- The Washington Times - Monday, January 29, 2001

Sans siesta

It's not Texas, but President George W. Bush in his leisure time before and after work is "enjoying White House life," says spokesman Ari Fleischer.

"He walks his dogs in the evening," Mr. Fleischer says, and "he's been running almost every day."

Which means Mr. Bush is usually up by 5:45 a.m. and gets into the Oval Office typically between 7 and 7:15 in the morning.

"So his routine is established," says the spokesman.

Mr. Bush has yet to enjoy many of the amenities available at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, including the White House bowling alley and theater, which President Clinton often ducked into with his close pals to catch the latest flicks.

"He's been a little busy," Mr. Fleischer notes.

But the president has been jogging, albeit indoors.

"He's got exercise equipment, and he's been working out with the exercise equipment. He'll probably start running outside at some point, but right now he's been running inside," says the spokesman.

Mr. Bush over the years has also been a big proponent of afternoon naps, part of his regular routine in Texas. But here in Washington, he finds such siestas hard to come by.

Parade sponsors

Corporate donors writing $100,000 checks to the Bush-Cheney Presidential Inaugural Committee which raised a record $40 million in private contributions include Anheuser-Busch Co.; Boeing Corp.; BP Amoco; Cisco Systems; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Honeywell International; IBM Corp.; and The Washington Post.

Individual contributors include media mogul Rupert Murdoch ($100,000) and investment king Charles Schwab ($100,000).

Real America

Barely 6 percent of Fortune 1000 CEOs surveyed watched all three of the recent presidential debates, but 21 percent said they didn't miss "The Simpsons."

Perhaps even more scary, according to a poll conducted by Jericho Communications, 33 percent of the CEOs were able to name more members of the new "Survivor" cast than President Bush's Cabinet nominees.

Town hauling

Sen. John McCain, failing last week to persuade President Bush to change his mind on allowing individuals to contribute whatever they wish to a political campaign, will head back into the nation's heartland today to solicit campaign-finance reform support.

The Arizona Republican is appealing all over again to grass-roots America, which six months ago handed him an impressive second-place finish in the GOP presidential contest.

But unlike his foray into middle America during the campaign, Mr. McCain is now stumping alongside a Democrat, Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. The two plugged their joint campaign finance-reform legislation at a town hall meeting at the University of Arkansas. Little Rock is just the first of several stops for the senators across the nation.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has promised Mr. McCain that Senate debate on his campaign-finance reform package will begin in earnest in mid-March.

Leading after all

In the "There is Life after Losing" category, two of the second-place finishers in the 2000 presidential campaign Sens. Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, and John McCain, Arizona Republican will join sides to co-chair the "Wehrkunde" summit in Munich, Germany, later this week.

As guests of the German government, the two senators, along with a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers, will huddle with German officials to discuss European security matters, the broader concern of a European Union rapid force deployment, as well as Russia's role in world affairs, Mr. McCain's spokeswoman Nancy Ives tells Inside the Beltway.

Shuttle to Taiz

"And I'm sure there's not a shuttle every half-hour so they could take different flights."

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, trying to explain to a persistent reporter why the four highest-ranking members of the U.S. delegation to Yemen the ambassador, deputy chief of mission, political officer, and defense attache were aboard the same commercial flight in a volatile country last week. A single hijacker tried unsuccessfully to hijack the domestic Yemenia Airlines flight from Sana'a to Taiz.

Scandalous letter

Citizens Against Government Waste decried the unwarranted and criminal removal of the "W" keys from White House computers as Wretched, Wicked, Wasteful and Weak.

Just as bad, they say, as Whitewater, Web Hubbell, Kathleen Willey and Waco, to name a few fiascos orchestrated from the West Wing.

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