- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 19, 2000

The generic favorite

A second "generic" poll shows that Republicans have moved ahead of Democrats in the upcoming congressional elections.
"If the year 2000 congressional elections were held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate in your district or the Democratic candidate in your district?" Fox News and Opinion Dynamics asked in a poll taken last Wednesday and Thursday.
The results: Republicans lead by 6 percentage points, 42 percent to 36 percent, with the rest undecided.
A Yankelovich survey, done for CNN and Time on Jan. 6, found a Republican advantage of 5 percentage points.

ADA split

Americans for Democratic Action could not decide on a presidential endorsement "the first time in memory" the liberal group has faced such a quandary.
The organization's national board of directors, in a prepared statement, made it clear that no Republican was in the running; rather, the board was split between Democrats Al Gore and Bill Bradley.
"This is the first time in memory that ADA has not made an early primary endorsement," the organization said.

Helms to address U.N.

Sen. Jesse Helms, one of the most vocal critics of the United Nations, will give an unprecedented speech to U.N. Security Council members tomorrow, Reuters news agency reports.
Mr. Helms, a North Carolina Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, plans to discuss the future of U.S.-U.N. relations and meet Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
He also will hold committee hearings in New York, outside of the United Nations, on implementing U.N. reforms tied to paying the bulk of Washington's outstanding debt to the world body.
Mr. Helms' Security Council address, the first by a U.S. legislator, will be public, said a spokesman for U.N. Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, who organized the session but had earlier said the speech would be private.

McCain's pledge

Arizona Sen. John McCain signed a pledge not to tax Internet sales yesterday, saying "we should not harm this baby in the cradle," and challenged presidential rival George W. Bush to take the same stand.
Mr. Bush declined and advised New Hampshire voters to take a look at Mr. McCain's tax plan, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Bush said he favored continuing a moratorium on electronic-commerce taxes but wanted to know "what the world looks like" after three to five years before making a long-term decision.

McCain's problem

Sen. John McCain has filed insufficient petitions in more than half of New York's 31 congressional districts in his attempt to qualify for the March 7 presidential primary ballot, supporters of Texas Gov. George W. Bush asserted yesterday.
Jeffrey Buley, a lawyer working at the direction of state GOP Chairman William Powers, said specific challenges would be filed to Mr. McCain's petitions in 16 to 18 of the state's 31 congressional districts.
Should the state Board of Elections and the courts uphold the challenges, Mr. McCain could lack convention delegate slates in more than half the state.
The McCain camp indicated it would fight, the Associated Press reports.
"I am a credible candidate," the senator from Arizona said in New Hampshire yesterday. "Everyone knows that I have a right to be on the ballot in New York."
Mr. McCain's New York campaign manager, Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari, said, "We intend to defend our petitions … and then we'll take them on in the streets."
Lee Daghlian, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections, said a hearing on the challenges to the McCain petitions would probably be held early next week.

Gay group airs ad

A national homosexual rights group is airing a television ad that criticizes Republicans who oppose allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military.
The Human Rights Campaign apparently hopes to make it a major issue in this fall's presidential campaign.
The ad, unveiled yesterday, responds to a campaign by the Republican National Committee that pummels Vice President Al Gore for insisting he would not appoint members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who disagree with him on open homosexuals in the military. Mr. Gore later backed away from that litmus test, saying the military would follow his orders.
"The Republican presidential candidates are so busy fighting about who can and cannot serve in the military, they may have forgotten the values we actually fight for," says the Washington-based homosexual advocacy group's 30-second ad.
The group is spending $30,000 to air the ad over five days in Iowa beginning yesterday and four days in New Hampshire starting today, the Associated Press reports.

A squandered term

"Despite his triumph in 1996, Bill Clinton is a one-term president," writes Dick Morris, the political consultant who taught Mr. Clinton how to triangulate.
"After a vigorous first term and an auspicious start to his second one, he has let the presidency get away from him," Mr. Morris said in his New York Post column.
"When he leaves office, ex-President Clinton will likely feel a deep personal regret that he squandered his last 3 and 1/2 years in office. The manifold domestic achievements of his first term will suffice to win him a generous second look from historians. But they cannot fail to note that his effectiveness ended in the spring of 1997 when he got a budget deal, after only 4 and 1/2 years of his allotted eight had elapsed."
Mr. Morris added: "Now the sole remaining purposes of the Clinton presidency are to get Hillary and Al elected. The White House has become a Senate campaign headquarters and federal policy is geared toward no end other than Hillary's election."

Standing by her man

Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed yesterday to "spend the rest of my life" with President Clinton, whose affair with a White House intern started the train of events that led to last year's impeachment and Senate trial.
"I have been with my husband for more than half my life. We've been together this will be our 25th year of marriage and we have so much between us and so many shared experiences and a lot of love in our family, and I certainly intend to spend the rest of my life with him," Mrs. Clinton told Buffalo television station WKBW in an interview.
The first lady, who is preparing to run for the Senate from New York, commented after being told people were saying that "when Bill leaves the White House, she's going to leave him."
Mrs. Clinton appeared momentarily taken aback by the comment, but then quickly answered.
Since the president's affair with Monica Lewinsky, Mrs. Clinton has faced questions about the state of her marriage. She usually brushes them aside, although she has said in the past that they are a couple who still love each other.

Another wrestler

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair says he wants to follow the lead of fellow wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura, now Minnesota's governor, and run for North Carolina's top office.
Mr. Flair, 50, said Monday on the "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" TV show that he was interested in the job, possibly as an independent candidate.
"I'm putting together a team, and I'm going to take a shot at it," Mr. Flair said after the show. "I think the political system is open to a lot of opportunities right now."
The platinum-maned Mr. Flair, part of the World Championship Wrestling circuit, has played heroes and villains in the ring, always with elaborate robes, sporting rhinestones and peacock feathers.

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