- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2000

Crystal ball

On CNN's "Late Edition" yesterday, the Wall Street Journal's John Fund said: "I predict Bill Clinton will shut down the government in October, unless Republicans sign on to a major prescription drug plan."

Whose 'way of life'?

At an event Thursday that raised $5 million for the Democratic National Convention, the Associated Press reports, Barbra Streisand told the 6,000 Hollywood types in attendance at the Shrine Auditorium that this year's election is vital to them: "Our whole way of life is at stake."

White like Al

"Forget the upscale SUV-driving 'soccer moms' that represented the Holy Grail for Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign," Ronald Brownstein writes in the Los Angeles Times. "Both candidates this year, but especially [Vice President Al] Gore, are looking more toward minivan families living paycheck to paycheck."
Not all Democrats think "focusing largely on white working-class voters without a college education" is a good idea.
"Some key architects of President Clinton's two victories worry that Gore may be squandering one of Clinton's most important political achievements broadening the Democrats' appeal to families who are gaining ground economically," Mr. Brownstein writes. "But Gore, siding with liberal critics of Clinton's strategy, has apparently decided that the decisive vote in November will be less-affluent white voters, especially women."

Bad and worse

Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader says the Clinton-Gore administration "has been a disgrace, by and large, on environmental issues."
"They've given the auto industry an eight-year free ride. They haven't done much on pesticides. They haven't done much against the exposure of minority and low-income people and children to asthma levels and lead poisoning levels and toxic dumps," Mr. Nader said yesterday on CNN's "Both Sides With Jesse Jackson."
Republicans George W. Bush and Richard Cheney "are worse," Mr. Nader said. But he hastened to add that "Clinton and Gore are a lot of talk, and they're bad." The bottom line, he said, is that the Democratic and Republican tickets are giving the American people "a choice … between the bad and the worse" in terms of environmental protection.

What kind of man …

On NBC's "Tonight Show," Democratic strategist James Carville defended the planned Playboy Mansion fund-raiser that was canceled under pressure from top Democratic Party officials.
"I read Playboy," Mr. Carville said. "I subscribe to the Playboy Channel. I did the Playboy interview. I know Christie Hefner. She's a friend of mine. Now, we had something at the Playboy Mansion and everybody went crazy."

Rave reviews

Whatever the American people thought of Vice President Al Gore's big speech to the Democratic National Convention last week, the media loved it.
TV talking heads raved about Mr. Gore's speech, the Media Research Center reports.
On ABC's "Nightline," Ted Koppel said, "Al Gore tonight rose to the occasion… . Al Gore had to step out of the shadow of Bill Clinton tonight, and he did."
CNN's Bernard Shaw proclaimed that Mr. Gore "hit a home run" with his acceptance speech, declaring it "superb."
CBS' Ed Bradley called the speech "solid," while former Clinton spinmeister George Stephanopoulos told ABC's audience that Mr. Gore shaking the "stiff" label was "afire," worrying only that the speech was "maybe a little bit too hot for people at home."
Less than favorable comments included ABC's Sam Donaldson, who noted that Mr. Gore "in racing along … stepped on some of his best lines," and said the vice president seemed like he "was on speed tonight."

Lieberman's gaffe

In accepting the Democratic vice-presidential nomination last week, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman mocked the earlier Republican convention by saying "not since Tom Hanks won an Oscar has there been that much acting in Philadelphia."
But the Connecticut Democrat's remark indirectly stung a top Democratic leader.
Mr. Lieberman's jab referred to the 1994 movie, "Philadelphia," the story of a young lawyer who was fired because he was infected with the AIDS virus. The Republican Leadership Council points out that "Philadelphia" was based on the story of Clarence Cain, who won a discrimination suit against the law firm that fired him, Hyatt Legal Services.
The head of that firm? Joel Hyatt one of three finance chairmen of the Democratic National Committee.

'Socialist agenda'

The Democratic Party "is a classic socialist party," ex-leftist author David Horowitz told the National Review Online last week. "Certainly there are few politicians who will go out there and attack the markets frontally. On the other hand, what is the agenda of the Democratic Party if not to attack the market by the back door? What is universal health care but socialized medicine? What is the public-school system but a socialized educational institution? … Their agendas are to tie people to the state, to make them dependent on the state, and to control them. If that isn't a classic socialist agenda, I don't know what is."

Gore's message

Vice President Al Gore is "not a terribly effective politician," William Kristol and David Tell write in the latest issue of the Weekly Standard.
While President Clinton "refashioned his party" in a more mainstream direction, "Gore's grip is looser," Mr. Kristol and Mr. Tell suggest. So, at last week's Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, "the real Democratic Party … finally wandered back into the sunlight."
The lineup of convention speakers, who included D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, homosexual rights leader Elizabeth Birch and abortion rights activist Kate Michelman, was intended to send a message, the Standard writers suggest:
"If you believe it is important that the District of Columbia be the 51st state and that women be allowed to marry each other and undergo partial-birth abortions, though not necessarily in that order then you really must vote for Gore."

Convention cuddling

Because of the Lewinsky scandal, this year's major political conventions "turned into lovers' lanes" where "the candidates and their wives cooed, cuddled and smooched," Maureen Dowd writes in the New York Times.
At the Republican convention in Philadelphia, Texas Gov. George W. Bush "was the anti-Clinton, missing no chance to convey his faithfulness as a husband and father," Miss Dowd observes.
In Los Angeles last week, "Al Gore felt compelled to one-up his rival with 'Love Story, the Convention.' … When Al joined Tipper on stage, he grabbed her for a long, intense kiss more suited for a third date than the fourth night of a convention."
Miss Dowd suggests that all the "lovey-dovey talk" by Mrs. Gore who introduced her husband as the man "I have loved … for more than 30 years" was intended to convey "an important political message: Al and I have always been hot for each other and we still are, so don't worry about any Monicas."

Rim shot

On ABC's "Politically Incorrect" Thursday, Bill Maher said, "He made a good speech, Al Gore, tonight at the convention. He tried to come across, of course, as a regular guy. He said he's no different than most Americans who work hard, pay their taxes and hate their boss."

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