- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2000

Oprah-fied Gore

"All credit to Al Gore he was utterly charming on 'Oprah' [Monday]. For the first time, Gore did seem to be the person you've heard he is in private amusing, reflective, capable of expressing emotion and ideas.

"But the most striking aspect of the hourlong 'Oprah' interview was how Gore revealed himself as the perfect political representative of the Oprah era how his rhetoric and thinking are a perfect fit with the preachy, relentlessly positive New Age-speak that Winfrey has spent her career popularizing… .

"The show was a lovefest, and would have been sickening if we hadn't all become inured to this sort of bilge long ago… .

" 'We are spiritual beings having a human experience,' Gore said as he attempted to explain how he believes the greatest challenge facing America is a quest to find greater meaning in life… .

"The quest for meaning Gore spoke of is a problem not for struggling 'working families' but for the well-educated and well-to-do once they discover that material goods do not provide spiritual contentment… .

"The scary part is that Gore really means it… .

"What Al Gore revealed … is that he wants you to change change from the inside out."

John Podhoretz, writing on "Al Gore Is the Oprah Candidate," in Tuesday's New York Post

Lesser lawyers

"Plenty of people aren't happy with the American Bar Association's current political course, and they're not shy about saying so.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee in 1997 stopped considering the Bar's evaluations of candidates for federal judgeships a tradition dating back to 1947. Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, [Utah Republican], said the group had abandoned its role as a neutral evaluator of professional standards in order to become a "private political organization."

"Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sounded that same theme in April 1999. In a speech to the University of Montana Law School, Thomas argued that the ABA was in the process of becoming 'just another interest group.'

"Much of the discontent with the Bar comes from attorneys who are or were its own members. The ABA's endorsement of abortion rights at its 1992 convention set off a major internal controversy that cost the group thousands of members up to 40,000."

Matt Kaufman, writing on "Lowering the Bar," in the Aug. 20 issue of Citizen

Moms and careers

"I remember looking around the campaign plane during one presidential race and finding that almost every man on it was married, many of them fathers, while every woman was single. There was not a mother in the group.

"What mother would travel six days a week, for a year? Last time I checked, the senior White House staff is made up entirely of men with school-age children, and women without them …

"Overall, men with children earn the most, and women with children the least. Most working mothers accept not only less leisure time, but lower wages in return for more flexible hours, a job location nearer to their homes or their children's schools and limits on last-minute out-of-town travel.

"Having children early, as conservative Danielle Crittenden advises, may be biologically easier but professionally more difficult. Becoming a part-time manager is easier if you're already a manager …

"Looking at children simply as a handicap to a parent's career ignores the fact that many of us get smarter when we become mothers, more mature, more responsible, more adept at handling people, all of which may make mothers more efficient, effective, mature workers."

Susan Estrich, from her new book, "Sex and Power"

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