- The Washington Times - Friday, June 15, 2001

Bayh's decision
Democratic sources tell Ralph Z. Hallow of The Washington Times that Sen. Evan Bayh, a freshman Democrat and former Indiana governor, will soon announce that he will not seek his partys presidential nomination in 2004.
Democrats who think their party is overly responsive to left-wing interest groups long have seen Mr. Bayh, 55, as presidential timber.
He is less liberal than his father, Birch Bayh, who served three terms as a senator from Indiana until Dan Quayle defeated him in 1980.
Mr. Bayh told friends that he is concerned that he would lose his effectiveness as a freshman senator if everything he did was judged through the lens of a likely presidential candidacy.
Democratic insiders regarded him as, in effect, the candidate of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, which Mr. Bayh leads. Liberals in his party sneeringly refer to him as a "Republicrat," even though he has sided with the Democratic Partys special interests in opposing Bush nominees, such as John Ashcroft.

Love doctor
President Bush is about to receive a lesson in politics and sex from Clinton holdover Dr. David Satcher, the surgeon general.
At least, thats what the New York Posts Deborah Orin hears.
"Satcher is set to release a 'Call to Action on sexual health that some Republicans fear is a time bomb. Conservative activists are gearing up to scream because they expect it to call for a lot more sex ed in schools," Miss Orin writes.
One of the reports drafters, University of Minnesota sexologist Eli Coleman, "has urged an 11-point declaration of sex as a series of basic human rights, including 'the right to comprehensive sexuality education meaning a lot more than abstinence-only," the policy favored by Mr. Bush, Miss Orin said.
Mr. Coleman is also said to be a strong believer in masturbation the subject that got Mr. Satchers predecessor, Joycelyn Elders, fired.
"Satcher is keeping his sex report top secret and refusing to give an advance peak to Bush or any other administration official," Miss Orin said.
Damon Thompson, a spokesman for the surgeon general, told the reporter: "We will be releasing it at the end of the month and nope, its not being cleared" by anyone on the Bush team.
Mr. Satcher delayed release of the report so as not to embarrass Mr. Clinton or Al Gore back when the latter was running for president, Miss Orin added.

Florida brouhaha

Florida Republicans are exasperated that President Bush overlooked many members of his own party during a visit to the state to emphasize preservation of the Everglades. Instead, the White House invited Democrats, some of whom used the occasion to denounce Mr. Bush as a fake environmentalist who favors oil drilling off the Florida coast.
"The White House did not invite major Republican lawmakers who had for years championed legislation to protect the Everglades," New York Times reporter Richard L. Berke writes.
"Instead, in the spirit of bipartisanship, Mr. Bush included the states two Democratic senators, Bob Graham and Bill Nelson, and a Democratic congressman from Florida, Peter Deutsch."
Mr. Deutsch is known as a particularly partisan figure who used every opportunity to criticize Mr. Bush during the Florida presidential recount last year.
"People would have to live on Mars to know that Peter Deutsch didnt spend 37 days in brass-knuckle brawling with the man who would make him his special guest" on Air Force One, said U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, Florida Republican. "It was curious that he would be the first person you invited to an event."
Another Florida Republican, U.S. Rep. Porter J. Goss, told the newspaper that he did not even know about the event until he saw it on television. His reaction? "Holy smokes, why are you letting the Democrats kick you in the teeth?"
White House officials are said to have apologized and promised to do better.

Give it back

Sen. James M. Jeffords, the Vermont Republican-turned-independent/Democrat, announced recently that he will return campaign donations from in-state donors. But that is not good enough for the American Conservative Union.
"We at ACU applaud your decision to refund at least part of the monies contributed to your last campaign for the U.S. Senate. We cannot understand, however, why you feel your obligation to offer such refunds extends only to residents of Vermont when your raised money outside the state as well," ACU Chairman David Keene said in a letter to Mr. Jeffords yesterday.
"Is it acceptable in your mind to defraud people who wont have a chance to retaliate at the polls? Lets face it, senator, if youre going to do the right thing by returning contributions from Vermont residents, you cant morally or logically refuse to return those from outside the state," Mr. Keene said.
"Nor can you differentiate between individual and PAC contributions unless it is your position that it is OK to defraud groups of people, but not individuals. The distinction is absurd," he adds.
The group has sent out form letters to Mr. Jeffords out-of-state contributors that can be used to demand their money back from the senator because it was taken "under false pretenses."

A private matter

First lady Laura Bush said yesterday she believed that the media should not have publicized her twin teen-age daughters citations for underage drinking and that the coverage had been overdone.
In the first public comment on the 19-year-old college students brush with the law, the first lady said it was a private family matter between Jenna, Barbara, herself and President Bush.
Asked by CBS News "The Early Show" about publicity generated by the affair, she said: "Well, I think its too much, of course. Im their mother. I dont think [there] should have been any coverage. But theyre doing great … . Theyre really terrific girls."
On whether she had advice for those in similar situations, she said: "Well, I think every parent of a teen-ager understands exactly what George and I think right now, and also how our relationship and … what we say to our children is totally private. Thats just something between us and them, and I think people in America understand that."
Speaking in Brussels from the residence of the U.S. ambassador to NATO on her first trip to Europe as first lady, she refused to be drawn in on U.S. laws governing underage drinking. In Texas, where the citations were issued, it is illegal to buy liquor under 21.

Where's Waldo?

"Like Andre Agassi, we were startled last week to see Bill Clinton suddenly appear inside the tennis stadium at Roland Garros, with an entrance befitting the Sun King himself. Andre promptly blew himself out of the tournament," the Wall Street Journal says in an editorial.
"Then walking by a bars TV Saturday, we looked up and noticed that alongside Point Given in the Belmont winners circle was … Bill Clinton. Next day, returning to TVs halftime of the Lakers-76ers game in Philly, we see a reporter under the stands interviewing … Bill Clinton."
The newspaper, noting that the U.S. Open began yesterday in Tulsa, Okla., added: "Tune in Sunday for the adult version of Wheres Waldo?"

Wide awake

"This Sunday, Hollywoods liberal community, led by Warren Beatty, Rob Reiner, Ed Begley Jr. and a host of California yellow-dog Democrats will meet at the Wilshire Grand Hotel for an all-day policy conference beginning at 8:30 a.m.," New York Post gossip columnist Liz Smith writes.
"Their intent is to say, 'Wake Up, Democrats. Take Back the Country."

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