- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2000

Math problem

At this week's presidential debate, Vice President Al Gore reveals that Winifred Skinner has to collect cans to pay for her medicine.

Regardless, Mr. Gore says Winifred wants him to be president so much that she drives her gas-guzzling Winnebago all the way from her home in Des Moines, Iowa, to the debate in Boston.

Now, if it's 1,300 miles from Des Moines to Boston, and Winifred's Winnebago gets 8 miles per gallon, and her round-trip price for gasoline costs $555, and each can is worth a nickel, how many cans will Winifred have to collect to pay for her trip?

(Answer: 11,100 cans).

Replacing Gore

The Washington Post has written more than once about George W. Bush's infamous slips of the tongue.

Yesterday, the newspaper produced a gaffe of its own, in the very first sentence of the lead front-page story on the first presidential debate.

"BOSTON Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Bush clashed repeatedly over tax cuts, prescription drugs, Social Security and the projected budget surpluses," wrote reporters Dan Balz and Terry M. Neal.

"I don't know how many editors proofread that lead over and over again before it went into the paper, but there must have been a lot considering the story," one veteran Washington newspaper reporter commented yesterday while reading the Post at the Supreme Court.

Check in the mail

We can't seem to close the latest chapter on New York Times reporter Adam Clymer, target of a recent disparaging remark by GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush.

Last week, we wrote that the celebrated scribe had canceled his subscription to Washingtonian magazine, after being grilled not once, but twice, by editor-at-large Chuck Conconi.

Now we learn David Beckwith, former communications manager to Texas Gov. George W. Bush's presidential campaign, and past press secretary to Vice President Dan Quayle, has decided to pick up Mr. Clymer's unexpired subscription.

"The Washingtonian's circulation should not suffer merely because you told the truth," Mr. Beckwith, vice president of the National Cable Television Association, writes to Mr. Conconi, enclosing a check to renew the subscription.

Pay the bookkeeper

We had to laugh when Rep. Jim Gibbons, Nevada Republican, told of putting on a suit this week that he hadn't worn in a while, then reaching into the pocket and discovering a $10 bill.

The congressman said he excitedly turned to his wife and said, "Look, honey, $10."

To his further surprise, his wife immediately snatched the bill out of his hand "and told me that we still had bills to pay."

Can't escape

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne checked into the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill this week, where general manger Joe Zarza thought it appropriate to greet him with Irish potato stew from the hotel's renowned restaurant, the Dubliner.

"To see whether or not he thinks Irish potatoes are as good as Idaho potatoes," explained Mr. Zarza. Still no comment from Mr. Kempthorne.

Bikers for Bush

GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush has just been endorsed by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, the first presidential endorsement made by a national motorcyclists rights association

Shoeshine boy

Recent discussions about retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat, have been focused on who Hillary Rodham Clinton or Rick Lazio will fill the senator's seat come January.

But one by one, senators are now stepping onto the Senate floor to bid farewell to the popular four-term lawmaker, who both sides agree possesses one of the sharpest intellects on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia points out that Mr. Moynihan, 73, became the first and only man to serve in the Cabinets or subcabinets of four successive administrations Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford.

Earlier, he taught at Harvard and Tufts University, earned a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and during World War II served as a gunnery officer aboard the USS Quirinus. Raised by a journalist and barkeeper in Manhattan, he once arrived for an examination at City College of New York "with a dockworker's loading hook tucked into his back pocket next to his pencils, as if it were a study in contrasting worlds," Mr. Byrd observes.

But his impressive climb to Capitol Hill didn't begin there.

"On a cold winter afternoon in 1941, a young boy of 14 went about his daily business, engaged in his humble profession," Mr. Byrd recalls. "I can imagine that to many of the pedestrians who made their way down Central Park West that day, this youngster perhaps was nothing extraordinary, just another shoeshine boy."

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