- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2000

Naomi is back

“Controversial feminist Naomi Wolf is back advising Vice President Al Gore in yet another sign the trailing veep is willing to try just about anything to catch Republican George W. Bush,” the New York Post’s Deborah Orin writes.

“Wolf, you’ll recall, is the clothes/political adviser who brought Gore endless late-night ridicule by dressing him in earth tones and preaching (despite official denials) about the need to be a macho ‘Alpha male.’

“Her advocacy of teaching teens about oral sex, though, prompted Gore to take something less than an Alpha male stance and plead total ignorance, insisting he’d never, never, never read one word of it,” Miss Orin noted.

“She was such an embarrassment at $15,000-a-month pay that the Gore camp tried to hide the fact that she was on staff and as the Democratic primaries heated up, she discreetly vanished amid talk of maternity leave.

“Now, sources say Wolf is happily bragging she’s back in the loop as Gore tries to reinvent his campaign once again.

“Officially, Gore spokesman Doug Hattaway took the stance that Wolf never left. ‘She advises on youth issues and words on our Gorenet [Internet] program,’ he said. And is she being paid? ‘I believe so.’ “

Campaign evolves

The issue of evolution threatens Republican Party unity in a Kansas district where the GOP has high hopes of winning back a House seat, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In 1998, Rep. Dennis Moore became the first Democrat to represent the district in the Kansas City, Mo., suburbs in nearly four decades, after many Republicans split with Christian conservatives.

Now three Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination, and one of them, lawyer and former Republican county chairman Greg Musil, is making evolution the centerpiece of his campaign. Mr. Musil is running ads condemning the Kansas Board of Education for allowing school districts to decide whether or not to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“We can act like we don’t care that Jay Leno laughs at us, but we’re losing jobs and new businesses because of this,” Mr. Musil said. He asks audiences: “How many of you want your kid to learn less science than any other kid in America?”

Conservative candidate Phill Kline, described by reporter Dennis Farley as the early front-runner, emphasizes tax cuts and tries to ignore the evolution issue as a loser for Republicans.

“The ‘missing link’ in Greg’s argument is its relevancy to a congressional campaign,” Mr. Kline told the newspaper, accusing Mr. Musil of trying to divide the party.

The third candidate in the race, physician Gary Morsch, says he favors the teaching of evolution even though he disagrees with Darwin’s theory.

Birthday boy

Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush celebrated his 54th birthday quietly Thursday with his family. He also said he intended to go for a jog.

The Texas governor was not planning to stop in on his campaign headquarters in Austin and had no public events on his schedule, Reuters reports.

Mr. Bush did get two birthday cakes Wednesday, one from organizers of a Hispanic conference in San Diego and the other from reporters and staff on his campaign plane.

On both occasions, there was an awkward pause during the singing of “Happy Birthday to You,” on the line “Happy birthday Mr… .”

In San Diego, some seemed to sing “Mr. President” evoking memories of Marilyn Monroe’s unforgettable rendition in honor of President Kennedy but most stuck to “Mr. Governor.” On the plane, some sang “Mr. Governor” and others “Mr. Bush.”

Mr. Bush said he had no particular emotions about turning 54, since it was not a landmark year like 50 or 55.

Lieberman to run again

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, plans to seek re-election to a third term, saying he will make education reform his top priority in the next six years.

In recent months, Mr. Lieberman has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign.

“I don’t expect to be asked,” Mr. Lieberman said Wednesday. “Obviously, if that ever happened, I’d certainly think about it, but to me, it’s a nonevent.”

Mr. Lieberman, 58, said if re-elected he would focus on federal education reform, including giving local school systems more flexibility in spending federal funds, the Associated Press reports.

Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, a Republican, last month announced his challenge to Mr. Lieberman.

Cheers at church

Vice President Al Gore drew hearty cheers from delegates to the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s General Conference in Cincinnati, but a senior bishop said the nation’s oldest black church was not ready to endorse the vice president’s campaign for president.

“We don’t play partisan politics in the AME Church, and we will defer making any comments or endorsement of the vice president’s political aspirations,” Senior Bishop John Hurst Adams said after Mr. Gore addressed the group Wednesday night.

There were cheers when Mr. Gore talked about traditional Democratic themes Social Security, affirmative action and raising the minimum wage and issues that Mr. Gore has been hitting hard lately, including free preschool and the expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs, the Associated Press reports.

He said the Clinton-Gore administration deserved credit for raising incomes in black households and said delegates could keep the nation “on the right track” by helping elect him.

“We have made good progress, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” Mr. Gore said. “We’re going to higher ground.”

Clinton’s legacy?

Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s presidential campaign Thursday was trumpeting polls showing the Texas governor leading in two states including President Clinton’s home state of Arkansas.

Mr. Bush leads Vice President Al Gore in the state of Washington, according to a Mellman Group poll that was conducted for Democratic Senate candidate Maria Cantwell and reported Thursday by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Mr. Bush had 46 percent to Mr. Gore’s 41 percent in the survey of 600 likely voters in that state, which went heavily for the Clinton-Gore ticket in 1992 and 1996.

In Arkansas, Mr. Bush now has a double-digit lead, according to a Dresner, Wickers & Associates poll released Wednesday. The poll of 506 likely Arkansas votes showed Mr. Bush with 46.3 percent to Mr. Gore’s 36 percent.

No Bolsheviks, please

Brian Saunders says he will file petitions Monday to get on the ballot as a conservative third-party alternative to Rep. Constance A. Morella, Maryland Republican.

Mr. Saunders is a member of the Constitution Party.

“There are too many Republicans and independents in this county that are tired of going to the ballot and having to cast a vote for a liberal Democrat in Republican clothing just in order to keep an even more Bolshevik Democrat from winning office,” campaign consultant Bill White said Thursday in a prepared statement.

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