- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Democrat withdraws

U.S. Rep. Pat Danner, Missouri Democrat, yesterday released a statement on her sudden decision to retire, but the news release did not directly state why she is ending her political career, according to the Kansas City Star.

In the one-page statement, Mrs. Danner calls herself a breast-cancer survivor. Recounting her work on breast-cancer aid to poor women, Mrs. Danner then stated, "Although we all plan our lives carefully, life does not always follow our plan."

The four-term lawmaker gave no other explanation for resigning. Mrs. Danner, 66, said in January that she had had surgery and that her prognosis was good.

Congressional candidacy filing had officially closed in Missouri. However, because Mrs. Danner will be vacating her seat, candidates of both parties now have five more days to file.

Her northwest Missouri district is seen as a district that either party could win. The only new candidate to file yesterday was her son, Steve Danner, 47.

One of the guys

Texas Gov. George W. Bush met with House Republicans yesterday afternoon at the Capitol Hill Club and gave an "upbeat and forceful" presentation of his presidential agenda, according to a source who attended the event.
Mr. Bush "had an almost eerie knowledge of members" and called out the names of various representatives as they entered the room, this source said. For example, Mr. Bush joked that Rep. Charles Bass, New Hampshire Republican, "might have had a real good job in the administration" until New Hampshire's primary, in which Mr. Bush was defeated soundly by Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
The likely presidential nominee told House members of his plans for Social Security reform, advocated permanent normal trade relations with China and discussed his education program. The audience gave him two standing ovations.
Mr. Bush also "made it very clear he wants to campaign for House Republicans," the source said. "He was almost like one of the guys."

Across threshold

Republican Jack E. Robinson's tumultuous quest to challenge Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy took another dramatic turn Monday when Mr. Robinson appeared to cross the crucial threshold of 10,000 signatures needed to get his name on the ballot.
Mr. Robinson appears to have turned in at least 10,073 certified signatures to city and town clerks, according to Secretary of State William Galvin.
Some of the signatures could be disqualified or challenged by rivals hoping to keep Mr. Robinson off the ballot.
"I can't say whether he'll be on the ballot," Mr. Galvin said.
Mr. Robinson called the latest development a vindication against naysayers who predicted he would not break the 10,000 mark, the Associated Press reports.
"We never lost faith. We knew we would pull it off. We knew it would go down to the wire, but we never wavered," Mr. Robinson said Monday.

National Guard days

"After an unimpressive speech kicking off his Senate run on Saturday, Rick Lazio rallied impressively the following morning," writes New York Post columnist John Podhoretz.
"He was energetic, well-spoken and well-informed during his five appearances on the Sunday shows. And it was possible to see, in nascent form, the two tacks his campaign will take one substantive approach, and one gimmicky," Mr. Podhoretz said.
"The substantive campaign will try to draw clear distinctions between Rick and Hillary. The gimmicky one will aim to focus the public's attention on less important matters that might have symbolic impact on voters like her inappropriate use of White House aircraft and her status as a carpetbagger.
"Lazio blended the two approaches effectively in his clever and oft-repeated line this weekend: Hillary Clinton is 'no more a New Democrat than she is a New Yorker.' With that sound bite, Lazio made clear that he won't remain silent as Mrs. Clinton continues to pose as a moderate when everybody who pays attention to politics knows she has always been the leading left-liberal voice inside the Clinton administration."

Shock waves

Stephen Moore, president of a conservative group that is targeting liberal Republican legislators, says victory in a hotly contested New Jersey primary race would send a message to other liberals in Congress.
The Club for Growth has given $150,000 to New Jersey Assemblyman Scott Garrett in his challenge to Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Marge Roukema. The club also will provide "a couple hundred thousand" in soft money contributions, Mr. Moore told New York Times reporter Iver Peterson.
The primary takes place on June 6.
"I look at this as a really big race for the conservative movement," Mr. Moore said. "Next to the presidential race, this could be the second-most important race, because if Roukema loses, or I should say, if Garrett wins, it would send shock waves through Congress. All 25 or so liberal Republican members are watching this, and they will be terrified if Garrett wins this race."

Forget those guys

Rahm Emanuel, the former senior adviser to President Clinton and now a partner at Wasserstein Perella & Co. in Chicago, is pleading with Democrats to vote for permanent normal trade relations with China.
"When the vote on PNTR occurs [today], I want my party to come home," Mr. Emanuel said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. "Come home to the tradition of Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Clinton."
Conspicuously and oddly missing from Mr. Emanuel's roster of Democratic presidents: Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter.

Not stepping aside

Contrary to a report in USA Today (and picked up by this column), Howard Phillips is not offering to step aside as Constitution Party presidential candidate in favor of Alan Keyes, a spokesman for the party said in an e-mail to media outlets.
The Constitution Party is wooing the Republican presidential candidate, who has vowed to leave the GOP if it should choose a veep candidate who is pro-choice on the abortion issue.
Mr. Phillips did say, "I'm open to discussing anything he would want to."

Call him 'don' DeLay

As numerous readers have pointed out in e-mail messages, this column mangled a joke made by Rep. Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, on "Fox News Sunday." Mr. DeLay, whom the Democrats have formally accused of racketeering, said that other House members members now kiss his ring and refer to him as "don" DeLay.

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