- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2001

Bill, Bill, Bill
"No president obsessed over his 'legacy' as much as Bill Clinton did," observes the National Review Online. "He sometimes complained that he had no enormous national crisis to contend with, meaning that he didn't have a fair shot at attaining historic greatness. 'The first thing I had to start with was, you know, we don't have a war,' he told the New York Times in 1997. 'We don't have a depression, we don't have a Cold War.' Poor guy. He never really had a chance.
"Some of us worried whether he was up to handling Haiti, never mind a global crisis. It's no surprise, however, that he's in a funk now, as his successor is being lauded for his handling of a national catastrophe, praised for delivering one of the great speeches in American history, and hurtled into stratospheric levels of popularity according to the opinion polls that Clinton so treasured during his tenure.
"Today's New York Times describes Clinton as lamenting that such a thing didn't happen on his watch. 'A close friend of Mr. Clinton put it this way: "He has said there has to be a defining moment in a presidency that really makes a great president. He didn't have one."'
"More than 6,000 people die to terrorism, and Bill Clinton still thinks it's all about him," the National Review concluded.

Dem-onomics
Al Gore may have pledged his support to President Bush and urged fellow Democrats to "keep this bipartisanship alive" at an Iowa fund-raiser weekend but Democrats are getting cheerleading from a less magnanimous source.
"There is something disquieting about the new bipartisan harmony," a New Republic editorial states, adding that Democrats have both a right and an obligation to "vigorously resist economic policies the White House proposed over the past two weeks," including the $15 million airline bailout and tax policy.
"Conservatives see the war as an unexpected, new rationale for cutting the capital gains tax. And so the Democrats need to forcefully, and quickly reject any permanent tax cuts. President Bush has said the country must get on with its business, and he is right. Part of that business is war. And part of it is politics. Sometimes patriotism demands unity; sometimes it demands smart, if earnest disagreement. Democrats need to realize that, at this moment in history, it demands both."

Target audience
Meanwhile, Tennessee lawyer and political observer Glenn Reynolds notes the shifting sentiments in Mr. Gore's home state.
"The leading Democratic candidate for Governor here in Tennessee is making sure that everyone knows he's going hunting. Apparently, his pollsters have concluded that the gun issue is what killed Al Gore in Tennessee," Mr. Reynolds writes at his Web site (http://instapundit.blogspot.com). "Well, yeah. I could've told him that, and for a lot less money than those guys charged."
"The anti-gun positioning of Gore's campaign, which went well to the left of Clinton on this issue, cost him at least five states. This isn't likely to change. If anything, pro-gun sentiment seems to have grown in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, whether logically or not," Mr. Reynolds continues. "Guns (in American closets, anyway) are of limited value in dealing with terrorism, but the notion that we can prevent harm by rendering ourselves harmless which was the central tenet of the gun-control movement is unlikely to sell anytime soon."

The Dyson defense
They don't mince words way up north. The message on Alaska state Rep. Fred Dyson's pickup truck: "Fight crime, shoot back." The Republican, who represents District 25 in Eagle River, points out that the slogan assumes "someone is already shooting at you and is thus perfectly legal and correct." Mr. Dyson added a brief amendment, though. "It should also say, 'Be accurate,'" he said.

No friend of Rudy
New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani may qualify for sainthood in the minds of many by now, but the Rev. Al Sharpton will have none of it.
"We elected you mayor, not Messiah," Sharpton said at his Harlem headquarters during a rally attended by Democrat Fernando Ferrer, who is running for New York mayor.
"You didn't bring us together, our pain brought us together and our decency brought us together," the Rev. Sharpton said, adding, "We would have come together if Bozo was the mayor."

The next big thing?
Other mayors are also hoping to raise their profiles. Yesterday, Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn delivered the Democratic response to President Bush's weekly radio address the first mayor to do so, the Los Angeles Times reports, in "recent memory." The Democratic National Committee usually calls upon senators or congressmen for this task.
Mr. Hahn's remarks were squeaky clean, calling upon Americans to unite behind the president.
DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe apparently wants to "focus attention on the work of a Democratic leader outside Washington, D.C.," said a spokeswoman. Mayors "manage the front lines of life in America McAuliffe wanted to highlight Mayor Hahn as a new leader in the Democratic party and someone we're very excited about."

Say amen
One group's intent on a secret weapon of a different sort. In just a week, the Presidential Prayer Team has registered 100,000 Americans who vow to pray daily for President Bush, the Cabinet and the nation. A spokeswoman said the number is climbing at the rate of 2,000 people an hour at the group's Web site (www.presidentialprayerteam.org).
The nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation hopes to enlist at least 2.8 million participants, or 1 percent of the American population. Those who sign on receive a free membership decal and prayer updates by e-mail. Those interested can check the Web site, or call 800/295-1235.

Same old same old
Are lawmakers ready to rumble once again? Hearst's Marianne Means thinks so.
"It was great while it lasted," she writes. "But the cozy bipartisan atmosphere of the first two weeks following the terrorist attacks is fizzling fast as President Bush and Congress grapple with plans to stimulate the economy, protect our borders and combat possible future assaults.
"The unaccustomed unity was too amorphous to overcome the reality of basic political and philosophical differences. Politics is an eternal struggle between conflicting interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The dastardly attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon did not change that fundamental fact.
"Initially, both conservatives and liberals made concessions on the budget and defense spending. That was the easy part. But the profound issues that separate the country are re-surfacing even though the freshly modulated tone of the political dialogue may endure alongside our determination to bring terrorists to justice.
"As House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt observed wryly, 'Bipartisanship is abnormal.'"

Sufferin' suffrage
Heavens. One state legislator thinks women's right to vote is a sign that American society undervalues the family. Still, she wouldn't deprive women of the vote.
"We have a society that does tear families apart," Kansas state Sen. Kay O'Connor said. "I think the 19th Amendment, while it's not an evil in and of itself, is a symptom of something I don't approve of."
She describes herself as an "old-fashioned conservative lady" and is vice chairman of the Senate Elections and Local Government Committee.
"The 19th Amendment is around because men weren't doing their jobs, and I think that's sad," she said. "I believe the man should be the head of the family. The woman should be the heart of the family."

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