- The Washington Times - Friday, March 31, 2000

Dandy toke

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, the aging (he turned 52 Thursday) Southern boogie rocker and lead singer of Black Oak Arkansas, says not only did he and Bill Clinton smoke dope together, but like the president, "I didn't inhale, either."

"Oh, yeah, [Mr. Clinton's] a good friend of mine," says Dandy, the son of an Arkansas cotton farmer. "I've known him since before he was attorney general. We used to smoke together."

Dandy's comments were previously published in Westword, a Denver weekly newspaper, and now are posted on the official Black Oak Arkansas Web site.

"He promised me he was going to legalize pot and socialize medicine," Dandy says of Mr. Clinton. "Yeah. And he says he didn't inhale? Well, I ain't saying he's a liar. I didn't inhale, either."

If so, the story observed, it's practically the only thing Dandy hasn't done. No reaction from the White House Thursday.

Greenspan vacancy

Two passengers aboard a Delta Shuttle about to depart Washington for New York Sunday were given the bum's rush off the airplane because there weren't enough seats.

OK, there were enough seats.

"It seems the gate agent forgot that [Federal Reserve Chairman] Alan Greenspan and his wife, [NBC News reporter] Andrea Mitchell, plus two others, had blocked off two rows of three seats each for extra elbow room, which meant that two hapless travelers had to get off the plane and wait for the next flight," says one gentleman passenger.

"Who said there's no imperial class in this country?"

We called the Federal Reserve, which actually welcomed the opportunity to talk about something besides rising interest rates. Mr. Greenspan, it turns out, actually wanted to accommodate the jilted passengers.

"The chairman and Andrea had two seats, an empty seat between them," says a Greenspan aide. "On this particular flight, there were two [security] agents in the row behind the chairman, with the seat between them also vacant.

"The two passengers … spotted the two empty seats and said to the flight attendant, 'Here's two empty seats.' One of our agents actually offered to move up to the seat between the chairman and Andrea, but the chief flight attendant said, 'No, we don't want to do that.'

"But it was our decision to accommodate the two passengers."

President Dole

Bob Dole laughs and tells this column he was mainly needling his former Senate colleagues when he observed earlier this week that his wife, Elizabeth Dole, could very well be the Senate's next president. As in vice president of the United States.

"There are those who speculate that come next January, you just might be looking at the husband of the president of the Senate," the former Senate majority leader told his amused audience in the Old Senate Chamber.

Does Mr. Dole know something the rest of us don't?

"I don't know what's going to happen," Mr. Dole told us in an interview Thursday.

"Usually, you wait until you get nearer the convention" to announce your running mate, Mr. Dole adds, referring to Republican presidential front-runner Gov. George W. Bush. "First they have to do a lot of background checks on candidates A, B, C and D."

Mrs. Dole challenged Mr. Bush for this year's Republican nomination, and is among several mentioned to be in the running for vice president.

Thanks, Dick

Web users who pushed their mouses into House Majority Leader Dick Armey's Web site were shocked this week to read House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt's Web page instead.

"What better way to highlight how out of date the other Web site is than to put it on our own front page," explains Richard Diamond, spokesman for the Texas Republican.

Mr. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat, updated his page Thursday for the first time in four months.

Sacrifice remembered

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was touched by the message left on his answering machine by an eighth-grade teacher of St. Hugh's Parochial School in Greenbelt, Md.

The teacher, Bob Murphy, wondered if Mr. Dole might consider accepting a donation of pennies more than 132,000 of them collected by his school's 247 students for the World War II Memorial campaign.

"I called him back, and he asked if there was any chance I'd show up for this, and I said, 'Let's do it. And better yet, let's do it on a Saturday when the children's grandpas and others involved in World War II can attend.'

"So they've got a little ceremony set up. They're going to give me the pennies, and 'The Star-Spangled Banner' will be played.

"It's not just the money," Mr. Dole adds, "It's the fact that these children have taken a look at what their great-grandfathers and grandfathers have done [for this country]. We shouldn't live in the past, but it's nice for these children to know what their forebears have done, to learn more about their sacrifices."

The World War II veteran is $16 million short in his drive to raise $100 million for the memorial, to be built between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

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