- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2000

The Lord's work

"Al Gore seems to have achieved some sort of state of verbal nirvana in which no matter what he says, no one cares no outrage, no objection, no comment, no nothing," the Wall Street Journal observes.

"Here are two examples in one 24-hour period this weekend. As quoted in Sunday's New York Times, the vice president made a conference call on behalf of his candidacy to black ministers: 'I'm asking you in your sermons to do the work of the Lord here on Earth. I ask for your help in getting that message out urgently tomorrow.'

"So, electing him would be the work of the Lord? The call was made from aboard Air Force Two. The ACLU, IRS and People for the American Way, check your voice mail," the newspaper said in an editorial yesterday.

"And hours before Mr. Gore handed down his Sunday mission statement to the ministers, he offered this commentary on his opponent: 'The other side would actually expand the role of the federal government because they have proposed not only a huge $1.6 trillion tax cut, mostly to the wealthy, but also a $1 trillion Social Security privatization proposal.'

"There are words to describe this statement, and whopper isn't one of them."

The Lord's work II

Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the Democratic candidate for vice president, suggested Monday that hate-crime laws and Medicare are ordained by God.

"The fact is that we worked for civil rights and we work, for instance, as we are now, for protections against hate crimes … because we all are created by God, and as a result, every citizen deserves to be treated with the same respect and dignity," Mr. Lieberman said in a campaign stop at a retirement community in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"We provide health coverage to our seniors, in some ways, as an expression of the basic idea that's true to all religions and all groups, which is to honor our fathers and our mothers, our grandfathers and our grandmothers," he said.

Mr. Lieberman went on to belittle the prescription-drug plan of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, the New York Times reports.

Polling corner

Republican George W. Bush maintained his lead over Democrat Al Gore in four national tracking polls released yesterday before the presidential debate.

However, three of those results were within the margin of error.

The CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll gave Mr. Bush an advantage of 47 percent to 44 percent.

The Voter.com Battleground 2000 poll found the Republican was ahead, 43 percent to 40 percent.

The Reuters-MSNBC-Zogby poll was even closer, 44 percent to 43 percent in favor of Mr. Bush.

The Portrait of America poll (www.portraitofamerica.com) gave the Republican a much more comfortable lead, 47 percent to 39 percent.

Lazio ahead in cash

In the last five weeks, Republican Rep. Rick Lazio's fund-raising effort has outpaced Senate opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton's by nearly 4 to 1.

The two camps, together running the second-most expensive Senate race in the nation, released the campaign-finance figures on Monday.

From Aug. 24 to Sept. 30, Mr. Lazio reported taking in $11.2 million to Mrs. Clinton's $2.9 million. The Long Island congressman outspent the first lady $14.9 million to $7.4 million in the same period.

In all, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Lazio have spent $46 million fighting for the chance to replace retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Associated Press reports.

Their total matches the $46 million spent in New Jersey by Senate candidate Jon Corzine, a Wall Street multimillionaire, according to his most recent campaign filing. Mr. Corzine's Republican opponent, Rep. Bob Franks, has spent $2.5 million.

Federal Election Commission figures show Mrs. Clinton has raised $24.6 million and spent $22 million, and Mr. Lazio has raised $29.2 million and spent $24 million.

Candidate jailed

The Green Party candidate for a Senate seat from Georgia, upset over being excluded from a televised debate between the front-runners, was jailed on disorderly-conduct charges Monday night after he shouted down opening comments.

Atlanta lawyer Jeff Gates was in the fourth row of the television audience when he stood and called out:

"This is what democracy looks like; this is what democracy feels like," as the television moderator introduced Sen. Zell Miller, the Democrat, and Republican ex-Sen. Mack Mattingly.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Deputy Luther Lane said Mr. Gates must post $181 bond to be released from jail.

Mr. Gates' protest was seen by viewers before the station sponsoring the matchup could cut to a commercial. He was led from the Albany Municipal Auditorium by a police officer, who handcuffed him outside, the Associated Press reports.

Beijing bashes Bush

Texas Gov. George W. Bush's election would be "harmful" to China, an article in the communist government's weekly journal said yesterday.

In a commentary titled "Bush's Position on America's China Policy is Harmful," the weekly Beijing Review said Mr. Bush viewed China as an adversary and was likely to strengthen U.S. ties with Taiwan and push ahead with anti-missile shield development, Reuters reported.

The authors, who included a researcher at China's National Defense University, said the Republican platform and campaign statements showed the Texas governor's China policies "would produce grave results if he won the election and became the master of the White House."

"The most dangerous aspect of [Mr. Bush's] position on U.S. China policy lies in its destructive role in the tense relations between Taiwan and the mainland," said the journal, published by the State Council, China's Cabinet.

It said "war would be inevitable" if the United States intervened on Taiwan's side in any military conflict that broke out if Taipei declared independence.

The commentary said Mr. Bush's China policy "obviously bears the marks of conservative Republican and certain anti-China forces."

The Beijing Review also expressed concern at Mr. Bush's statements in favor of pushing ahead with the National Missile Defense (NMD) and Theater Missile Defense (TMD), two programs bitterly opposed by China.

Nader's lawsuit

Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the presidential-debate commission, saying it prevented him from attending the recent debate in Boston even though he had a ticket.

The suit was filed yesterday just hours before the start of the third and final presidential debate between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush.

"Mr. Nader was treated differently from all others … merely because of his political position," his campaign said in a statement.

By being barred from the premises, Mr. Nader was unable to appear in a scheduled television interview, Agence France-Presse reports.

A mystical process

Some polls say Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush scores better on "leadership" and "likability" than his opponent, and some analysts say Mr. Bush now has momentum. But does the Texas governor have "feng shui"?

David Brooks of the Weekly Standard thinks so: "It's sort of a mystical process the way this ebbs and flows," Mr. Brooks said on PBS' "NewsHour."

"Right now, one gets the sense, though it is a vague sense, that the feng shui is with Bush. The polls are slightly in his favor. The confidence oozing out of his crowd is just superior to the confidence oozing out of the Gore crowd."

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