- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2000

Kim slept here

In a high-rise condominium in Alexandria, Va., hometown of George Washington and Robert E. Lee across the Potomac River from Washington, a Korean named Kim Dae-jung lived in political exile from 1983 to 1985.

Tomorrow, in a ceremony outside the Watergate at Landmark condominiums, a small marker in honor of the 75-year-old Korean will be placed in a bed of azaleas and Korean mountain ash trees.

After all, the man who lived in "Unit 1608," an outspoken advocate of democracy and freedom who survived several assassination attempts, who was imprisoned several times and twice sentenced to die for his political, anti-military-government views, has become South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, the 15th president of the Republic of Korea.

Mr. Kim was elected president on Dec. 18, 1997. He's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and last July 4 was awarded the Philadelphia Liberty Medal at Independence Hall.

We're told Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, will be on hand for the ceremony, along with soon-to-depart South Korean Ambassador Lee Hong-koo and Alexandria Mayor Kerry J. Donley, a likely future congressional candidate on the Democrat ticket.

Fred Rowan?

"It's times like these my dad wishes he'd named me Fred," Carl T. Rowan Jr. remarked yesterday, after reading in this column where his pro-gun speech to a National Rifle Association audience was wrongly credited by one newspaper to his father, liberal columnist Carl T. Rowan Sr.

"I read the column and said there's either been a horrible mistake or else my dad is stealing my best lines," says Mr. Rowan, an NRA board member and former FBI agent.

Mr. Rowan acknowledges being at odds with his dad on political and social issues, but the ensuing debate "is a family tradition."

"He encourages us to make up our own minds on these kinds of things," says Mr. Rowan, who practices law and owns a corporate-security firm.

As for the recent Million Mom March, the topic of his speech, it was "a made-for-the-elections publicity stunt" orchestrated by President Clinton and his wannabe-successor, Vice President Al Gore, he says.

"I don't think the march will have any lasting impact at all, at least not what [the Democrats] are looking for."

No wonder

Poll-following politicians don't really care what people think, says Lawrence A. Jacobs.

"It is folklore that American politicians pander to public opinion by using polls to formulate their major policy decisions," says Mr. Jacobs. But the folklore is backwards, says the University of Minnesota professor who will be in town June 12 to introduce his new book, "Politicians Don't Pander."

What politicians really do, he says, is use polling "to determine how to … win public support for the policies they and their supporters favor."

"No wonder record numbers of Americans report that elected officials 'don't listen to them' or 'don't care what they think,' " he says.

Book club

One day after former Gore staffer Deb Callahan rewarded her old boss with an endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters (where she now sits as president), the Gore campaign sought to explain how the vice president grew his green roots.

"Al Gore's first lessons about the importance of protecting the environment came from his childhood," Gore 2000 said yesterday. "Working on his family's farm in Carthage, Tenn., he learned about the importance of preventing soil erosion.

"His mother, Pauline, was moved by Rachel Carson's expose on harmful pesticides, 'Silent Spring,' and the family discussed it at the dinner table. He learned from his parents that each of us in our daily lives, and all of us as a society, have to safeguard the Earth that sustains us."

As for Ms. Callahan, she worked on Mr. Gore's presidential campaign in 1987 and 1988 as deputy political director.

New beat

After an unsuccessful stint as a CBS television host, former Rep. Susan Molinari is turning to print, signing a contract to become a columnist for www.JagNotes.com Inc., a leading global provider of Internet-based equities research and financial news.

Her new beat: Capitol Hill and the White House, with an eye toward Wall Street. Name of the column: "Capital Know."

"Susan is a welcomed addition to our news team, particularly with the Fed continuing its efforts to slow economic expansion and the Democratic administration facing its most serious opposition in eight years," says Philip Recchia, the site's executive producer.

Inside the Boneyard?

"The Beltway's two-party monopoly is headed for the boneyard; we are on course to appear on all 50 state ballots by November."

Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan yesterday

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