- The Washington Times - Monday, October 30, 2000

Now that we know Hillary Rodham Clinton so well, there are several things we can better understand about this intelligent and talented person. One is that she believes above all in entitlement her own. Another is that almost nothing political is too shoddy for her to muddy around in. And we know she believes voters are basically stupid particularly those who admire her among women, Jews and the poor.

Lots of politicians have the same characteristics. The best reason to select her for examination is that she is convinced she can get away with anything, and has, over and over.

If she succeeds again, in a couple of weeks, she will be elected to the Senate from New York, and off and running for the presidency of the United States. Something to think about, that.

Her belief in her entitlement is woven into her record. No sooner was she in the White House than she took over all planning for a national health plan, which she proceeded to wreck. No person to surrender just because of her own incompetence, she promptly gave herself more power in running the White House. She kept hidden from American voters the tax-paid machinery of her influence and its goals.

But her all-time record of self-entitlement was her decision to run for the U.S. Senate from New York without prior election to anything. She gets her power and fundamental political machinery from the president, who is her husband. She is running on her wedding ring. Women who are mute or accepting about the source of her power pervert the concept and influence of true feminism. Of course, she accepts presidential clout to help her and hurt her opponent, Republican Rep. Rick Lazio.

On Oct 24, she hit a triple: Participating with her husband in a brilliant piece of political grunge, she brushed off women who are poor, to swipe political credit from Mr. Lazio.

A bill was before Mr. Clinton for signing. It ensured Medicaid coverage for low-income women who were diagnosed, in free screenings, as having breast or cervical cancer. The Clintons were for the bill and Mr. Lazio had been active for it.

Normally such socially attractive bills are signed with ado, before TV and politicians who had a role in their passage. But Mr. Clinton signed the bill in private no TV, no politicians, no national notice to low-income women, no Rick. Mrs. Clinton said she had known nothing.

Strange, since a couple of days before, Robert Pear, a fine no-frills reporter of the New York Times, had written a Page One story about the president's desire for privacy while signing this important, vote-attracting legislation. That gave Mrs. Clinton plenty of time to call the president and say we should not be that shoddy, naughty boy. She didn't.

Mrs. Clinton is superb at not knowing selected matters. Her campaign had taken in $50,000 from a Boston reception by the American Muslim Alliance. That is barely peanuts compared to what American Jews give her.

The trouble is that among American Muslims who contributed money to the Clinton Senate campaign are people who cry out in defense of terrorism against Israel. One such is Abdurahman Alamoudi, head of the American Muslim Council, who gave $1,000 to the Clinton campaign and boasts that at the White House he "defended what is called Hamas." It is also called a terrorist group by the State Department.

We did not know about Mr. Alamoudi's views, said Harold Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton's spokesman; the $1,000 would be returned. But he said before Boston she had met people of Mr. Alamoudi's attitude in Washington in hopes of "mainstreaming their views." Mr. Wolfson was moved to action when he was told the New York Daily News the next day would break the story based on information received from Steven Emerson, America's never-resting anti-terrorism journalist, bless him, and written for the paper by Larry Cohler-Esses.

The day the story was published and sank in, Mrs. Clinton said she was giving back the whole $50,000 and had been misled by the sponsors of the Boston reception. Taking her at her word, it remains puzzling how she had been trying to "mainstream" American Muslims in Washington while in Boston she knew so little about the intricacies of this key community that she had to return $50,000.

Americans who want to help Muslims should search out Muslim organizations that have a peaceful attitude toward Israel. They are few, with little donation money to hand out. But they know Hamas types are already convinced they are on the right "mainstream" unceasing holy war against Israelis and all other Jews. The Clinton campaign people apparently do not know that.

But maybe more Americans who are poor, women, Jews and other Hillarian voting targets will know more about her by Election Day, if Mr. Lazio tells them straight out and frequently, in the time left.

A.M. Rosenthal, the former executive editor of the New York Times, is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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