- The Washington Times - Friday, May 26, 2000

Turner scoop

“Well, it was bound to happen,” Jim Martin, president of the 60 Plus Association who way back in 1967 gave Texas Gov. George W. Bush his first political job tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Martin, who bears a striking resemblance to media baron and billionaire philanthropist Ted Turner, was among the few invited guests to join Mr. Bush when he huddled with Republican members of Congress at the Capitol Hill Club this week.

When attendees emerged, they were surrounded by the usual gaggle of reporters waiting outside, including one from the Hill newspaper, which boasts the largest circulation of any Capitol Hill publication.

“Media mogul Ted Turner also exited from the meeting sporting a ‘compassionate conservative’ button, and said the Bush message to the House GOP was ‘excellent’ and ‘right on track,’ ” the Hill reported in the next day’s newspaper.

Ted Turner a compassionate conservative?

“Obviously the reporter was quoting me,” says Mr. Martin. “But the reporter never did ask who I was.”

Mr. Martin says the reporter shouldn’t be too embarrassed.

“For four or five years now people have been making the mistake in identity, and I usually say to my conservative friends ‘don’t hold it against me.’ “

Sacrilegious joke

Taking a jab at National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston and Texas Gov. George W. Bush at the Democratic National Committee’s record fund-raising gala Wednesday night, Vice President Al Gore said: “If I remember my Bible correctly, the last time that Moses listened to a bush, his people wandered in a desert for 40 years.”

A comment that has angered some Jews.

“First of all, Moses didn’t listen to a bush he listened to the voice of God,” responds Matthew Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “God commanded Moses to be the leader of his people, and from that encounter Moses went on to fight against tyranny and free his people from slavery.

“The Jewish people wandered in the desert for 40 years because they fashioned an idol, the Golden Calf, and lost sight of their mission.”

Calling it a “tasteless and offensive” remark by a vice president who should know better (Mr. Gore attended divinity school, after all), Mr. Brooks says “American Jews expect their Bible and their religion to get more respect than that.”

‘Hillary Trap’

A book party to celebrate talking head Laura Ingraham’s new book, “The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places” (Hyperion), will be held the evening of June 8 at Jill and Joe Robert’s Ballantree Farm in McLean, Va.

In the opinion of Miss Ingraham, “Hillary has succeeded in making the country safer for infidelity. By letting Bill get away with it time after cheating time, Hillary shows millions of young women across the country that it’s OK, that some things are more important than trust and honesty.”

Not so silent

Speaking of new yarns, Washington public relations consultant and former Reagan aide Peter Hannaford has another book of quotes scheduled for publication in September, this one titled “The Quotable Calvin Coolidge: Sensible Words for a New Century.”

“After four Reagan books, including ‘The Quotable Ronald Reagan,’ I decided to do a book on one of President Reagan’s favorite predecessors,” Mr. Hannaford explains to this column.

“Soon after Reagan took up residence in the White House he hung a portrait of Coolidge in the Roosevelt Room,” he says. “Despite Coolidge’s nickname, ‘Silent Cal,’ he had plenty to say.”

This is Mr. Hannaford’s eighth book. The most recent, “The Essential George Washington,” was published last winter.

Hill pirates

If you thought a “filibuster,” or the dilatory tactics senators too often employ to delay or prevent legislative action, was kin to holding an opposing side on Capitol Hill hostage, you’re absolutely correct.

“The term ‘filibuster’ comes from the early 19th-century Spanish or Portuguese pirates’ term ‘filibusteros,’ meaning those who held ships hostage for ransom,” educates Sen. Larry E. Craig, Idaho Republican, this week.

Too liberal

“I take from reading your Inside the Beltway tidbits that you relish to think of yourself as in the loop of the liberal elite of Washington. You like to portray Republicans as stodgy, old and boring representatives primarily representing ‘fly-over’ areas am I right? Isn’t ‘fly-over’ country the term for all that vast wasteland between the liberal East Coast and the liberal West Coast?”

Mark Pickup, Alberta, Canada

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