- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2000

Presidential decline

"If Teddy Roosevelt was the first modern president, Bill Clinton could be the last the last before a different, postmodern president evolves," Dennis Farney reports in a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal.
"The two stand as bookends to the century: Mr. Roosevelt expanding the presidency, Mr. Clinton presiding over a period of presidential decline. 'The presidency today is less important than at any time since the 1920s,' argues Richard Norton Smith, director of the Gerald R. Ford library and museum in Michigan. The reasons are both small and large," the reporter said.
"Start with the small. Mr. Clinton is 'paradoxically the victim of the publicity overexposure that Teddy Roosevelt started,' Mr. Smith says. In an age when the president is asked 'whether he wears boxers or briefs and he answers the question our presidents wear out faster than they used to.'
"But Mr. Clinton (who ranked 21st of 41 in the recent ranking of presidents by historians) has been limited by larger historical forces. The end of the Cold War, far more than the Monica Lewinsky scandal, has deprived him of a source of power that sustained the presidency for half a century. And the prosperity he helped engender has damped the public's appetite for bold initiatives."

Music man

Rep. David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat, has decided to liven up the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Milwaukee next month by performing a song that makes fun of Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
Mr. Obey wrote the tune, "What a Friend We Have in W," for his bluegrass band, the Capitol Offenses. Here it is:
What a friend we have in W [Dubya].
He's our hero fast and true,
Flew his fighter out from Texas
To take the White House for George II.
That McCain's a no-good liberal.
I'll put that pinko in his place,
Carpet-bomb him with some greenbacks.
Dad said … this shouldn't be a race.
What a friend we have in W [Dubya]
To lose is more than he can bear,
And so to carry South Carolina,
He played politics with prayer.
He worked to build a right-wing army.
He patched together quite a crew,
Joined hands with Robertson and Falwell,
And even smiled on Bob Jones U.
What a friend we have in W [Dubya]
He claims to bring a voice that's new,
But when it comes to foreign issues,
It's clear he doesn't have a clue.
And now we all have learned a lesson
We've seen what pain we needless bear
When we divide our trusting nation
By playing politics with prayer.

Blame McCain

Homosexual activists knew recognition of homosexual marriage would be a tough sell to California voters, but they contend that presidential hopeful John McCain's attack on Christian conservatives killed any chance they had in Tuesday's referendum, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Proposition 22, prohibiting California from recognizing same-sex unions performed in other states, passed with 61 percent of the vote. Exit polls conducted by Voter News Service show that the measure passed with broad support from men and women, and across all racial and income groups. But Republicans backed it 6-to-1.
"You have a very hotly contested Republican race that drew a lot of excitement," said Wayne Besen, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual-rights group. "On top of that, John McCain's going into the heart of the Bible Belt and blasting [the Revs. Jerry] Falwell and [Pat] Robertson.
"That mobilized a lot of people who would vote 'yes' to go to the polls," Mr. Besen said. "It certainly motivated members of the religious right."
Exit polls conducted by Voter News Service show that of white voters in California, about 9 percent identified themselves as Christian conservatives. Ninety-two percent of those voters supported the ban on homosexual " •arriage."

Hsia threatens to sue

Republican Chairman Jim Nicholson is daring Maria Hsia to sue him.
Attorneys for the former fund-raiser for Vice President Al Gore, convicted of money laundering at a Buddhist temple visited by Mr. Gore in 1996, phoned the Republican National Committee and threatened a libel suit based on Mr. Nicholson's often-repeated statement that Hsia was an agent of the Communist Chinese government, the RNC said in a prepared statement.
"For the convenience of her lawyers, I will repeat the truth here," Mr. Nicholson said. "Maria Hsia, the convicted felon who was a key confidante and fund-raiser for Al Gore and who helped arrange Gore's fund-raiser at the Hsi Lai Buddhist temple, was an agent of the Communist Chinese government, and has been identified as such by a committee of the United States Senate.
"If Maria Hsia's attorneys wish to follow through on their threat of a libel suit, we are willing to accept service of process at our offices, at 310 First St. SE, Washington, D.C. 20003, at any time during normal business hours."

Giuliani's givers

Wall Street firms and their employees, led by Credit Suisse First Boston Inc. and Moore Capital Management Inc., were the biggest contributors to New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's Senate campaign last year, Bloomberg News reports.
The political action committees and employees of investment banks, asset managers and specialist firms gave $782,000, according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Wall Street firms' donations accounted for eight of the top 20 contributions to Mr. Giuliani's Republican campaign, which raised $11.8 million. Credit Suisse executives and their families contributed $121,800.
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is Mr. Giuliani's Democratic opponent, raised $8.1 million according to Federal Election Commission records, including $363,635 from Wall Street. Credit Suisse gave her campaign $17,700.
Mr. Giuliani got more money from Wall Street than Mrs. Clinton, even though the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board puts some limits on what Wall Street can give.

The veepstakes

Now that the Republicans and the Democrats have all but selected their nominees for president, the veepstakes can begin. And Wall Street Journal columnist Al Hunt wasted no time in suggesting a running mate for Al Gore.
"There are several worthy possibilities. But one in particular would be genuinely presidential and say something very positive about the vice president's values: George Mitchell, former federal judge, Senate majority leader and the driving force behind the effort to bring peace to Northern Ireland," Mr. Hunt wrote Thursday.
Mr. Hunt also mentioned California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Florida Sen. Bob Graham, Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey and North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, but the columnist said Mr. Mitchell "is in a class by himself." And as a Catholic who tried to bring peace to Northern Ireland, he would help with that huge bloc of voters, the columnist said.

No white guys, please

California Republicans are now discriminating against white males, according to the New Republic.
Doug Foster writes in the magazine's March 13 issue: "State Sen. Jim Brulte, one of the leading GOP moneymen in California and a prominent conservative, announced that the political action committee he controlled no longer would offer financial support to white men, but instead encourage women and minorities to run as Republicans."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide