 1940 film, "Knut Rockne: All American."

"George, a personal request. Go out there and win one for the Gipper," he said.

The media

Most of the media coming to Los Angeles "should wear delegate badges rather than press passes," writes Jerry Nachman, executive producer of ABC's "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher" and a former newspaper and television newsman.

"What's not new is that most news people are Democrats, even liberals… . What is new is that newsies no longer try to keep their politics personal," Mr. Nachman said in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

'Dissident element'

Reform Party presidential nominee Pat Buchanan says he is scheduled to be on the ballot in all 50 states in the November general election. But he acknowledges he may be the nominee of a different party in New York.

"Our danger … is that someone, some dissident element, will try to disaffiliate from the party and take our name off where it's already on, but we are currently scheduled for all 50," Mr. Buchanan said yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Asked by show host Tim Russert if he will be on the ballot in New York, Mr. Buchanan said, "Yes, I think we're going to get the Right to Life nomination, and we have people who are running out now getting signatures to get me on as an independent."

He added: "My guess is the so-called Reform Party up there, which is the Independence Party, may disaffiliate. It's led by Lenora Fulani right now, who is with Mr. [John] Hagelin. But we've got insurance policies in state after state against this."

"So the New York state Right to Life Party is going to endorse Pat Buchanan?" Mr. Russert asked.

"I don't know. We have a fighting chance to win," the former Republican presidential candidate replied.

Democratic critic

Rep. Ken Lucas, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, said Saturday he has decided not to go to Los Angeles as a delegate to this week's Democratic National Convention and vote against Al Gore for president.

Mr. Lucas, a Kentucky delegate, told Reuters he would abstain from voting for the Al Gore-Joseph I. Lieberman Democratic ticket because he took issue with their positions in favor of abortion rights and gun control, and against the tobacco industry.

Mr. Lucas, 66, said he will stay home rather than register his dissent to the ticket at the convention.

"Personally, I like Al Gore and I think he made an excellent choice in Joe Lieberman as his running mate, but these are issues I feel very strongly about," Mr. Lucas told Reuters. "I am very comfortable in the Democratic Party, but I will not go against my conscience and be a blind partisan."

Mr. Lucas, Kentucky's only Democratic congressman, said he still intends to run as a Democrat in November for his second term in Congress, but has not decided whether he will support the Democratic ticket then.

Clinton ducks

President Clinton canceled a round of television interviews Saturday after concerns were raised from Al Gore's campaign that the president's five-day pre-convention schedule in Los Angeles threatened to overshadow the Democratic nominee's message, Cox News Service reports.

The president instead played golf with Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic convention chairman, before attending a fund-raiser with a cast of Hollywood celebrities that was expected to yield $1 million for his wife's Senate campaign.

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