- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Absentee dad

Not in the last decade, except perhaps during the Monica Lewinsky affair, has Inside the Beltway received such a high volume of reader response to one subject: Jesse Jackson, his mistress and the couple's 20-month-old daughter.
"Will Jesse Jackson get the same treatment that Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker got when they were exposed? Will the media … shame him off the public stage?" inquires one reader, forwarding a question posed by one media watchdog.
Mr. Jackson, for the record, won't discuss his daughter, or her mother, Karin Stanford, whom he sent into permanent hiding in Los Angeles.
What is known is that Mr. Jackson paid $40,000 to relocate his mistress and daughter, found them a $365,000 house in which to hide, and now pays Miss Stanford tens of thousands of dollars a year in child support.
As for any further comment, we'll wait to see whether the Internal Revenue Service finally gets around to auditing Mr. Jackson. To learn for once how the Baptist preacher and civil rights leader earns and spends his questionable fortunes.
In the meantime, it has become more than clear why the Baptist minister abruptly canceled his Inaugural Day appearance in Florida, where he couldn't wait to preach against "pregnant" chads and "illegitimate" leaders.

Won't leave

Washingtonians this week are getting accustomed to "President George W. Bush," some more slowly than others.
"Federal News Service better get its act together fast," observes one Washington scribe, clutching the federal transcript from Mr. Bush's meeting this week with education leaders in the White House Roosevelt Room.
The transcript reads:
"PRESIDENT CLINTON: Laura and I have been honored to host a discussion on an incredibly important subject, and that's education and reading."

Romper Room

When Robert B. Reich abruptly resigned as labor secretary in 1996, he was mum, for the most part, about his working relationship with the Clinton White House.
In recent weeks, however, as President Clinton bid his long adieu to the nation after a tumultuous two terms in office, Mr. Reich went on national television to describe the childlike atmosphere that existed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue while he was a Cabinet member.
Mr. Reich said the young staff was so inexperienced and bad that whenever a White House aide dispatched him to an event, whether in Washington or Walla Walla, he ordered his secretary to call the White House back and find out the age of the aide.
If the president's aide was 32 or younger which Mr. Reich said often proved to be the case he'd ignore the request.
If the aide proved to be older, perhaps more mature, Mr. Reich then would inquire directly of the president as to the validity of the request.
Former presidential aide George Stephanopoulos also made it known in recent weeks that his one regret in serving in the Clinton White House was how many of his fellow staffers failed to treat the nation's highest office with the "respect" it deserved.
That said, it came as no surprise with this week's long-awaited changing of the guard that a juvenile prankster or two in the Clinton White House removed the "W" keys President Bush's middle initial from dozens of White House computer keyboards, destroying several in the process.

Meager reign

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made a rare television appearance yesterday on the Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends," where he was asked to describe the legacy of former President Clinton. He replied:
"Dramatic personality with no outstanding achievements … no significant achievements."

Elephant fur

Laura Bush has barely had time to hang up the fabric coat she wore to the inauguration, but PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is taking no chances. They're asking the first lady to make sure any fur in her White House wardrobe is strictly faux.
In a letter to the new first lady, PETA asks Mrs. Bush to continue a bipartisan policy dating back to President Nixon, who made famous his wife's compassionate choice of a "respectable Republican cloth coat" over an ostentatious mink.
Subsequent first ladies, PETA notes, have also declined fur, including Laura Bush's mother-in-law, Barbara, "who refused to wear a $10,000 fox fur offered to her for her husband's inaugural ceremony."
"Elephants and donkeys agree all animals want to keep their skins," says PETA spokeswoman Lisa Lange.

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