- The Washington Times - Friday, February 2, 2001

Permanent campaign

Bill Clinton is gone from the White House, but likely Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe promises that the "permanent campaign" will continue.

Mr. McAuliffe, handpicked by Mr. Clinton as party chief, will face token opposition from former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson when the 400 members of the Democratic National Committee vote tomorrow. But on Wednesday, the longtime Clinton fund-raiser already was taking "what only could be described as a victory lap" at his campaign headquarters in the District, the New York Times reports.

Mr. McAuliffe plans a party tonight "for 1,000 Democratic activists and power brokers at Washington's Union Station with lavish food and entertainment, including an expected appearance by the singer Olivia Newton-John," reporter Richard L. Berke writes.

Mr. McAuliffe "presents himself so much like the Big Man in Democratic politics (he calls himself 'the Mack') that at times in an interview at his campaign office he sounded like he was moving the three blocks to the White House," the reporter said.

"He spoke of appointments to his 'transition team.' He said he planned to expand the party's communications operation from five people to 30, modeling it after the White House 'We're going big,' he said.

"He vowed to keep Democrats in campaign mode during his four-year term: 'Like it or not, it's the permanent campaign!' "

Not left out

Rep. Bennie Thompson from Mississippi wasn't about to be omitted from the mini-boycott of Wednesday's meeting between the Congressional Black Caucus and President Bush.

Several lawmakers from the all-Democratic caucus decided they had better things to do, including all three members from Florida and Rep. Maxine Waters of California, as was reported in yesterday's editions of The Washington Times.

Add Mr. Thompson to that list. An aide called The Times yesterday to make sure his boss wasn't left out of being not there. Or something like that.

"He simply didn't want to attend," said the official statement.

Bullying Torricelli

Sen. Robert G. Torricelli of New Jersey had warm words for John Ashcroft when the Missourian was nominated to be attorney general, but an article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal explained how the far left intimidated him and other Democrats.

"In late December, Sen. Torricelli offered such strong praise for Attorney General-designate Ashcroft that his words became fodder for conservative television ads promoting the Ashcroft nomination. Republicans happily penciled in Sen. Torricelli as a likely supporter," reporter Gregg Hitt noted.

"But that was before the New Jersey lawmaker got a telephone call from Nancy Silverman, a New York socialite and political donor with the sort of money that can make a senator sit up and listen. Mrs. Silverman is a benefactor of [the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League], and she made clear her displeasure with Torricelli …

" 'I was raging; I was so angry,' Mrs. Silverman says. 'I said, "How could you?" '

"The pressure on Sen. Torricelli came in other ways as well. Heading into this week, a dozen volunteers settled into phones at NARAL's headquarters to call New Jersey abortion-rights supporters and urge them to pressure the senator."

Yesterday, Mr. Torricelli buckled under the pressure, although it did not stop Mr. Ashcroft from becoming attorney general.

Kennedy vs. Gephardt

Marc Levin, vice chairman of the National Council for a Republican Congress, noticed a telling revelation yesterday in Senate debate over John Ashcroft's attorney general nomination:

"Perhaps the most stunning moment in the debate today came when Missouri Senator [Christopher S.] Bond unveiled Congressman Richard Gephardt's statements in the early 1980s denouncing the Missouri busing plan as a 'total failure' and an 'obscenity' against the children. Gephardt should be thankful that his seat in Congress is not at the mercy of Senator Ted Kennedy, whose abrasive opposition to Ashcroft equated principled opposition to busing with racial bigotry."

Reagan's influence

As the family of Ronald Reagan prepares to mark his 90th birthday Tuesday, "the former president's stature and his influence in the capital seem to be growing rather than fading away," USA Today reports.

"The national missile defense plan championed by the newly inaugurated President Bush? It's a version of an idea that Reagan unveiled to considerable skepticism. Partial privatization of Social Security? Reagan was hammered for hinting at the notion, now supported by most Americans. Welfare reform and the expanded use of religious institutions to provide social services? Reagan themes that were embraced by both presidential candidates last year," reporter Susan Page writes.

Presidential biographer Richard Norton Smith told the reporter: "There is a growing perception of Reagan as an historically important president. There are legitimate debates about Reagan the administrator, but in terms of the large historic challenges he confronted, I suspect he'll only go up in history's estimation."

Giuliani's book deal

New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has signed a deal for a reported $3 million to write a memoir that will include details of his "personal experiences" and a leadership tome.

Neither Mr. Giuliani nor his publisher, Talk Miramax Books, would disclose the amount of the deal announced Wednesday. However, a source close to the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity said it was worth about $3 million.

Talk Miramax said Mr. Giuliani is expected to write a detailed memoir of his life, from his rise as a federal prosecutor to his eight years as mayor of the nation's largest city. It will include details of his aborted Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton, cancer diagnosis and "personal experiences," the company said in a statement.

Mr. Giuliani started a run for the Senate in 2000, but withdrew after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and announcing he was separating from his wife, TV personality Donna Hanover.

The second book will detail the Republican mayor's management style, according to the company. Neither book will be published until Mr. Giuliani leaves office next year.

Talk Miramax Books is the brainchild of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and magazine publisher Tina Brown, both well-known supporters of the Democratic Party.

UCLA signs Gore

Al Gore will be a visiting professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, helping the school create a community-development program, officials said.

It will be the fourth professor position this spring for the former vice president. He will take on teaching duties at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, in addition to working on a lesson plan for "community building" courses he intends to teach at Middle Tennessee State University and Fisk University.

At UCLA, Mr. Gore will work with faculty in public health, public policy and education as a visiting scholar, university officials said of the unpaid position.

Mr. Gore met with faculty and community leaders for nearly three hours Wednesday to set priorities for the studies, the Associated Press reports.

He also will return one or two times in the spring as a visiting professor in the School of Public Policy and Social Research, but it was not clear if he would teach or mostly set course curricula, school dean Barbara Nelson said.

Just a joke

New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams says this is "Washington's joke du jour":

"Merrill Lynch is issuing three new bonds. The Monica, which has no maturity; the Gore, which has no interest; the Clinton, which has no principal."

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