- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2000

Yuppie and hippie

Most overrated story in the closing days of the 2000 presidential campaign: Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush was pulled over a quarter-century ago for driving too slowly and was charged with DUI.

Most underrated story in the closing days of the 2000 presidential campaign: Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore did not distance himself from his introduction on MTV as a man who once listened to rock 'n' roll, rode a motorcycle and "even smoked the herb."

You can say that again

"What an extraordinary year and a half it has been!"

Hillary Rodham Clinton, in an e-mail the first lady-turned-New York Senate candidate sent yesterday to Inside the Beltway.

President Powell?

You say you can't stand anymore

Advertisements for Bush or Al Gore?

Well, no matter who's won,

This election is done,

So get ready for 2004!

F.R. Duplantier

Rove review

They were shaking their heads yesterday at Bush campaign headquarters, impressed with the pinpoint accuracy of September's prediction by Karl Rove, George W. Bush's chief political strategist, that Democrat Al Gore on election eve would be 35 electoral votes ahead of the Republican candidate.

Precisely the same count the Associated Press came up with Monday night.

"The guy is so into it," a top Bush aide says of Mr. Rove.

"I remember a long time ago somebody asking him about the competitive states, and he cited Florida as being crucial," the aide continues. "He said every day that Al Gore has to spend in Florida opens a new door for us someplace else. And look at all the states where that happened."

In fact, Mr. Gore was forced to spend a good chunk of his campaign in the Sunshine State, even kicking off the final day of his campaign in Miami and moving on to Tampa before heading home to vote.

Beats the train

Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson predicts e-mail will decide who becomes the U.S. president in 2004.

Mr. Nicholson says the GOP's decision to invest about $5.7 million in e-mails 18 months ago provided the party the infrastructure to communicate "with one click" with millions of on-line voters.

For the record, the RNC sent out 15 million e-grams in the last 14 days to spur on-line voters to the polls, including one yesterday from retired Gen. Colin Powell.

Maybe next time

Fringe party candidates failed again this year to come even close to capturing the White House. So what will it take for a third party candidate to win?

"In the years before the Civil War," educates John C. Berg, author of "The State of the Parties: The Changing Role of Contemporary American Parties," "anti-slavery voters were told they had to vote for the lesser evil slave-owning Whigs like Henry Clay.

"They refused, in small but growing numbers. The Whigs collapsed, the Republican Party was born, Lincoln became president, and the slaves were freed," he says. "Today, anti-corporate voters are being handed the same lesser-evil logic. But the sweeping political changes we need will only come when voters refuse this logic and thereby force the collapse of the two-party monopoly."

Comic relief

Speaking of fringe candidates, we had to laugh when Paul Chomicki announced the second the polls opened yesterday that he was ending his run for the presidency. Seems his campaign ran out of money.

"I can't afford to continue this campaign any further, so, as of now, I am indefinitely suspending my campaign. This press release uses up the remaining funds of the Chomicki campaign," he said.

Bubba's black hole

Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, heir to the Serbian throne and a major player in his own right in the transformation of his ancestral land, is wasting no time appealing to the newly elected U.S. president.

The crown prince is to appear across the street from the White House on Tuesday, at the Hay Adams Hotel, to speak on the potential role of a constitutional monarchy in the process of democratic transition in the war-torn region.

"The election of Vojislav Kostunica as president of Yugoslavia [Serbia and Montenegro] and the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, has handed the United States both an opportunity and a challenge," agrees the Rockford Institute's Center for International Affairs, which will host Prince Alexander as part of an all-day conference on Yugoslavia.

Conference aim: "To re-evaluate a failed Clinton-Gore-Albright-Holbrooke approach to the Balkan Peninsula premised on treating the Serbian nation not as an integral part of an extended European economic and political structure but only as an adversary and an economic nullity a permanent black hole at the center of the region."

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