- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 7, 2000

Bush ahead

Texas Gov. George W. Bush has a slim lead over Vice President Al Gore in the latest three-day average of Portrait of America's (www.portraitofamerica.com) presidential tracking poll.
Mr. Bush led 43 percent to 41 percent in the survey of 2,250 likely voters. The margin of error was 2.1 percent. The tracking poll is produced by by Rasmussen Research, an independent public opinion and market research firm that does no work for candidates or political parties.

Hillary loves Adam

Texas Gov. George W. Bush thinks New York Times reporter Adam Clymer is a major-league, uh, jerk. But first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who enjoyed Mr. Clymer's extensive and apparently favorable coverage of her ill-fated 1993 health care plan, did everything but kiss the reporter Tuesday.
"I like Adam Clymer. I think Adam Clymer is a superb, fair-minded reporter who, in the years I have followed him, has taught me a lot," she said.

Slanted media

"A Washington adage holds that a politician commits a 'gaffe' when he inadvertently tells the truth. This is how we read George W. Bush's off-the-record aside that New York Times reporter Adam Clymer is a 'major league' you-know-what," the Wall Street Journal said in an editorial.
"In that refreshingly incautious remark caught Monday by an open microphone, Mr. Bush was admitting, albeit unintentionally, that his campaign has a press problem. We aren't referring only to Mr. Clymer, whose performance review has been ably undertaken by neo-liberal journalist Mickey Kaus at Kausfiles.com. We're talking about the general media double standard faced by every prominent conservative politician," the newspaper said.
"As Democrat-turned-journalist Michael Barone has observed, the mainstream media aren't pro-Democratic. They will sometimes take a Democrat to task, especially if he violates a media shibboleth such as 'campaign-finance reform.' But they are reliably anti-Republican. That is, in newsrooms across the land there is noticeably greater skepticism, and often animosity, toward politicians who are cultural conservatives or who want to restrict the scope of federal power."
The newspaper added: "We aren't suggesting that Mr. Bush should get into a pitched battle with the press corps, and especially not with any one reporter. Our point is that Mr. Bush won't be able to count on evenhanded media coverage to carry his battle to Mr. Gore. He's going to have to make his case directly, and not too subtly, to voters over the heads of the media."

The other debate

House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, anxious to get in on the debate hoopla between Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, criticized his leadership counterpart yesterday for not joining him in a debate on PBS' "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer."
"This is a great opportunity for the American people to have a full airing of our competing agendas, and visions for our nation's future," he said in a letter to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert.
"Congressional Republicans and Democrats both have long-standing records and positions on policies that could be discussed in a dignified forum for the benefit of a national audience," the Missouri Democrat said.
John Feehery, Mr. Hastert's spokesman, said they were asked to participate in the debate a full five months ago, but declined to participate in the Oct. 15 show the busiest time during a congressional session.
"We're focused on getting our work done and this would be a distraction," Mr. Feehery said. "Obviously, Mr. Gephardt has a lot of time on his hands."

Feinstein injured

Sen. Dianne Feinstein slipped on the stairs of her Colorado vacation home and will require surgery to repair a compound fracture of her left leg, aides said Tuesday.
The accident occurred Friday night as Mrs. Feinstein and her husband relaxed in their Aspen house on the final weekend of the Senate's summer recess. Aides said Mrs. Feinstein sustained a compound fracture of her left tibia, more commonly known as the shinbone.
After returning to Washington on Monday wearing a removable cast, the 67-year-old California Democrat met with a Capitol physician, an orthopedic surgeon, and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, to determine the best time for surgery, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
No decision was announced.

Chelsea dates intern

It runs in the family.
Chelsea Clinton, who has come more into public view in recent months, is dating a White House intern, the New York Daily News reported yesterday.
The report said the young man is Jeremy Kane, a Stanford University senior and classmate of Miss Clinton, 20. It quoted a White House source as saying "he's been in the picture for a while" and that he was a guest of the Clinton family at last month's Democratic convention.
Mr. Kane started his internship during the summer in the White House speechwriting department, the report said.
Ironically, President Clinton's affair with another White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, led to his impeachment by the House in December 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The Senate acquitted the president in February 1999.

'Frivolous' campaign?

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman can run for both the vice presidency and re-election to the Senate from Connecticut, the state Elections Enforcement Commission confirmed yesterday.
Jeffrey Garfield, panel general counsel, rejected the complaint of a political science professor who said Mr. Lieberman's re-election campaign was "frivolous" and "irresponsibly self-indulgent" and urged his elimination from the Senate ballot.
Mr. Lieberman had already announced his intention to run for re-election when Al Gore selected him to be his running mate. If elected to both offices, Mr. Lieberman would have to resign from the Senate to serve as vice president. Mr. Garfield said a 1964 written opinion by the attorney general found that state election laws permitted such a dual candidacy.
Mr. Garfield said he had told Fairfield University professor John Orman of his decision, the Associated Press reported.
Mr. Orman had argued that the commission had a legal duty to keep "frivolous" candidates off the ballot.

Mayor escapes runoff

Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas narrowly averted a runoff election in final results from the voting Tuesday.
Needing more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff, Mr. Penelas got 133,558 votes, or 51.6 percent, to county Commissioner Miguel Diaz de la Portilla's 54,044 votes, or 20.9 percent. Businessman Jay Love had 51,789 votes, or 20 percent. There were six other candidates.

Alpha Al is back

Al Gore thought about hiding behind his Secret Service agents, but was soon enough strutting his stuff in a charmed outing yesterday at the new Comerica Park with the Detroit Tigers.
"A lot better than a lot of broken-down former pitchers that I've seen," Anaheim Angels pitcher Tim Belcher said as Mr. Gore threw batting practice for the Tigers before the game.
Even hitter Robert Fick, after getting whacked in the hip by a Gore wild pitch, was impressed. "He's definitely not making [a fool] out of himself."
After hitting coach Bill Madlock reminded the vice president that only hitters are allowed on the mat behind the batting cage, Mr. Gore said, "I'm gonna have the Secret Service tackle him," the Associated Press reported.
Mr. Gore then stepped to the mound. Behind home plate, agent Bill Pickle didn't flinch as a hit by Fick beaned the candidate. Mr. Gore said, "Where's the Secret Service?"
As Mr. Gore left the mound, Madlock yelled out: "Don't quit your day job."

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or by e-mail ([email protected]).

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