- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 6, 2000

Prime pickings

House Republicans leaders feel somewhat relieved to learn that Rep. Owen B. Pickett, Virginia Democrat, has decided not to seek re-election.
The Republicans hold only a five-seat majority, so any possible gains could be crucial in keeping control next year. And Mr. Pickett's 2nd Congressional District seat apparently is considered prime pickings.
"With Owen Pickett out of the race and our Republican candidate, state Sen. Ed Shrock, well-positioned to run a strong campaign in what was an already competitive congressional race, this district carries a distinct Republican advantage," said Virginia Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Weld moves to Gotham

Former Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld moved to New York City yesterday with his sights set on someday becoming only the second American to be elected governor of two states.
Before he had even carried his suitcase into his Upper East Side apartment, Mr. Weld was chatting about his roots in Smithtown, Long Island, and his vacation homes in the Adirondacks, the Associated Press reports.
The Republican's not-so-subtle message: He's no carpetbagger, unlike Hillary Rodham Clinton, who also moved to New York state yesterday.
Mrs. Clinton who became friends with Mr. Weld when they were both young lawyers working on the Watergate hearings is running for Senate from her new home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
Mr. Weld, 54, cannot run for governor until he satisfies New York's five-year residency requirement for the post. And he said he would not challenge his two New York pals Gov. George E. Pataki or New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who hired him as a federal prosecutor in 1981 if either one ran for governor in 2006.
But if he did run, "I'd be hard to stop," Mr. Weld said in a telephone interview from his Manhattan law office.
These days, he said, he is fully engaged as managing partner at McDermott, Will & Emery's New York office, where he has been busy buying and selling companies.
"I'm enjoying that," he said. "I've got a reasonably steep learning curve."
Should Mr. Weld succeed, he would join Sam Houston as the only two-state governor in history. Houston was governor of Tennessee from 1827 to 1829 and Texas from 1859 to 1861.

Baby-sitting woes

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Jane Swift has twice relied on staff aides to help her move and has repeatedly asked them to baby-sit her 14-month-old daughter, according to yesterday's Boston Globe.
The Globe said she has also called on them to run errands, such as picking up her dry cleaning.
Mrs. Swift, a Republican, confirmed for the Globe that she had asked two staff members to help her move and baby-sit her daughter. They baby-sat the child during workdays and sometimes at home.
"They were people I knew before I was in the lieutenant governor's office," Mrs. Swift said, "and we made sure that it wasn't on any state time, and I'm grateful for their help."
Mrs. Swift's husband, Chuck Hunt, is a stay-at-home father and he typically takes care of the baby during the day.
But Swift spokeswoman Shawn Feddeman said that sometimes the baby comes to the office when the two have a "child care crisis," when, for example, Mr. Hunt has another obligation and the couple cannot find a baby sitter.
The Globe reported that some members of Mrs. Swift's staff did not mind helping at first but increasingly complained they were feeling pressure to perform personal tasks for her.

Campaign in 'disarray'

In a startling shake-up just two months before the March 7 primary, the head of Vice President Al Gore's California campaign team has abruptly resigned to return to a post with the state Democratic Party, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Gore campaign officials downplayed the reorganization, saying it will not affect their aggressive new strategy in California. But some political insiders suggested that the resignation of the campaign's director reflects mounting disarray in the vice president's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Kathy Bowler, California director of Mr. Gore's presidential campaign, will be replaced by Gore insider Sky Gallegos, according to Donna Brazile, Mr. Gore's national campaign manager.
The news of Miss Bowler's Dec. 31 resignation, which the campaign did not publicly announce, revived speculation of problems within the campaign.
"The campaign in California is in disarray… . It's no reflection on [Miss Bowler]," said one longtime Democratic party insider. "It's a reflection of the lack of importance that the Gore campaign has put on an organizational structure in California."
Miss Bowler is expected to return to her former position as executive director of the California Democratic Party, sources said.

Priest questioned

New York City Cardinal John J. O'Connor has asked an Irish priest to justify his support for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Cardinal O'Connor questioned how the Rev. Sean McManus, head of the Irish National Caucus Political Action Committee, could support a candidate who is pro-abortion.
"I would be grateful to learn your reasoning for supporting a candidate who so openly opposes the fundamental Church teaching on human life," the cardinal wrote Father McManus in a letter dated Aug. 17.
Mrs. Clinton's likely opponent, New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, also favors an unrestricted right to an abortion at any time right up to birth.
Father McManus wrote back to the cardinal that the Irish PAC "applies one and only one criterion in assessing political candidates: their position and record on Ireland."

Buchanan warns

Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan says he will lead a "millennial struggle" against an emerging world government that will erase all national identities.
In a draft of a speech he plans to deliver today in Boston, Mr. Buchanan says the Clinton administration is letting the United Nations intrude on U.S. sovereignty.
He also says the United States is guilty of "trampling on the sovereignty" of other nations by intervening in internal conflicts, such as Kosovo. The speech was provided to the Associated Press.
"We may expect America's involvement in endless wars until, one day, we pay a horrific price in some act of cataclysmic terror on our own soil," the speech says.
In it, Mr. Buchanan names politicians, journalists and administration officials who embrace globalism, citing President Clinton calling himself a "citizen of the world" as an example.
"This then is a millennial struggle that succeeds the Cold War: It is the struggle of patriots of every nation against a world government where all nations yield up their sovereignty and fade away," he says.

Don't bother

David Letterman, who has made a running gag of his attempts to book Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on his show, finally got fed up Monday night and withdrew the spurned invitation, the New York Daily News reports.
"I'm sick of the whole thing," Mr. Letterman ranted after holding up the Daily News' Jan. 3 editorial that chided Mrs. Clinton for shying away from interviews.
"We're rescinding the invitation," he said. "Don't even bother coming over."
In its Monday editorial, "David Letterman's not alone," the News editorial board pointed out that Mrs. Clinton repeatedly has declined invitations to meet with the paper's top editors.
Mr. Letterman kept the gag going with a hint that the withdrawn invitation might work as reverse psychology on Mrs. Clinton's campaign staff.
"Now those pinheads will have our number on speed dial," he stage-whispered to his producers at the end of the bit.

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