- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Courtship ritual

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has built a long record of racial demagoguery, says Vice President Al Gore must show "respect" for blacks by holding at least one debate in front of an all-black audience, the New York Post reports.

"Both candidates quickly endorsed the idea," the newspaper said.

Mr. Bradley paid his respects to Mr. Sharpton in a visit to Harlem last year. Mr. Sharpton now waits for the vice president to do the same.

Said Mr. Sharpton: "You don't expect to marry before courting, and so far we've only been dated by Senator Bradley."

Hillary's song

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani criticized Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday over a song that was played just before Mrs. Clinton came on stage at the official announcement Sunday of her U.S. Senate candidacy.

At issue, the mayor said, was the song "Captain Jack," by Billy Joel, which contains the line "Captain Jack will get you high tonight" and refers to pornography and sex.

"I think it's a very, very dangerous message," Mr. Giuliani said at a news conference in New York City. "I think it's one they should take very seriously."

The song's other lyrics include these lines:

"Your sister's gone out, she's on a date/

And you just sit at home and masturbate …"

"So you go to the village in your tie-dye jeans/

And you stare at the junkies and the closet queens/

It's like some pornographic magazine. And you smile …"

"So you play your albums and you smoke your pot/

And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot."

In her Sunday speech, the first lady said she had heard concerns from parents about "the media's influence on their children" and the means to protect them.

Howard Wolfson, a campaign spokesman for the first lady, said Mr. Giuliani was doing "what candidates do when they have nothing positive to offer the voters."

"The campaign had nothing to do with the playing of this song and would not have chosen it," he said.

Mr. Giuliani doubted that claim.

"This was a very, very orchestrated and scripted event," he said yesterday. "The message that got out by mistake was, 'Let's say yes to drugs.' "

McCain gains in Calif.

Presidential candidate John McCain has cut national front-runner George W. Bush's lead among California Republicans in half, according to a poll released yesterday.

Less than three weeks ago, the Texas governor led Mr. McCain by 40 percentage points in the Field Poll. The survey released yesterday shows Mr. Bush ahead 46 percent to 27 percent. Republicans Alan Keyes and Steve Forbes drew 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

The survey was conducted just after Mr. McCain's decisive victory last Tuesday over Mr. Bush in the New Hampshire primary.

It also shows Mr. McCain in a statistical tie with Vice President Al Gore in a potential general election matchup in California, and comfortably ahead of Mr. Gore's Democratic rival, Bill Bradley.

Demonizer-in-chief

President Clinton's remarks at last week's annual prayer breakfast with congressional leaders astonished Jonah Goldberg, editor of National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

"We slip from honest difference, which is healthy, into dishonest demonization," Mr. Clinton lamented.

Said Mr. Goldberg: "OK, I don't want to dwell on this, but it does bear repeating that the president is the one who honed this practice to a fine art. He orchestrated his party's campaign to portray Republicans as responsible for [fictitious] black church burnings. He encouraged the notion that the Oklahoma City bombing was the result of Gingrich & Co.'s anti-government rhetoric.

"President Clinton accused Republican Senators of overt racism for voting down a black liberal judge even though most of the senators didn't even know he was black. Within a matter of weeks of that accusation he accused the same Republican senators of deliberately and knowingly risking nuclear Armageddon out of petty spite.

"As a matter of policy, to this day, he allows his party to explain away the campaign finance scandals as a sad episode of anti-Asian bigotry on the part of Republicans. He sanctioned, encouraged, and tricked Sid Blumenthal to suggest that Monica Lewinsky was delusional."

More whoppers

"The McLaughlin Group" over the weekend looked at Bill Bradley's attacks on Al Gore for lying, the Media Research Center reports.

"Panelist Lawrence O'Donnell offered up his own example of a Gore lie, recalling how in Time magazine last October Gore took credit for creating the Earned Income Tax Credit though it was created by Sen. Russell Long before Gore entered Congress. Tony Blankley pointed out how Gore claimed he was a co-sponsor of McCain-Feingold[a campaign finance reform bill], but he had left the Senate before the bill was proposed."

Another tax foe

Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., Oklahoma Republican, jumped on a New York Times interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton in which the first lady complained about property taxes.

"And, sounding very much like a new Westchester homeowner suffering from a case of property-tax sticker shock, Mrs. Clinton said she was stunned to discover the tax burden faced by state residents," the newspaper reported Sunday.

Mr. Watts responded in a press release: "It's not surprising that the first lady was stunned by the high tax rates. Now that she has finally tasted the reality of the tax burden that hard-working Americans have to pay, I hope she will work with Republicans to give couples relief from the reckless Marriage Tax. I call on the first lady to convince the extreme left faction of the House Democrats that the Marriage Tax is wrong, unfair and should be scrapped."

Civility in Missouri

On a chilly November evening, Missouri's leading contenders for the U.S. Senate rose from their tables at a Chamber of Commerce dinner and made their way toward one another. They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.

The mannerly encounter between Republican Sen. John Ashcroft and Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan contrasted mightily with the reality of a race that, for sheer hostility, has at times rivaled the New York brawl between Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The two camps have been relatively civil since the handshake they even signed a "Framework of Civility" last week but few people expect a lasting truce, the Associated Press reports.

After all, animosity between the men goes back more than a decade when, as governor, Mr. Ashcroft went to court to ensure Mr. Carnahan then the lieutenant governor could not become acting governor when Mr. Ashcroft took trips outside Missouri.

Hungry for votes

Republican presidential hopeful Steve Forbes apparently believes the way to a voter's heart is through his stomach.

Campaigning on the outskirts of Bridgeville, Del., on Saturday, Mr. Forbes made a promise about scrapple, a popular breakfast treat in that state as well as in Pennsylvania.

"I'll serve it at the inauguration," Mr. Forbes said.

The Delaware State News, which reported the unusual campaign pledge, said Mr. Forbes focused the rest of his remarks on more national issues.

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