- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Now we understand

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond was asked the other day why his organization is running those incendiary black-and-white "hate crime" TV ads that suggest that George W. Bush is some sort of racist who doesn't mind if a black man gets dragged to death behind a pickup truck.
"I grant you that hate-crimes legislation is a smaller matter" than some other issues affecting black people, Mr. Bond replied. "But if there had been hate-crimes legislation, all three of the men who dragged James Byrd to his death would have been put to death in Texas."
Mr. Bond's interlocutor, syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, then pointed out that "you don't even believe in the death penalty."
"That's right. I don't," Mr. Bond said.

Hillary falters

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton trailed in one statewide poll in New York released yesterday, while another survey showed her lead slipping away.

Republican Rep. Rick Lazio leads Mrs. Clinton in their race for a U.S. Senate seat, according to a Zogby International tracking poll done for the New York Post. Mr. Lazio had a 48 percent to 43 percent advantage.

A poll from the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute found the first lady's support slipping in traditionally more conservative upstate New York and in the New York City suburbs.

Mrs. Clinton had 47 percent and Mr. Lazio 44 percent in the Quinnipiac poll.

Newsday backs Lazio

Newsday, in a back-and-forth editorial yesterday, endorsed Republican Rep. Rick Lazio for a U.S. Senate seat from New York.

The Long Island newspaper, long a voice of liberalism, said Mr. Lazio, a Long Island congressman, had run a sometimes "dispiriting" campaign and that Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton "is inarguably a star."

"Still, Clinton is a rather conventional Democrat. She is seldom innovative and too often falls back on traditional Democratic prescriptions of spending more or coming up with another government program. Clinton says she is a New Democrat; we are not convinced," the newspaper said.

Mr. Lazio "has a long way to go to meet the standards that the likes of Jacob Javits and Daniel Patrick Moynihan have set for a senator from New York. He must overcome his inherent timidity and stand up more publicly for what he says he is: a moderate Republican," the newspaper said.

In the end, the newspaper endorsed Mr. Lazio, calling him "a decent man untouched by scandal; a skilled, tested legislative technician and a native son who can bring to the Senate a gut feel for New York that his opponent, by accident of birth, simply cannot match."

Nader's new ad

Ralph Nader started his second TV commercial for his Green Party presidential campaign yesterday.
The new 30-second spot, a parody like his first, will "run in up to 30 markets across the country," said its creator, Bill Hillsman. He wouldn't say which ones, the Associated Press reports.
Like his first television spot, a parody of a MasterCard commercial that got Mr. Nader slapped with a lawsuit, the new ad plays off a popular commercial. This time the Nader campaign parodies an ad by the employment Web site Monster.com featuring a series of children talking about "when I grow up."
It shows children speaking directly into the camera, one at a time:
"When I grow up I want the government to have the same problems it has today.
"I want to vote for the lesser of two evils.
"I want to be lied to.
"I want to be apathetic.
"I want tax breaks for the very rich… .
"When I grow up I want politicians to ignore me."
It ends with an announcer asking, "Is this what you want from your government? Or do you want something better for yourself and the next generation?"

Gore's problem

"A presidential candidate who is between two and seven points behind in the final eight days of an election can win," political analyst Dick Morris writes.
"He can put on a surge in the final week that brings him even and then pulls ahead of his rival. But Al Gore seems not to have a clue about how to do it," Mr. Morris said in his New York Post column.
Mr. Gore "is missing the fundamental point… . You have to find one theme and hammer and hammer and hammer away at it. Instead, Gore talks about 20 or 30 different topics in each stump speech."
Mr. Morris, who recommends that Mr. Gore focus on Medicare alone, added, "Gore has to lose the class-warfare garbage he has been trying to push at the behest of his liberal adviser, Bob Shrum. Gore basically lost three debates harping on his tiresome repetition of how well the top '1 percent' of American families will do under the Bush tax plan.
"Economic populism does not work anymore in America. Too many voters believe they are in or near the top 1 percent and too large a proportion of those who don't believe it never vote anyway. By relying on this rhetoric, Gore just stereotypes himself as an unreformed Democrat."

Aschroft on the trail

Trailing his deceased opponent by six percentage points, Sen. John Ashcroft yesterday opened a 25-city, final-week campaign blitz he dubbed the "Show-Me Experience Express" tour.

"I'm going to go around the state talking to people about my experiences and leadership in getting things done," the first-term senator and former governor said during a stop in Springfield, Mo. "I ask that people vote based on that."

Mr. Ashcroft avoided mentioning Jean Carnahan, the 66-year-old widow of his dead opponent who announced Monday she would accept appointment to the Senate if her husband's name prevails at the polls. Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash Oct. 16, after the deadline for replacing his name on the ballot.

Mr. Ashcroft's new campaign theme calls attention to the experience discrepancy between them by highlighting his own achievements. His Senate office even sent a 13-page list of his accomplishments to media outlets, the Associated Press reports.

The latest Zogby tracking poll had Mr. Carnahan leading by 49.4 to 43.2 percent, with a four percentage-point margin of error.

Mr. Ashcroft quit campaigning for a week after the crash.

He said it was the "right thing to do because it showed respect and dignity." However, "it's time to get reactivated. It's important to remind people that they have to get reactivated to vote."

Suspicious timing

Republicans criticized as partisan a report issued by Democratic members of Congress citing serious health and safety violations in a majority of nursing homes in Gov. George W. Bush's state of Texas.
The report, written by a House committee's Democratic staffers, was issued yesterday, a week before voters will choose between Mr. Bush and Democratic Vice President Al Gore for president.
It also comes as the Democratic National Committee is running a new ad that pummels Mr. Bush's record on nursing homes in Texas, and using the subject in telephone calls to Michigan voters, the Associated Press reports.
"The fact that they're releasing a report about the state of Texas just one week before the election makes it look very political," said Kevin Binger, director of the committee's Republican staff. "I think it's very interesting they decided to do a study of Texas and they decided not to do a study of Tennessee," which Mr. Gore calls home.
The report from Government Reform Committee Democrats said 80 percent of 1,230 Texas nursing homes had federal health and safety violations during recent state inspections. More than half of the nursing homes had violations that caused actual harm to residents or placed them at risk, it said.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk

First it was SlapHillary.com, a Web site that allowed visitors to deliver a virtual smack to the caricature of a certain first lady who is currently a Senate candidate in New York Senate.
Now ex-radical David Horowitz is letting Americans take out their frustrations on Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and Peter Jennings with a new feature, "The Three Media Stooges." Visitors to Mr. Horowitz's Front Page site, www.frontpagemag.com, can "pound," "poke," and "pummel" animated versions of the three network anchors, featuring slapstick sound effects worthy of Larry, Moe and Curly.

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