- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2000

Neo-Orwellianism

"In his novel '1984,' George Orwell wrote the formula for would-be thought dictators: 'Who controls the past controls the future.' By that reckoning, Steven Spielberg's new movie, 'The Unfinished Journey,' which premiered Friday night as part of 'America's Millennium Gala,' ranks as a minor classic of neo-Orwellianism," writes syndicated columnist James Pinkerton.
"Just as Orwell's 'Ministry of Truth' propagandized on behalf of Big Brother, so Spielberg's 18-minute film was yoked to the political ambitions of Big Sister Hillary Rodham Clinton. And American history was indeed double-thinked by the Washington-Hollywood axis."
Mr. Pinkerton added: "All one really needed to know about Spielberg's 'Journey' came in the first few seconds, as the image of Abraham Lincoln morphed into Bill Clinton, who recited the words from the 16th president's 'with malice toward none' Second Inaugural address."

No role model

When it comes to presidential role models, Vice President Al Gore points to Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson but not Bill Clinton.
On the day Mr. Clinton was impeached, Mr. Gore predicted that his two-time running mate would go down in history as one of the nation's "greatest presidents."
Yet Mr. Gore made no mention of Mr. Clinton this week when discussing what type of leadership qualities he would seek to take to the Oval Office if elected the nation's next president.
Instead, Mr. Gore saluted Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kennedy, all Democrats, for simultaneously addressing a variety of national priorities from fighting poverty to advancing civil rights to pushing to put a man on the moon.
"They knew that we had to proceed on all the great unfinished business of our society," Mr. Gore told a gathering of several people at West High School in Davenport, Iowa, on Monday.
In doing so, Mr. Gore seemed to distance himself from Mr. Clinton. And he also tweaked Bill Bradley, his only challenger for 2000 Democratic presidential nomination, for picking a Republican role model, Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Bradley has said he likes the fact that Mr. Reagan focused on trying to implement a few overarching goals.
Said Mr. Gore: "I have different models for the presidency, leaders like Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson leaders who did not believe that America could only do one or two things."

Poll-driven

Why did the Clintons have housing Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo take federal funds away from New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani? It's the polls, stupid.
Or at least that is what Dick Morris thinks, and Mr. Morris knows both Clintons very well from his days as their political guru.
The latest Marist Poll shows Hillary Rodham Clinton's lead in New York City has sagged from 40 percentage points to 26 in a matchup with Mr. Giuliani for a U.S. Senate seat.
"No doubt it's when she saw these numbers that Hillary pivoted from her focus on upstate and decided to take the mayor in his own back yard. When Hillary says she doesn't pay attention to polls, chalk it up to the same category as her Pinnochio president-husband's denials of sex," Mr. Morris writes in the New York Post.
"The Clintons' New York City offense is truly unprecedented. Together, they have mobilized the full resources of the federal government in a carrot-and-stick approach to America's largest city. Acting through their puppet Andrew Cuomo, they virtually federalize city government by taking over homeless funding on the slender pretext that the mayor downgraded one of the dozens of homeless-aid groups. From now on, we are New York, D.C., America's second federal city."

The race card

Donna Brazile, campaign manager for Vice President Al Gore, continues to play the race card, taking digs at Colin Powell and Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. as well as the entire Republican Party.
"Al Gore and Bill Clinton have worked hard for the last seven years to improve the lives of African Americans and Hispanics," Miss Brazile said in an interview with Paul Alexander of Bloomberg.com.
"We now discuss race in terms of how to give people the opportunity of all Americans," she said. "On the other hand, the Republicans bring out Colin Powell and J.C. Watts because they have no program, no policy. They play that game because they have no other game. They have no love and no joy. They'd rather take pictures with black children than feed them."

Hastert's candidate

In an unusual step for a party leader, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert publicly endorsed Illinois state Rep. Bill Brady in his primary race against three other Republicans hoping to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Tom Ewing.
Mr. Hastert's announcement yesterday came as his party is eager to hold on to every district it can especially in the Illinois Republican's own back yard in order to maintain its narrow majority in the House.
But it also meant the speaker decided against the candidacy of Mr. Ewing's son, whom Mr. Ewing supports as his replacement, the Associated Press reports.
Even before Mr. Hastert's public endorsement, the fund-raising help he and his staff had been giving to Mr. Brady behind the scenes already had become a source of friction between Mr. Ewing and Mr. Hastert, who are longtime friends. Mr. Hastert headlined fund-raisers for Mr. Brady on Tuesday as well.
Mr. Hastert took the rare step of inserting himself into a primary race because of fears that Democrats might have a chance at the traditionally Republican district if the strongest Republican candidate fails to win in the March primary. Either of the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination is expected to give the Republican nominee a tough race.

McCain's stand

Republican presidential candidate John McCain hopes to reap some votes with his outspoken stance against Internet taxes.
The Arizona Republican yesterday said he will make the Internet tax moratorium a key issue in his campaign for the White House, including a series of newspaper advertisements and Internet banner ads on the issue beginning this week.
"The Internet continues to be the greatest engine of economic growth in America today and I will not have it strangled with new taxes," Mr. McCain said.

Lack of trust

Actress Annette Bening, wife of Warren Beatty and like her husband an ardent Democrat, has less than complete confidence in the nation's first couple.

"You just don't trust them," Miss Bening was quoted as saying in the latest issue of the magazine Vanity Fair.

But the heroine of "American Beauty" has particularly harsh words for Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is angling for a Senate seat representing New York.

"I saw how politically deft she was, and I was not completely seduced by that," Miss Bening said.

"She always appears to be doing what's politically expedient in the most transparent way."

The actress cited the clemency granted in September by President Clinton to Puerto Ricans convicted of being part of a terrorist group in the 1970s and 1980s.

Miss Bening reproached Mrs. Clinton for saying she hadn't spoken to her husband about the decision.

"That was an example to me of just how you feel like there's prevaricating, there's lying. You just don't trust them," she said.

Give peace a chance

Jay Leno of NBC's "Tonight Show" relays the latest Beltway rumor: "According to the Drudge Report, at the Clintons' New Year's Eve party at the White House, a Secret Service agent caught three people having sex together in a White House bathroom. Now, when Clinton said he was bringing Syria and Israel together I had no idea."

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