Tuesday, January 4, 2000

Beatty out

Warren Beatty is ruling out a run for the presidency but not necessarily forever.

“I’m not running now,” he said in an interview in the February issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

“I think the question is: Can I be effective at another time? Whether that is in a year, or two years, who knows?”

The actor suggested last summer that he was interested in a run as a Democratic candidate. He declined in November to seek a spot on the California primary ballot, but would not comment then on his future plans.

Although he had previously said it was not likely he would actually become a candidate, the interview in Vanity Fair advance copies of which were released yesterday appeared to put the question to rest, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Beatty said he decided not to run after realizing that a poor showing on his part could damage his liberal agenda and the issues that matter to him including schools and a ban on special-interest money for political campaigns.

He told the magazine he feared his critics would say: ” ‘Look, Mr. Movie Star was up here and tried to do something with these issues and look how unpopular they are.’ Well, I don’t believe that.”

Mr. Beatty added: “One has to be very, very careful not to be an unwitting party to making what most people consider to be unfashionably liberal ideas appear to be more unpopular than they really are.”

Keep on voting

Mr. Gargan said yesterday he wants another mail-in vote by the 140-member national committee so he doesn’t have to choose between the two previous votes.

“We’re starting from scratch,” he said.

The site of the convention has been a battle between the supporters of Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and party founder Ross Perot. Mr. Gargan believes new national committee members who support presidential candidate Pat Buchanan could sway the coming vote.

Former Chairman Russ Verney, a Perot ally, harshly criticized Mr. Gargan’s decision to call another vote, the Associated Press reports.

“This is a temper tantrum by Jesse’s boys up there who want the convention in Minnesota so they can stack the deck. It’s just not going to happen,” Mr. Verney said.

The first vote on the convention site went to Long Beach, Calif. Mr. Verney conducted that vote by the executive committee. In November, Minnesota Chairman Rick McCluhan and California Chairman Paul Hale polled national committee members by mail. Minnesota won.

Half a loaf

The candidates will eventually get the full amounts, but not until after April 15. So few taxpayers have checked the box diverting $3 to the presidential campaign fund that there is not enough money in the fund now to give the candidates all of their money, the Associated Press reports.

Seven current candidates and one former candidate will get $16.9 million of the $34 million they are entitled to. The federal government matches the first $250 of each individual contribution to candidates agreeing to limit their campaign spending for the primaries.

Republicans Steve Forbes and George W. Bush are not accepting federal funds and do not have to limit their spending.

Vice President Al Gore will receive almost $5.5 million, while Democratic opponent Bill Bradley will get $4.1 million and Lyndon LaRouche will get $364,468.

On the Republican side, John McCain will get almost $2.1 million, while Gary Bauer will receive nearly $2 million and Alan Keyes will get $616,630. Dan Quayle, who withdrew from the race last year, will get $1 million.

Reform Party candidate Patrick Buchanan, who left the GOP after qualifying for matching funds, will get almost $1.2 million.

Mississippi to choose

Lt. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove won the popular vote in the general election Nov. 2 against Republican Mike Parker but did not get the majority needed for outright victory. That sent the governor’s race to the Legislature.

In a Democrat-dominated House, Mr. Musgrove is expected to succeed Republican Kirk Fordice, retaking the governor’s office for the party that has held it during the past century for all but Mr. Fordice’s eight years.

In the weeks since the election, what is traditionally a busy period of building a new administration and preparing the Governor’s Mansion for a new tenant has passed with little action. Mr. Musgrove and Mr. Parker have largely withdrawn from public view.

Neither candidate has begun putting together a Cabinet and choosing agency heads, let alone planning an inauguration or an agenda for this week’s start of a four-month legislative session, the Associated Press reports.

Monica in therapy

After two years in the media spotlight for an illicit sex affair that resulted in the impeachment of President Clinton, the 26-year-old former White House intern says she’s in therapy, heading her own Internet business, working as a spokeswoman for a diet company and putting the past behind her.

“I feel like I’m on the right path now,” Miss Lewinsky said in an interview published in USA Today. “I may not be where I want to end up, but at least I’m sort of on the right path, and that feels really good to me.”

Miss Lewinsky, who’s been the butt of countless jokes on late-night TV, says she still has trouble adjusting to the fact that so many strangers know so much about her personal life and private behavior.

The lonely guy

Mr. Clinton’s aides “describe a president who has determined for reasons as practical as political reality and as personal as the emptiness of his residence to make foreign policy the focus of his last 12 months in office,” writes reporter David E. Sanger in a news analysis.

Foreign policy “is the one arena where he believes he can continue to wield power as two major political campaigns one starring his wife, the other his vice president take more and more of the spotlight, his aides say. And it is an escape from a White House that a close adviser calls ‘a very lonely place these days.’ “

Bradley grilling

The “town hall” meeting from Saint Anselm College will be broadcast from 7 to 8 on MSNBC’s “Hardball.”

Last day

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