- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 6, 2000

NOW is the time

What's this? Even a feminist goddess acknowledges the inevitable?
"I hate to start out agreeing," National Organization for Women President Patricia Ireland told the Fox News Channel, "But I think we may be talking about the second Presidential Bush."

Mrs. Senator

Here's a new title that emerged yesterday in the media: "New York Democrat Sen.-elect first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Late yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Clinton appeared at the Capitol with Sen.-elect John Corzine, New Jersey Democrat. She described her impressions of her first day on the Hill.
"And I was just thinking, you know, I hadn't spent much time in this building since 1974 when I worked for the Congress and 1968 when I was an intern," Mrs. Clinton recalled.
Mrs. Clinton wants to be "a workhorse, not a showhorse," Mr. Corzine later observed.

Mr. Hillary

The New York Post claims that President Clinton has leased a swank office at 599 Lexington Ave. Other New York papers claim that the Clintons' colonial roost in Chappaqua is on the market. The White House says no.
"That is not true at all. I've checked that out with the president. He loves the house in Chappaqua," spokesman Jake Siewert said yesterday.
"They're still in the process of fixing it up and making it perfect. And as any homeowner knows, that's an endless process. So they have no plans to sell the place."
Mr. Clinton may be getting domestic as well.
"He's looking forward to heading out into the private sector and earning a living and supporting, as he said, the new senator in the family," Mr. Seiwert said.

Taking aim

Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat, made it official yesterday. He plans to introduce legislation in January to "close the gun-show loophole" by requiring mandatory background checks at future shows.
"This legislation would shut the door on Tupperware parties for criminals," said Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center.
"Gun shows will no longer be a place to buy guns with no questions asked. Senator Reed will continue the fight begun by Senator [Frank] Lautenberg [New Jersey Democrat] to keep guns out of the hands of kids, criminals, and the mentally ill," she added.

Sauls mauls

Florida Judge N. Sanford Sauls put one of the final bites on Al Gore's presidential campaign with sharp teeth indeed.
"I kind of viewed Sanders Sauls as a kind of gator, a Florida gator with his eyes just above the waterline," Newsweek's Howard Fineman told MSNBC.
"And he opened up his jaws and snapped them right on Al Gore's campaign… . He even went beyond what I think even the Bush people could have expected in their wildest dreams."

Schism-ism

"Whatever the outcome of the litigations in Florida, the deeper problem is that a spirit of inflamed partisanship is revealing fault lines throughout our society," wrote former federal appeals Judge Robert H. Bork in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
"An open and unashamed win-at-all costs mentality has been let loose upon the land, due initially to Bill Clinton but now practiced, if possible, even more blatantly by his acolyte Al Gore. As the old unspoken restraints fail, we inevitably turn to courts to repair what has been broken. But that tactic will ultimately fail and will damage the judiciary in the process."

Watch the clock

To prevent another election eve debacle in the media, nine lawmakers have proposed legislation that would force voting to end at the same hour in federal elections.
They hope it will prevent news organizations from calling the winner of a presidential contest and influencing voters.
"Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been concerned about the fact that the news media frequently projects a particular presidential candidate to be the victor in key battleground states before all the polls have closed nationally," said Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat.
"Standardizing poll closing times for presidential elections would reduce the likelihood," he added.
The bill would require all polls to close at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The measure would extend daylight-saving time for two weeks in the Pacific time zone so that polls in the region would close at 7 p.m. local time, rather than 6 p.m.

Seuss on the loose

Two Massachusetts Democrats want $400,000 to build a memorial to the Cat in the Hat or his creator, at least.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Rep. Richard E. Neal tucked the sum into a HUD appropriations bill, due to be voted on this week. It would go toward a memorial in Springfield, Mass., for Theodor Geisel, or "Dr. Seuss."
The author's widow has already contributed $1 million to the cause.
Nevertheless, the Libertarian Party is not is not pleased, saying the cat fund is pure pork.
"We do not like it, Pork-I-am. This spendaholic, Uncle Ham," the party noted in a rather Seuss-ian statement.
"We do not like it on the Hill, when stuck into HUD's spending bill. It shouldn't pass. We bet it will," the statement concluded.

Very candid camera

While a half-dozen journalists are already crowing about their six-figure book deals about the election impasse, one small film company has beaten them to the story.
A nine-minute short film called "Ballot Counters" was shot in California on Nov. 12 by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Kirk Bowman. The plot revolves around a beleaguered Florida ballot counter who goes on vacation with her purse accidentally full of Florida ballots.
The film debuted yesterday on an alternative film Web site (www.undergroundfilm.com).
It is "is clearly a case of art not just imitating but poking fun at life," said spokesman Adrien Glover.

Torch song

Eight Senate Democrats including Sen.-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton saluted their big-money donors last night at a fancy hotel reception downtown. The donors raised $85 million in campaign contributions to help Democrats reach 50-50 parity with Republicans when the 107th Congress convenes next month, the Associated Press reports.
Sen. Robert G. Torricelli of New Jersey, the outgoing chairman of the campaign committee, said the defeat of four incumbent Republicans William V. Roth Jr. of Delaware, Slade Gorton of Washington, John Ashcroft of Missouri and Spencer Abraham of Michigan was a better showing by Democrats than the last four election cycles combined.
"We can't thank you enough for doing what you did for us," Sen. Patty Murray of Washington told the donors, who had to contribute at least $50,000 to the cause. She hopes to succeed Mr. Torricelli at the helm of the committee.

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