- The Washington Times - Monday, February 21, 2000

Stiffed again

Joshua Trupo, the 11-year-old son of the waitress Hillary Rodham Clinton stiffed recently, is about to learn a quick lesson in economics.
The first lady and her Senate campaign staff sent him a $100 U.S. savings bond last week to make up for forgetting to tip his mom at an upstate New York restaurant. Trouble is, the bond, which cost $50, takes 13 years to mature to its $100 value. His mom, Tricia, had planned to use it to help with his education, but they can't touch it until he is 24 years old and presumably out of college.
Mrs. Trupo, a 31-year-old divorced mom who makes $2.90 an hour before tips, never attended college herself.
While she and Joshua are waiting for the bond to mature, they will have the immediate use of the $20 hard cash that Census Bureau employee Cheryl Samilio Meyer left her last week. Ms. Meyer called The Washington Times Friday to say she tipped her out of her own pocket "on behalf of the first lady" when she learned that Mrs. Clinton "had visited the restaurant and slighted the waitress."
"There is no way she would ever intentionally slight anyone," said Ms. Meyer, who met the first lady when they both spoke at an event in the Niagara Falls region.
Although the owner of the restaurant had identified her as someone who "traveled" with the first lady, Ms. Meyer said she has never "physically traveled" with her and she is not her personal friend or a colleague. Ms. Meyer was lunching at the Village House Restaurant last week with town clerks in Orleans County to discuss plans for the upcoming census.
Her donation was personal and not related to her job, she said.
As of Thursday, things had yet to settle down to normal in the little farming town of Albion.
"It is getting crazier," restaurant owner Alex Mitrousis said. "Still, people are calling from all over the country… . Why is there such a big interest? I can't understand. It was an oversight."

Handling defeat

Some have called Sen. John McCain's concession speech "mean-spirited." Others have portrayed it as "a call to arms."
On "Fox News Sunday," Texas Gov. George W. Bush was asked about the speech Mr. McCain delivered following his double-digit loss to Mr. Bush in Saturday's Republican presidential primary in South Carolina.
In the speech, the Arizona senator said the race with Mr. Bush offered voters a "choice between a record of reform and empty slogans, a choice between experience and pretense."
"I think you can judge the nature of a leader by how he handles defeat," Mr. Bush told program host Tony Snow.
"Name-calling is one thing. But the results prove what the people in this state think is important, and I stand by what happened here in South Carolina," Mr. Bush said in the interview conducted Saturday night.
Mr. Snow asked Mr. Bush if he was saying Mr. McCain is not a strong leader.
"No … you just laid out a quote [by Mr. McCain] that I don't agree with," Mr. Bush said before he was cut off.
Said Mr. Snow: "Well, I'm just trying to square it, because you just said you judge a leader by the way they react to defeat. What am I to draw from that?"
Mr. Bush responded: "If he's calling me names after the campaign, if he's ridiculing me, you can draw the conclusions you want."

The flag issue

On "Fox News Sunday," journalist Morton Kondracke echoed many pundits who said Texas Gov. George W. Bush's strength in South Carolina came from "regular Republicans," including "conservatives and the religious right."
"It was also and I'm not sure that Bush would like to wave a banner about this but it was people who felt that the Confederate flag should continue to fly" over the South Carolina state Capitol in Columbia.
"That will be used against him, you can be sure," Mr. Kondracke said.
But Fox News' Brit Hume said, "I don't think the Confederate flag was the key issue in South Carolina."

Survival of the fittest

Former South Carolina Gov. Carroll Campbell and religious broadcaster Pat Robertson are both supporters of George W. Bush, and both are obviously thrilled with the Texas governor's strong victory in South Carolina's Republican primary.
But Mr. Campbell, interviewed Saturday on CNN's "Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields," said he disagrees with at least one of Mr. Robertson's political prognostications about Mr. Bush's presidential race with Sen. John McCain.
On CNN's "Late Edition" Feb. 13, Mr. Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition, predicted the Republican Party would be "destroyed" if Mr. McCain emerges as the GOP presidential nominee.
Asked if he shares that view, Mr. Campbell said, "I think the Republican Party is strong enough by itself that no one person is going to destroy it by something they do. Obviously, you can create some mischief, you know, by different ways. But, no, I don't think he can destroy the Republican Party. I think it's very viable."

Giving thanks

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton may forget to tip her occasional waitress, but at least she knows enough to thank supporters who contribute to her New York Senate campaign on line.
Mrs. Clinton's Senate Web site (www.hillary2000.org) sends donors an immediate and personalized e-mail saying "Thank you so much" after they make an on-line contribution.
Her likely opponent, New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, only thanks his on-line donors if they complete a survey after they contribute.
It asks how they heard about his Web site (www.rudyyes.com), when they last voted and if the country is "going in the right direction" or if it has "gotten off on the wrong track." After they complete the form, it takes them to a home page that says, "We appreciate your responding to our survey. Your views are important to us and will be used to further the goals of our organization. Thank you again for your support."
Neither candidate asks their donors to vote for them in the tight New York Senate race.

World governance

For those wondering whatever happened to former Rep. John B. Anderson, the Illinois Republican who left the party to run for president as an independent in 1980, he is alive and well and leading a crusade for world government.
That bit of information comes via a full-page ad in Friday's New York Times by the World Federalist Association, of which Mr. Anderson is president and CEO.
In the ad, Mr. Anderson takes issue with Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who recently addressed the U.N. Security Council and warned it against any effort to thwart the sovereignty of the United States in conducting foreign policy.
Americans look to the United Nations "to take the lead in international relations, contrary to Senator Helms' view," Mr. Anderson said in the ad, pointing to President Clinton and Walter Cronkite as prominent figures who support a "world federation."

Debate will go on

A planned stagehands' strike at the Apollo Theatre in New York that threatened today's presidential debate between Democrats Al Gore and Bill Bradley was called off yesterday.
Both candidates had vowed not to cross a picket line at the 1,483-seat theater.

Bradley's got cash

Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Bradley's campaign yesterday reported $15.7 million on hand to continue his race against the front-runner, Vice President Al Gore, Bloomberg News reports.
"Looking ahead to the national primaries on March 7 and beyond, it is clear that we will have the resources to effectively communicate Bill Bradley's positive message," campaign Chairman Douglas C. Berman said in a statement accompanying the cash-on-hand figures.

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