- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two decades have passed since nightclub entertainer and blond bombshell Gennifer Flowers stepped before cameras and announced she had a 12-year affair with then-Gov. Bill Clinton, joining a roster of attractive women who reported similar dalliances, wanted and unwanted. Miss Flowers has stepped forward once again to reveal that in 2005, Mr. Clinton offered to come visit her once again.

“I picked up the telephone, and it was him. I said, ‘No, you can’t come over here. No way.’ I said ‘No, you can’t come to my house.’ He said, ‘I’ll put on a hoodie and jog up there.’ He used to do that. I said ‘No. No. And I want you to leave me alone.’ And that was the end of it,” said Miss Flowers, now 62, as she sipped wine and laughed languidly through an interview with WGNO, an ABC affiliate in New Orleans.

She also had advice for Paula Broadwell, still generating scandalous news coverage of her affair with former CIA Director David H. Petraeus.

“Call me, Paula,” Miss Flowers said, miming a phone to her ear. “I’ll give you some really good advice.”

The self-described “cougar,” author and motivational speaker, incidentally, is currently shopping around a new reality show titled “The Real Housewives of New Orleans,” in which she plays herself.

“I’m always looking for romance,” she explains.

NOTEWORTHY TOPOGRAPHY

“Whoever knew that financial black holes contain fiscal cliffs? Amazing.”

- Best-selling thriller novelist Brad Thor, in a tweet on Wednesday

ABOUT THAT LUNCH

Fresh veggies from the White House kitchen garden? Indeed, there could very well be a kale salad involved, though tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches might be more comforting. Or meatloaf.

Inquiring minds ponder what will be on the menu when Mitt Romney arrives at the White House on Thursday for a private lunch with President Obama, actually a traditional political ritual meant to prove to the nation’s critics around the planet that civility ultimately prevails in American presidential elections.

The public tone has already been set, with warm praise for Mr. Romney served as tasty appetizer.

“I’m sure that the topics will be many in their lunch. The president noted that Governor Romney was very successful in running the Olympics. He was obviously a successful businessman, and I’m sure has some ideas that the president will find helpful,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told the press gaggle Wednesday, revealing little else.

REINVENTED HUNTSMAN

He just wants folks in Washington to get along. Be productive. Stop quibbling. So says former Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman Jr., now on the cusp of signing on as co-chairman of No Labels, a well-heeled activist group that pines to be a grass-roots effort devoted to “stop fighting, start fixing.” Creating a third political party does not interest them. At least, not yet.

“Too many people in Washington believe that leading consists of imposing their will on the opposition,” Mr. Huntsman said during an official No Labels conference call. “This all-or-nothing leadership is an attitude that may work on military battlefields or in competitive business markets. But it’s a recipe for dysfunction in democratic politics.”

He added, “Compromise has got to be seen as more than a treasonous thing.”

His earnest talk drew catcalls, though.

“Jon Huntsman joining No Labels. In other news, No Labels changing its name to No Personality,” noted Commentary editor-in-chief John Podhoretz in a tweet.

“By ‘no labels,’ they claim they are middle of the road and super fair and such. What they really mean is Better Than You,” points out the staff at Twitchy.com.

“‘Joining’ is just a label, so Jon Huntsman’s status remains unchanged,” concludes syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg.

MITCH DANIELS’ CHALLENGE

It’s a bit of a dicey situation facing former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who becomes president of Purdue University in January. The faculty is about to revolt against “bureaucratic bloat” at the public university, where the number of administrative employees has jumped 54 percent, eight times the number of academic hires.

Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000 chief diversity officer. It employs 16 deans and 11 vice presidents, among them a $253,000 marketing officer and a $433,000 business school chief, according to Bloomberg News. The situation is worse, on average, at other U.S. universities.

Mr. Daniels, described as a “game changer” by the trustees who hired him five months ago, promises that the school will educate “at the highest level the engineers, scientists, agricultural experts and information technologists on whom our state and national success disproportionately depend.”

Yeah, well.

“I don’t know what any of these people do,” complained biomedical engineering professor J. Paul Robinson, chairman of the faculty Senate and organizer of the revolt, as he strode — gesticulating — through a fancy 10-story “administrative tower” on campus.

“We’re here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible. Why is it that we can’t find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?” Mr. Robinson told Bloomberg.

POLL DU JOUR

• 77 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the cost of health care in the U.S.

• 67 percent describe the U.S. health-care system as being in a “state of crisis” with “major problems.”

• 62 percent rate the actual quality of health care in the U.S. as good to excellent.

• 58 percent rate health care coverage in the U.S. as fair to poor.

• 54 percent say it is not the responsibility of the federal government to ensure all Americans have health care.

• 44 percent disagree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,015 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 15-18.

Hoots, hollers, murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com