- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 10, 2000

While the nation has focused on the political and demographic arcania of Florida's' counties (and county courtrooms), life, as they say, has moved on. And that includes Bill Clinton's new life as a supporting player outside the spotlight.

With his final White House Christmas tree lit and his resume plumped up by two presidential terms, Mr. Clinton now weighs his employment opportunities. Should he run for mayor of New York City, as is being speculated in the Big Apple? Should he become chancellor of Oxford? Britain's Daily Express calls him the "favorite" for the gown-and-mortar-boarded gig, with supporters saying Mr. Clinton "would 'do wonders' for university fund-raising."

No doubt Mr. Clinton would do for Oxford teas what he once did for White House coffees, but there are those who, churlish things, remain appalled by the president's less than sterling reputation. Then there's the fact that Mr. Clinton never actually received an Oxford degree. "I doubt he will have enough academic weight to carry any [university] election," said one university fellow who has clearly never heard of James Carville (lucky chap). Of course, the president could always decide to complete his studies at the prestigious university, perhaps choosing to bone up on the definitive meaning of "is." As one Democratic Party insider put it, "As long as a job like that didn't interfere with his ability to make money, then he'd probably go for it." Rather.

Of course, crass as it may seem, Mr. Clinton does have to consider the cruel realities of money, what with all those millions of dollars in legal bills he and his wife owe around town. Then there's the Chappaqua house mortgage, not to mention Chelsea's Stanford tuition. At least if Mr. Clinton became mayor of New York City, the family could ditch the Westchester County home already rumored to be on the market and live free in Gracie Mansion, the mayor's residence on the Upper East side of Manhattan. Indeed, there's talk that Mr. Clinton may have already rented office space in midtown Manhattan. Being mayor wouldn't be such a bad job, really, especially considering the latest reports that Mr. Clinton "is already in the swing of the New York restaurant world."

It's true. Just last week, the New York Post's Page Six reports, the leader of the free world personally telephoned "Rao's owner Frank Pellegrino to get Hillary a table at the clubby East Harlem eatery. According to spies, an unimpressed Mr. Pellegrino said, 'I'll see what I can do.' " After Mr. Pellegrino came through with a booth for Senator-elect Clinton and Rep. Charlie Rangel "which in Rao's," according to the city tabloid, "is like going to heaven" Mr. Clinton "called back the next night to express his thanks."

Now, there's a man who wasn't elected president twice for nothing. But scary thought can velvet ropes and club-crawling be far behind?

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