- The Washington Times - Monday, August 7, 2000

Deceptive buzz words

"No Republican strategist was so naive as to believe minority voters would be taken in by the show in Philadelphia or by the campaign's photo ops at ghetto schools. But the smart-money punditry that this was all aimed at moderate Republicans and independents makes even less sense; they are the nation's most politically savvy and educated voters and can see through the illusion of an aristocratic walk through the barrios," writes Orlando Patterson, a professor of sociology at Harvard.

"Yet the strategy is working. Mr. Bush leads in all national polls. Why? Perhaps because the swing voters sense that Mr. Gore is playing a similar game on the left. The Democrats are certainly more inclusive demographically and favor policies that more directly meet the immediate needs of underprivileged minorities. What is disturbing about Mr. Gore's campaign is that he has yielded to the established minority leadership (like the Congressional Black Caucus and some minority mayors), which is now committed to a conception of inclusiveness that eschews genuine social and cultural integration," Mr. Patterson said in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

" 'Ethnic diversity' and 'cultural pluralism' are the buzz words of deception on this side of the spectrum. Certainly on college campuses, diversity no longer means genuine cultural exchange, but the promotion of differences; in politics, the protection of ethnic turfs is at stake. While most African-Americans and the middle classes generally still say they favor integration, some prominent black political leaders have given up on this strategy. The [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] even had an internal debate over continued support for the ideal of integration.

"I consider this development a disaster, for the simple sociological truth is that the main source of the problems among black Americans is their isolation from the overarching capitalist culture that their leaders misleadingly identify with white society."

McCain and Robertson

Pat Robertson, the founder and chairman of the Christian Coalition, has apologized to Sen. John McCain for the their harsh exchange earlier this year during the Republican presidential primaries.

Tim Russert, host of "Meet the Press," read a portion of Mr. Robertson's letter of apology on the NBC program yesterday:

"During the primary season and subsequently, we have exchanged harsh words. However, at this time, I ask that you would please forgive me for anything I have said against you, even as I forgive you for that which has been said against me."

Mr. Russert than asked the Arizona Republican: "Will you accept Reverend Robertson's apology and will you offer one of your own?"

Mr. McCain replied: "I will accept his apology. I would more importantly ask him to apologize to Warren Rudman, who he called a vicious bigot, a good and decent man. I'd like to see that apology extended to him.

"Second of all, I don't I'd be glad to ask him to, quote, forgive if I somehow offended him, but that does not detract or change in any way my view that Pat Robertson was leading the Republican Party in a path of exclusionism, in a path of division, rather than addition. And that was directly contrary to my view of what the Republican Party should be all about one of inclusion, one of tolerance."

Mr. Russert then asked, "You don't think you owe him an apology?"

"If I said something personally about him, then I'd be glad to apologize," Mr. McCain replied, "but I will not change my view that he was leading our party in the wrong direction and is not the influence on our party that I wanted to have, which is one which is an inclusionary party and one that, frankly, is doing what Governor Bush is doing now."

Zhu stays neutral

Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji thinks both major U.S. political parties are wrong in their approach to China and doesn't care who wins this year's presidential election, a U.S. senator who met with the premier says.

Mr. Zhu said the election "basically doesn't make any difference," because the Republican and Democratic Party platforms are essentially the same on relations with China, Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed said Mr. Zhu told him.

"His words were: 'It doesn't matter. I've read both platforms and they're not good,' " Mr. Reed, who met with Mr. Zhu on Friday morning at the seaside resort of Beidaihe, told journalists late Saturday.

Mr. Zhu's comments appear to reflect the Chinese leadership's ambivalence over President Clinton's efforts to engage them and frustration at being a perennial target in U.S. presidential campaigns, the Associated Press reports.

Beijing lashed out last week at language in the Republican Party's campaign platform accusing China of stealing U.S. nuclear secrets and threatening U.S. security.

Mr. Zhu "went off like a rocket" on the issue of Taiwan, throwing off his pragmatic demeanor to issue a furious personal attack on Taiwan's new President Chen Shui-bian, Mr. Reed said.

A 'disgusting city'

Democrats appear to have been caught criticizing one of their own when party officials last week charged that Houston which is run by a Democratic mayor is filthy with pollution, Cox News Service reports.

In Friday's editions of The Washington Times, Democrat spokeswoman Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi said: "We need to start letting people know, for example, that Houston is a filthy, smoggy, disgusting city." Houston's mayor, Lee Brown, however, is a Democrat. Democrats have repeatedly criticized Mr. Bush's environmental record as governor of Texas.

Said Jim Nicholson, chairman of the Republican National Committee: "This is more 'slaughterhouse' rhetoric from the Gore campaign. It's hard to believe they are so desperate that they'd level an attack that hurts one of their own party leaders." The Houston mayor had no comment.

Talking about himself

Karen Hughes, one of George W. Bush's closest advisers, was asked yesterday about the presidential candidate's assertion that he was not referring to President Clinton when he promised to restore honor and dignity in the White House.

"I think it is a fair question to ask well, who was he talking about?" said Bob Schieffer, host of CBS' "Face the Nation."

"He was talking about himself, Bob. He was talking about a pledge that he is making to the American people to uphold the honor and the dignity of that high office," Mrs. Hughes replied.

"And, Bob, as you know, I travel with Governor Bush on the campaign trail, and as Mrs. Bush talked about in her convention speech, we see it all the time, every day on the rope lines Americans come up to the governor, they hand him pictures of their children and their grandchildren, and they tell him, 'We're counting on you we want you to uphold the dignity and the honor of that office.' That is a big issue in this election. We hope that Vice President Gore will make the same pledge to uphold the dignity and the honor of the office. Americans want a leader in the White House they can trust. And I think that is a fundamental issue in this election."

An 'electric feeling'

Tennessee Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. will be a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention next week in Los Angeles, Al Gore's campaign announced Friday.

Mr. Ford, 30, the youngest member of Congress, said Friday that an "electric feeling" went through his body when Mr. Gore phoned to ask him to give a 15-minute speech. "He knows Al Gore. He's from Tennessee. He's an excellent speaker," Gore campaign spokesman Jano Cabrera said.

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