- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2001

Watch your step

Guess what's appeared on the front doorstep of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (and husband's) new multimillion-dollar home in affluent Northwest Washington?

A "Hillary Doormat," carrying the slogan: "Read My Lips No New Interns."

For those so inclined to walk all over the New York senator, this column traced the doormat to a Washington-area company called www.hillarydoormat.com.

Forgot to call

Despite what you might read in the newspapers, a usually sympathetic President Clinton has not been checking up on former President Ronald Reagan, who recently had major surgery to repair a fractured right hip.

"President Clinton has not called," a source very close to former first lady Nancy Reagan told Inside the Beltway yesterday.

One California newspaper reported that Mr. Clinton has been in "daily" contact with Mrs. Reagan about the former president's condition, "but he hasn't," says our source.

"I've sent my concern and Hillary's to President Reagan and Mrs. Reagan," Mr. Clinton commented before leaving the White House for Camp David over the weekend, hours before Mr. Reagan's surgery.

Mrs. Reagan, who has been at her husband's side since he was hospitalized last Friday, did receive calls from President-elect George W. Bush and former President Gerald R. Ford, among other world leaders.

History either way

A high-ranking GOP congressional aide, who asks not to be identified, was in need of some extra tickets to the historic swearing-in of President-elect George W. Bush as the nation's 43rd president.

Each congressman and senator is allotted dozens of tickets to special viewing areas, and the aide figured no better bunch to approach than the Congressional Black Caucus.

After all, when Vice President Al Gore two weeks ago certified the Electoral College vote that crowned his Republican opponent, Mr. Bush, the nation's next president, the U.S. Capitol ceremony was delayed by 20 objections, mainly from members of the black caucus.

Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, shouted that Mr. Bush's election was "fraudulent."

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Illinois Democrat, labeled it "a sad day in America."

While Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, Florida Democrat, sadly shook his head and told Mr. Gore, "We did all we could, sir."

Then, in unity, the black lawmakers stood up and marched in protest behind Mrs. Waters out of the ceremony.

Oh, as for any spare tickets to Mr. Bush's inauguration, the black caucus offices contacted said they were not only gobbled up, they went like hot cakes.

Emotional era

James Langton, a reporter for the Sunday Telegraph in London, was dispatched by his editors to the Arkansas town of Hope to write a farewell story on President Clinton's eight turbulent years in the White House.

Here's his lead:

"The first shotgun blast tore an intricate filigree through the word 'Birthplace.' The second riddled 'President' with pellet holes. Only the name on the road sign to the small Arkansas town survives unblemished: 'Hope.'

"In a few days, Hope's claim to fame will become history when its most famous son, William Jefferson Clinton, leaves the White House. As the holes in the town's welcome sign brutally demonstrate, the president arouses strong emotions even in his own back yard."

'Harry Homeowner'

Former Virginia Democratic Sen. Charles S. Robb, 61, isn't hanging his head after his recent defeat by Republican Sen. George F. Allen. Instead, he's hanging shelves.

"I've become Harry Homeowner," Mr. Robb tells this column. "I was up until 2 this morning hanging shelves. My wife, Lynda [Bird Johnson], can't believe it."

After serving 25 years in public office, Mr. Robb declined an offer from Vice President-elect Richard B. Cheney to fill an unspecified post in the new Bush administration.

Toxic reception

Three of the Top 10 changes expected at the Environmental Protection Agency upon the arrival of former New Jersey governor and nominee to head the EPA, Christine Todd Whitman, as interpreted and reportedly performed at an office party by employees of EPA's Office of Pollution, Prevention and Toxics:

• EPA Stress Lab renamed the Joe Piscopo Workout Unit.

• Cut rates on bus trips to Atlantic City.

• Get used to people yelling "Yo, Christine" in the hallways.

Pollster comedian

Washington political pollster Frank Luntz is holding a post-inauguration brunch Sunday at his McLean mansion.

"What an election," he writes on the invitation. "And speaking of Hillary, she was offered $8 million to write her memoirs. Two days later, Bill offered her $10 million not to write them."

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