- The Washington Times - Monday, November 27, 2000

Political junkie

"I know it's hard to believe, given that we still don't have resolution yet on who our next president will be, but the New Jersey primary is just over six months away, the general election is actually less than a year away, and time waits for no man."

Departure letter of Bill Pascoe, until yesterday press secretary to the Republican National Committee, who will spend the next 50 weeks as communications director of Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler's campaign for state governor.

Snowbirds

Native Floridians are fed up with being the butt of jokes surrounding their "inability" to properly cast ballots in the presidential election.

"It is interesting to me, as a lifetime Floridian, that the only places in Florida that Al Gore chose to have votes recounted are the three counties that are populated mostly by people who have moved here from other states or countries," David Owens points out to Inside the Beltway.

"The counties populated mostly by lifetime Floridians did not have the vote problems. I think that those who are implying that Floridians cannot get things right should place the blame where it should lie: squarely on the shoulders of those whose favorite words are, 'This is the way we did it up North.' "

USS Bubba

Former President Reagan would be heartened to know that we were literally inundated with correspondence after reporting progress on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, to be christened at Virginia's Newport News Shipbuilding on March 4, 2001.

We'd noted that the 650-ton island house was recently lowered atop the carrier's flight deck, but not before the prospective commanding officer of the ship, Capt. John W. "Bill" Goodwin, removed the gold aviator wings from his uniform and placed them forever beneath the mighty structure. Beside the wings he left a Ronald Reagan coin medallion, inscribed "National Pride."

"Your item about Captain Goodwin brought me to tears," writes Julia Abramson of Ridgecrest, Calif. "It is wonderful to know. A simple act of respect and kindness that is a true measure of both the captain and our former president."

While Mike West of Crandall, Texas, realizes it won't be long before President Clinton gets his own ship.

"A fleet oiler?" he suggests. "The USS Slick Willie perhaps?"

Fritz and Fritz

Who better than former Vice President Walter "Fritz" Mondale, a third-generation Norwegian-American, to light Norway's Christmas tree in the Main Hall of Washington's Union Station this Friday evening?

Come to think of it, this isn't the first time Mr. Mondale has flown in from Minnesota on behalf of his native Norway. He once came back to Washington to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the arrival of Leif Eiriksson (the accurate spelling, by the way) in North America.

"All discoveries helped everyone else," explained Mr. Mondale, referring to a later "discoverer" by the name of Christopher Columbus.

"Norwegian Christmas at Union Station" is an annual, monthlong cultural festival, which begins when Mr. Mondale lights a 35-foot Norwegian spruce, this year decorated with 8,000 lights and 2,000 American and Norwegian flags.

Joining Fritz Mondale for the lighting will be Fritz Huitfeldt, city executive of Oslo, Norwegian Ambassador Tom Vraalsen, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, and a colorful troupe of Norwegian folk dancers.

Freezing history

The first U.S. exhibition to bring together Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs from 1941 the first year a photograph was eligible for the award to the present day has opened at the Newseum.

More than 100 images are featured at the museum through March 11, accompanied by the stories behind the photographs that won journalism's most prestigious award. Perhaps the most famous: "Old Glory Goes Up on Mount Suribachi," by Joe Rosenthal, which captured the 1945 Pulitzer Prize.

The World War II photograph of five Marines and a Navy corpsman hoisting the American flag on a steel pipe was snapped amid 36 days of fighting on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima that claimed 26,000 U.S. lives, mostly Marines. It was later frozen in Felix DeWeldon's bronze memorial in Arlington, Va., fittingly just a short walk from the Newseum overlooking the Potomac River and Washington's many monuments.

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