- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2000

See no evil

"Remember all the claims by Hillary Clinton's see-no-evil supporters that the decision by independent counsel Robert Ray not to prosecute her in the travel-office affair 'exonerated' her?" New York Times columnist William Safire asks.
"Some exoneration. We now have the full report of this egregious abuse of power and its six-year cover-up, and the evidence that she has been lying all along is damning," Mr. Safire writes.
"Lest we forget, the central issue was never whether she had the right to pressure her husband's staff to fire seven longtime White House employees and direct the lucrative travel business to her Hollywood cronies and a Clinton cousin. That's just the spoils system.
"The Travelgate issue was and is: Was her sworn denial of any 'role' or 'input' in the firings factually false? Did her pressure cause fearful aides to stimulate a besmearing FBI investigation? Did this lead her Justice Department to bring criminal charges against people later found to be innocent? And did she and her White House minions delay, impede and increase the expense of revealing her improper involvement?
"The inescapable answers are yes, yes, yes and yes. Read the evidence and denials in full(www.oicray.com) and see how her orchestrated lying continues to this day."

Yes or no

Top Democrats are urging Missouri's new governor to appoint the widow of Mel Carnahan as senator if the late governor receives more votes than Sen. John Ashcroft in the Nov. 7 election.
Mr. Carnahan, a Democrat, was in a tight race for the Senate when he, son Roger and campaign aide Chris Sifford were killed in a plane crash on their way to a rally last week. Mr. Carnahan's death came too late to take his name off the ballot.
Should Mr. Carnahan get more votes, newly named Gov. Roger Wilson also a Democrat would have to appoint an interim senator to fill out the term until the November 2002 general election.
"I have discussed that scenario with the governor and with people who are very close to Jean Carnahan, and everyone is waiting for Mrs. Carnahan to say yes or no. It's her call," state Sen. James Mathewson, a close ally of Mr. Wilson, said yesterday. "She is absolutely the first choice."
Mr. Wilson said yesterday he "can't wait very long" to announce whom he would appoint, "but it can wait a little while, more out of respect."
Mrs. Carnahan has never run for office, the Associated Press reports. She made no public comment about whether she would accept an appointment, and Carnahan campaign spokesman Tony Wyche said: "Nothing has been discussed at that level yet, and definitely there has been no decision."

To be decided

"Historians agree: The first paragraph of President Clinton's biography will include Monica Lewinsky, but it's up to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Al Gore, and the economy to finish the rest," Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.
"Should the New York Senate candidate and vice president win in November and the economy remain robust, Clinton's legacy could be rosy. Harvard's Richard Neustadt says a winning trifecta means historians will say he was a president who 'had flaws' but was generally a success. Without them, he just becomes 'the cheese between the sandwich of Bush and Bush.' And with that as a legacy, Neustadt tells Whispers, the 20-somethings who'll be penning Clinton's biography in years to come 'will deal harshly with him' as 'a guy who wasted his time.'
"Ditto from political author Michael Beschloss, with this addition: 'A real Mideast agreement, that's an accomplishment.' Like the last six presidents didn't think of that. In fact, few historians think there's much 11th-hour spadework the president can do to influence his eventual legacy in the history books. Neustadt's suggestion: 'Pray.' "

Sweet home, Chicago

Illinois has long been considered an Election Day lock for Vice President Al Gore, but a new poll shows Republican George W. Bush in a statistical tie in the Land of Lincoln.
Mr. Gore has 45 percent and Mr. Bush 43 percent in the Chicago Sun-Times/Fox News poll of 600 likely voters, published Sunday. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
The Bush campaign has aired very little television advertising in Illinois and the candidate has made few trips to the state, but the Chicago Tribune said yesterday the Bush campaign has recently "stepped up" its efforts. An appearance by Mr. Bush is scheduled today in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights. Illinois Gov. George Ryan, a Republican, told the Tribune that Republicans are preparing a $1.5 million get-out-the-vote effort and a final TV ad push.

Muslims back Bush

A new national Muslim coalition is endorsing George W. Bush for president, citing the Texas governor's openness to American Muslims' concerns.

"The main factor was the governor's accessibility to Muslim leaders. He has promised to address American Muslim concerns when and if he goes into office," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the American Muslim Political Coordination Council, a political action committee that made the endorsement yesterday.

Agha Saeed, director of the committee, told the Associated Press, "Bush has promised to address Muslim concerns on domestic and foreign-policy issues."

Mr. Bush helped his standing in the second televised debate with Vice President Al Gore when he challenged the use of secret evidence by the Immigration and Naturalization service.

Under a 1996 anti-terrorism bill, INS officials can hold people based on anonymous accusations. Some American Muslims believe that rule is used disproportionately against them.

"We believe [Mr. Bush] is our best chance to do away with secret evidence," Mr. Hooper said.

Yesterday's move is part of efforts to boost the visibility and voting clout of U.S. Muslims, estimated by the group at 6 million.

Polls taken by Muslim groups have shown Mr. Bush ahead among Muslims, but with the numbers swinging wildly.

Polling corner

Democrat Al Gore narrowed his deficit in two national tracking polls released yesterday, but other surveys showed Republican George W. Bush maintaining or even increasing his lead.
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, which has shown more erratic swings than other surveys, found Mr. Gore narrowing the gap 7 percentage points in one day, trailing Mr. Bush 46 percent to 44 percent. On Sunday, the survey gave Mr. Bush a lead of 50 percent to 41 percent.
The Reuters/MSNBC/Zogby poll also showed some narrowing, with Mr. Bush ahead 44 percent to 42 percent, two points closer than the numbers released the previous day.
However, the Voter.com Battleground 2000 poll found that Mr. Bush had increased his lead over Mr. Gore to five points, 44 percent to 39 percent.
And the Portrait of America poll (www.portraitofamerica.com) gave Mr. Bush a 47 percent to 41 percent advantage.

Marry 'em off

The sizable gap between married and single women in this year's presidential election the former favor Republican George W. Bush while the latter, especially those with graduate degrees, strongly back Democrat Al Gore was the topic of much discussion yesterday at an event sponsored by the Independent Women's Forum.
Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol offered this suggestion to the largely pro-Bush crowd: "So if you know any single women with degrees, do what you can to prevent them from voting. Or make them get married."

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