- The Washington Times - Friday, January 21, 2000

Unfair advantage

The Washington Post's national staff reporter and columnist, Al Kamen, duly noted this week that first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's new White House spokesman is a former colleague at the newspaper.
What he didn't mention, however, is the Post's current connection to Lissa Muscatine. She's married to Brad Graham, one of Mr. Kamen's fellow reporters on the Post's national staff.
Mrs. Muscatine, a former speech writer for Mrs. Clinton, began work Tuesday, replacing Marsha Berry.

Parental guidance

We clicked into first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's senatorial Web site www.hillary2000.org and had to laugh at the written warning posted above the box where people can type in their home addresses in order to receive Mrs. Clinton's campaign updates: "Kids, check with your parents first."

Buying power

Speaking of Hillary Rodham Clinton's political aspirations, her popularity numbers in New York could use some bolstering.
The latest Marist poll has her trailing likely Republican opponent New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani by a rather wide margin of 49 percent to 40 percent.
Worse yet for Mrs. Clinton, the state's undecided voters say they are leaning toward Mr. Giuliani if for no other reason than he's been a resident of New York for longer than two weeks.
In a related development, Mr. Giuliani reveals that his exploratory committee has raised $12 million, setting a fund-raising record for this point in a Senate campaign.
Contributions, the mayor says, have come from 90,000 individuals in all 62 counties of New York, and exceed his original fund-raising projection by 41 percent.
Still, Mrs. Clinton continues to boast that she will raise in excess of $25 million in her bid to become the Empire State's next senator.
That doesn't include contributions to the first lady from numerous left-leaning special-interest groups, which pledge to pour millions more into Mrs. Clinton's coffers.
"We must expect that given the massive Clinton fund-raising machine, it's likely Hillary will outraise us," acknowledges Mr. Giuliani's campaign manager, Bruce Teitelbaum.

Popular seat

Six short years ago, Rep. Tim Penny, Minnesota Democrat, expressed disillusionment with Congress.
So, the congressman retired, went home, and taught at Winona State University until such time he apparently was no longer disillusioned.
Now, Mr. Penny, who served in the House from 1983 to 1994, has declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Senate. His next step would be to unseat freshman Sen. Rod Grams, Minnesota Republican.
Mr. Penny has his work cut out for him. He's the eighth candidate to enter the nomination race, facing among others a former U.S. attorney, a trial lawyer, a pair of state senators, a physician and a city alderman.
Mr. Penny, who sits on Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's advisory committee, contemplated running on the Reform Party ticket, but there's already a candidate there, too.


To our surprise, not everybody knows what is meant by "GOP."
"You use 'GOP' quite often," writes a reader from Kansas. "Could you educate on its meaning?"
And who better to ask about the GOP's history but the GOP itself.
"The GOP dates back to the 1870s," explains the Republican National Committee, "when the Boston Post shouted 'The GOP doomed' the Grand Old Party."
Which is what we always understood "GOP" stood for. What did we know?
The Congressional Record in 1875 picked up on "GOP," but christened it "this Gallant Old Party."
Either way, Republican historians figure the 1882 use of "GOM" "Grand Old Man" for British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone further stimulated the use of GOP in the United States.
Then along comes Henry Ford and his motorcar, and with each a new definition for GOP "Get Out and Push."
By the time the 1964 presidential election rolled around, GOP stood for the "Go Party," while President Nixon promoted a "Generation Of Peace."
Today, we're back to Grand Old Party, which, the RNC notes, is indeed an "ironic" term.
The Democratic Party, after all, was around 22 years before the Republican Party was established. That happened on July 6, 1854, in Jackson, Mich. Six short years later a tall Republican presidential candidate, Abe Lincoln, was making history.

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