- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Female needs

Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the first Jew to run for the presidency on a major-party ticket, is quickly making religion an issue in the 2000 presidential campaign, telling one church congregation that "as a people, we need to reaffirm our faith and renew the dedication of our nation and ourselves to God and God's purposes."
Of course, rabbis, priests and ministers alike are delighted that Mr. Lieberman is mixing a little spiritual guidance with his politics.
In fact, at the same time the Connecticut Democrat was tending to his assembled flock at the all-black Fellowship Chapel in Detroit on Sunday, the Rev. Stefan Starzynski, the assistant pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church across the Potomac River in Alexandria, Va., was recalling in his homily a Promise Keepers rally of Christian men he had attended near the White House.
For too long, the men were told, the tremendous contributions of women in both family and society had been overlooked. So, the men were told to go back to their houses and "wash the feet" of their wives and mothers.
And how did the women react?
Revealed Father Starzynski: "One of the wives I spoke to later said, 'I don't need him to wash my feet, I need him to do the laundry.' "

Everywhere but Omaha

Today, President Clinton visits Egypt. Yesterday he was in Tanzania, huddling with tribal drummers in headdresses.
In seven-plus years in the White House, Mr. Clinton holds the record for travel, somewhere (we've lost count) around 70 countries and territories, not including repeat visits. In comparison, President Reagan in eight years visited 26 countries including his famous visit to West Berlin where he called on Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."
Here at home, Mr. Clinton has visited 49 of 50 states, snubbing Nebraska (it must not have helped when Sen. Bob Kerrey, Nebraska Democrat, called the president "an unusually good liar").
Since Nebraska's admission to the union in 1867, the Omaha World-Herald once observed, every sitting president came to the state except two James Garfield and Warren G. Harding, both of whom had good excuses. They died in office.
So will Mr. Clinton visit Nebraska before he leaves office?
"There was an invitation for something in August, I don't remember the exact date, but because of his travel schedule, he couldn't go," White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart told Inside the Beltway yesterday.
"But he's indicated he will make a trip to Nebraska before he leaves office, [but] we don't know precisely at what point he will go."
Mr. Lockhart explained that the president is "saving the best place for last."

Growing majority

Vice President Al Gore knew going into his speech to the Democratic National Convention that to win the White House he had to incite Big Labor behind his Democratic ticket.
"He incited Big Labor all right," House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's communications director, Pete Jeffries, tells this column.
You see, just as Mr. Jeffries and his wife, Kristin, sat down to watch Mr. Gore deliver his televised address to the nation, she went into labor. Big labor.
The next day, Aug. 18, Mason Pierce Jeffries 8 pounds, 10 ounces was born. He is the couple's first child.
Mason is the second baby born this summer to a senior aide of Mr. Hastert. Policy director Ralph Hellmann and his wife, Suzanne, welcomed Hans Richard Hellmann into the world in June.
"The speaker's office is growing the House majority one baby at a time," Mr. Jeffries explains.

Zero gain

Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are hopeful more Americans will concentrate on electing a new president after Labor Day.
In the meantime, we've asked readers to tell us what, if not politics, occupies their minds?
June Campbell is one of several senior citizens to cite seven years of the current administration for her disenchantment with politics:
"I am a 77-year-old woman and have watched the decline of our society for many years under the Democratic machine. We had dignity back with [Presidents] Reagan and Bush. I was proud to be an American then.
"Now I see all the trash in movies, TV, videos, smut books, partial-birth abortion, the material generation, and I would still choose the '40s and '50s, when children were allowed to be children. Kids [then] were taught the three R's and the Constitution and Bill of Rights."
Art Russo, a 70-something retiree from Sun City Center, Fla., writes: "You ask what is on my mind, well in this order: my granddaughter, family, tennis, friends, my portfolio then the election.
"Sun City Center is mostly conservative, but there are no lively discussions at our social gatherings, probably because … I have friends and family that are so taken in with the Clinton administration, and this is what never ceases to amaze me. They are so anti-Republican that it makes me want to throw up.
"One last thought. Even though my wife is a registered independent, she will always vote Democratic, and of course, I vote Republican, so the net gain from our house is zero."

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