- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2000

Four white guys

Care to view the latest jokes poking fun at Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush? Look no further than the official Web site of the Democratic National Committee.
"Here's the day's collection. Spread them around," the site encourages.
Without further ado, a few of the Democratic Party's favorite Bush "gags" (parental guidance is suggested):
"Gov. Bush wrote a congratulations letter to Russian Premier Putin and ended with, 'By any chance, are you kin to Rasputin?'
"The Republican Party's idea of diversity is a ticket of two white men from two different oil companies.
"Compassionate conservative? That's as inconsistent as saying 'virgin hooker.' "
Should the Republican Party care to post any Al Gore gags, we'll be sure to pass them along.

Bubble boy

The Oregonian newspaper wasn't joking when it sharply rebuked Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore during his invitation-only appearance in the state recently.
"For a campaign that makes so many self-conscious efforts to attract the vast middle of American politics, Al Gore sure works at avoiding the people who reside there," the newspaper opines on its editorial page.
"Ralph Nader came to Oregon to campaign last week and all you had to do to see him was buy a cheap ticket and show up for the speech. If you want to see Al Gore as he swings through Portland today, you need an invitation," the newspaper notes. "No wonder Nader could cost Gore the election."
The paper concludes: "But for now, our biggest question is how many Oregon votes the Gore campaign hopes to attract by offering their man in a hermetically sealed package. The answer to that one, we think, is not many."

Still waiting

Bill Simpson, a disabled Air Force veteran from Groton, Conn., couldn't be happier now that Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is running for vice president.
Now he might get a call back.
Last December, the 50-year-old vet says he contacted Mr. Lieberman's Hartford office "seeking an answer to the problem of inadequate, dwindling health care for me, as a service-connected disabled veteran. The woman that I was transferred to said: 'Why don't you leave the country?' "
Shocked by the remark, Mr. Simpson says he immediately telephoned the senator's Washington office, which transferred his call to a voice mailbox. He never heard back.
So he says he turned to his local veterans' affairs office, which on Mr. Simpson's behalf tracked down the woman who took the initial call.
She "didn't recall the conversation," says Mr. Simpson.
While he considers his experience "outrageous," Mr. Simpson is now only interested in getting answers to his original questions.
On that original point, he says: "The Veterans Administration has been shredded down to nothing."

Lazio war chest

Whether they admit it or not, New Yorkers on both sides of the aisle have to be impressed with the fund-raising abilities of one Rick Lazio, the New York Republican who is challenging first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for a Senate seat.
In a seven-week period ending in late August, the Long Island congressman raised a whopping $10.7 million for his campaign war chest, bringing the total to $19.2 million since he entered the race in May.
Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, raised $3.3 million in the same seven-week period. While the first lady all told has raised $21.9 million, political observers point out she started her solicitations more than a year ago.
When it comes to voter support, polls show the New York Senate race a virtual dead heat.

I love New York

Finally, regarding our item yesterday on White House spokesman Joe Lockhart noting that for the first time in seven years the Atlanta Braves weren't in first place in the National League East, overtaken (albeit briefly) by the New York Mets, Paul Wittpenn of Ocala, Fla., wonders:
"Does the comment by Joe Lockhart about the Mets mean that Hillary will now be wearing a Mets cap?"
Actually, Mr. Wittpenn, Republican Rep. Rick Lazio, who is batting against first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for the New York Senate seat, grew up a Mets fan.
Baseball insiders tell us that Mrs. Clinton, for now, will continue her "political" allegiance to the New York Yankees, a team that enjoys a comfortable lead in the American League East.
However, New Yorkers from Harlem to the Hamptons are keeping their fingers crossed for a Yankees vs. Mets World Series, in which case you could see both Senate candidates sporting two team mortarboards at once.

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