- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2000

Policy by decree

Aides to President Clinton, citing the administration's inability to get Congress to go along with many of its proposals, say he will continue to bypass the legislative branch and issue executive decrees and recess appointments, the New York Times reports.
"Through executive orders, memorandums, proclamations, regulations and other flexing of presidential power, Mr. Clinton has already put in effect a host of measures concerning the environment, health care and civil rights. And with the presidential campaign in high gear, and the Republican-controlled Congress not inclined to give Democrats any boost, Mr. Clinton's aides intend to continue making policy by decree putting federal land off limits to development, reorganizing government agencies, tightening pollution-control rules and pushing other measures that would otherwise stand little chance of congressional passage," reporter Marc Lacey writes.
"Mr. Clinton has been especially frustrated that many of his nominees for judgeships, ambassadorships and other posts have failed to be confirmed by the Senate. But he is not surrendering in that area either. If Congress fails to act on some of the nominations later this month, White House aides say they expect the president to make recess appointments in August that would require no congressional approval."

Lazio's letter

In his strongest attack to date, Republican candidate Rick Lazio says in a fund-raising letter that Senate rival Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband "have embarrassed our country and disgraced their powerful posts."
"She covets power and control and thinks she should be dictating how other people run their lives," the Long Island congressman said in the letter, which the Associated Press reported yesterday. "No other Senate hopeful enjoys a liberal national press that hangs on her every word and treats her never-ending soap opera of scandals as 'irrelevant' and 'yesterday's news.' "
The first lady has issued her own direct-mail appeal, declaring that Mr. Lazio's candidacy is the product of "Republican Party kingmakers" and outlining their differences on issues.
"I support licensing and registration of handguns. He doesn't," she wrote. "He has voted against the right to choose for low-income women, even in cases of rape and incest. I would never vote that way," she said, referring to her position that abortions should be taxpayer-financed.

Surprise, surprise

Delegates to the National Education Association's representative assembly voted Tuesday to endorse Vice President Al Gore for the presidency.
In a secret-ballot election requiring 58 percent support for NEA endorsement, 89 percent of the 9,000 delegates at the union's Chicago meeting backed the unanimous endorsement of Mr. Gore earlier this week by NEA's PAC Council.
The vice president will address the delegates this morning.
The union had already endorsed Mr. Gore for the Democratic nomination and its endorsement for the general election was expected.
"Al Gore is a proven friend of children and public education, and he has earned the support of our members," said NEA President Bob Chase. "These delegates have spoken with a clear voice on behalf of NEA's 2.5 million members, who elected them to attend this assembly."
In his recommendation to the delegates, Mr. Chase sharply attacked Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the presumptive Republican nominee, for supporting school choice and vouchers, for opposing federal spending programs, and for insufficient deference to teachers.

Making a connection

"For decades now, the Republican Party has looked for a way to win black support even as politically active African-Americans have been frustrated by many Democrats' smug certainty that blacks have nowhere else to go. Last week saw signs that the situation may finally change," Robert A. George writes in the New York Post.
"That Monday, George W. Bush addressed the Congress of Racial Equality's Harmony Awards banquet. CORE under Roy Innis has always done more than other civil rights groups with Republicans and conservatives. The real surprise was how well the GOP White House hopeful hit if off with the crowd," Mr. George said.
"Innis and his son Niger escorted the governor to nearly every table in the ballroom. At each stop, Bush tried to shake every hand at the table tried so hard that the program started late.
"By the time the group got back to the head table, the Texas governor had made a strong connection with the audience. His speech made another connection.
"The key line was: 'I think ownership is freedom.' He was speaking specifically about the need to change current federal housing regulatory laws to encourage ownership instead of renting, but the ownership theme extends to other parts of his reform platform education, tax cuts, even Social Security.
"Republicans, he said, believe it 'doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, we want people to own something.' "

Ballot ruling appealed

Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's lone Republican challenger has appealed a decision by state election officials to remove him from the ballot, keeping alive his hopes of running against the Democratic incumbent, Reuters reports.
The Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission on Friday knocked Jack E. Robinson off the ballot, ruling that some of his qualifying signatures were forged and others were improperly printed upside down on state election forms.
The state's highest court will now decide if Mr. Robinson, whose candidacy has been engulfed in controversy almost from the start, will be allowed to go forward.
It was not known when the Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest court, would rule, but a spokeswoman said that it tends to move quickly in election-related matters.
The commission disqualified 153 of Mr. Robinson's signatures and since he filed 10,139, only 139 more than needed to earn a spot on the ballot, the decision left him 14 signatures short.

Gore on the floor

Vice President Al Gore, who once regaled audiences with his wooden version of the Macarena, the lively and Latin line-dance fad, has faced reality.

He's not a particularly skilled dancer and would like to get better at it.

During an interview yesterday, the Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting paused when a reporter for a Philadelphia television station asked what qualities he would like to change if possible.

The response: "I think I would like to be a better dancer."

The vice president often used the Macarena, which became a trademark of the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, to poke fun at his reputation for having a stiff personality.

He often asked audiences for silence so he could do the "Al Gore version of the Macarena."

Then he would stand rigid for several seconds before asking, "Want to see me do it again?"

The Associated Press reported that when the interviewer reminded Mr. Gore that his wife, Tipper, thinks he's a good dancer, he just chuckled.

You never know

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made a joking reference to Monica Lewinsky at a Friday campaign lunch at the Park Avenue home of Walter Kaye, the New York Daily News reports.
Mr. Kaye is the retired insurance executive who recommended Miss Lewinsky for a White House internship.
"You never know who you might meet through the Kayes," Mrs. Clinton told Mr. Kaye and his wife, Selma, as well as other campaign contributors at the event.

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