- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2000

McCain and Rudman

Radio talk-show host Michael Reagan, before hanging up in exasperation, did get presidential candidate John McCain to say whether his campaign chairman, former Sen. Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, would play any role in selecting Supreme Court nominees.
Conservatives are wary of Mr. Rudman because he helped persuade President Bush to nominate David H. Souter, who turned out to be a reliable liberal vote on the high court.
"Warren Rudman is 70 years old. He's been he had a serious illness. He's not interested in playing any active role in a McCain administration and I resent enormously phone calls that were made by Pat Robertson saying that he was a 'vicious bigot,' " Mr. McCain said. "I think that one might be …"
At that point, Mr. Reagan cut off the Arizona senator, but at Mr. McCain's insistence, let him complete his defense of Mr. Rudman. However, when Mr. Reagan then asked about Mr. McCain's education agenda, the senator said he wanted to talk some more about Mr. Robertson's attack on Mr. Rudman.
"No, senator. No, senator. No, senator, because let me tell you, I think that gets off …"
At that point, Mr. McCain cut off the talk-show host, saying, "No, let me tell you, let me tell you when the man's name is maligned and his reputation is maligned, then it ought to be talked about, OK?"
Mr. Reagan replied, "Senator McCain, goodbye," and hung up.
Mr. Reagan repeated, "Senator McCain, goodbye," paused and added: "You know something, I'm ripping this up. You lost my vote."

Gore's silence

Vice President Al Gore has been busy pillorying Arizona Sen. John McCain and Texas Gov. George W. Bush for saying the people of South Carolina not Republican presidential candidates should decide whether the Confederate battle flag should come down from atop the state Capitol.
In fact, Mr. Gore describes the two men as "Confederate flag-waving Republicans."
"Given Gore's vehemence, how odd it is that he has been entirely silent about a Confederate relic much closer to home. While piously protesting the Republicans' silence on the 'racist' Confederate flag in South Carolina, Al Gore has been mute about his home state of Tennessee's taxpayer-supported monuments to the Confederate leader of the Ku Klux Klan," writes Nelson Warfield, a Republican political consultant.
"During his long Tennessee career, Gore has never uttered a word about how his home state honors Nathan Bedford Forrest," Mr. Warfield noted in an opinion piece in the New York Post.
"Just as 'The Lost Cause' is memorialized in South Carolina, Gore's Tennessee honors Forrest. Today, the Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park boasts camping and boating and nature walks along with a monument to an individual who traded slaves, was linked to an atrocity [during the Civil War] and led the KKK. Forrest Park in Memphis features his grave plus a heroic monument. And a brand new, gold-colored statue of a mounted Forrest towers 27 feet above Interstate 65 on Nashville's outskirts."
Mr. Gore remains silent despite protests by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Mr. Warfield said.

Turns the other cheek

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, in his first public comments since being denounced Monday by Sen. John McCain, gave the candidate the benefit of the doubt and even expressed admiration for him.
"I personally think that the senator in a moment of frustration said things that he normally would not say," Mr. Falwell told Roanoke TV station WSLS yesterday. "And it's out of character for him to be that way."
The Lynchburg Baptist minister said Mr. McCain got bad campaign advice when he denounced Mr. Falwell and Pat Robertson as "agents of intolerance."
"I don't believe John McCain is a bigot or hates Christians or hates anybody," Mr. Falwell said.

Book wars

Arizona Sen. John McCain's "Faith of My Fathers" remains on national best-seller lists, long after Texas Gov. George W. Bush's "A Charge to Keep" and Pat Buchanan's "A Republic, Not an Empire" stopped being talked about.
Nearly 500,000 copies are in print, with sales getting stronger as Mr. McCain rises in the polls, the Associated Press reports.
"When McCain has a good week, the sales double or triple," Jonathan Karp, Mr. McCain's editor at Random House, said yesterday. "There were huge increases after he won in New Hampshire and then in Michigan."
Mr. McCain's book is in its 12th printing, while "A Charge to Keep" has yet to sell out a first printing of 150,000. Among books by current (or recent) presidential contenders, "Faith of My Fathers" has by far the highest sales ranking on Amazon.com, the Internet bookstore.
As of yesterday, Mr. McCain's memoir was listed at No. 24, while Mr. Bush's had fallen to 5,774. Much further back were Mr. Buchanan's "A Republic, Not an Empire" at 10,362, and books by ex-candidates Donald Trump (No. 17,815) and Steve Forbes (No. 25,997).
Democratic candidates have proved no more inspiring to readers. The paperback edition of Vice President Al Gore's "Earth in the Balance" comes in at 9,259, while a recent reissue of former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley's "Values of the Game" stands at 22,079.
Trailing them all is "Between Hope and History," a 1996 candidate memoir that ranks 123,798.
The book's author? President Clinton.

Hillary's march

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will march in an alternative St. Patrick's Day parade this weekend that will include homosexual organizations, her spokesman said yesterday.
The sponsor of the main March 17 St. Patrick's Day parade up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan the Ancient Order of Hibernians has for years refused to allow the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization to march under its own banner.
In December, Mrs. Clinton told reporters she would march in the main St. Patrick's Day parade, apparently unaware of the controversy over homosexuals.
She later said she would march in the Fifth Avenue parade only if it was inclusive.
Mrs. Clinton's Republican opponent, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, was also invited to march in the alternative parade in Queens, but declined. Mayoral spokesman Curt Ritter said Mr. Giuliani will march in the Fifth Avenue parade, as he always does.

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