- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

Plenty of company
A top Republican lawmaker says Rep. Gary A. Condit, California Democrat, can survive politically despite the turmoil surrounding him and his affair with missing intern Chandra Levy.
In an interview with this newspaper, Virginia Republican Rep. Thomas M. Davis III says of Mr. Condit: "I hesitate to write him off at this point. There have been more egregious acts by members of Congress who have gotten re-elected."
Asked for examples, Mr. Davis cited then-Rep. Gerry Studds, Massachusetts Democrat, who was censured for having sex with a young male page, and Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, who received a reprimand for improperly intervening in the judicial process on behalf a homosexual prostitute.
Reminded that neither of those cases involved a missing person or, God forbid, a dead body Mr. Davis simply replied: "Mary Jo Kopechne."

Not cadet material
With every new day comes another revelation of just how busy a social calendar Rep. Gary A. Condit appears to have kept.
One woman from the California Democrat's district, whose name we've agreed to protect, informs Inside the Beltway that Mr. Condit ironically enough is the lawmaker who rejected her daughter's application to the Air Force Academy, citing a lack of "social activity."

Dubya and Budda
"Hi, Budda, thanks for the birthday card!" President George W. Bush shouted to Jim Martin, president of the 60 Plus Association, during yesterday's Rose Garden ceremony to announce a prescription-drug benefit for senior citizens.
It's worth repeating that it was Mr. Martin, way back in 1967, who gave Mr. Bush his first political job.
"George W. was our gofer," Mr. Martin told this column in an interview, and "George W. doesn't mind admitting it."
Mr. Martin at the time was the top aide to Rep. Edward J. Gurney, a Florida Republican running for the Senate, and "we were looking for someone to get the media on and off the plane, into their hotel rooms, and back up again at 6 a.m."
A political consultant named Jimmy Allison, who had just finished managing the winning campaign of a freshman congressman from Texas by the name of George Bush, informed Mr. Martin: "I've got somebody in mind, the congressman's oldest son. He's getting out of Yale, just like his father. He's getting his license to be a pilot, just like his dad."
"Gosh," Mr. Martin replied, "how much will we have to pay him and how soon can he start?"
Soon, the young Bush was riding with a handful of reporters aboard a propeller-driven press plane, which constantly tailed "the Green Hornet," a twin-engine plane occupied by the congressman and Mr. Martin.
"I remember him as a very handsome 21-year-old," Mr. Martin said of Mr. Bush, "a clean-cut guy, very articulate, extremely bright, very gregarious, a hale fellow well met, in that everybody likes him instantly. You shake hands with him, you like him.
"And he was very cordial with the press, too."
And yes, Mr. Gurney, with the able assistance of the future president, won his Senate seat, capturing 59 percent of the vote.

Voluminous ills
A monstrous 1,641-page book "Tilting at Societal Ills and other Capers from the Lawrence Papers" presented to President Bush to place on his library shelf "for historical reference purposes," is authored by local education analyst Malcolm Lawrence of Chevy Chase.
In a note to Mr. Bush, Mr. Lawrence wrote: "It is my contention that the two most tragic societal ills are poor quality education and the abuse of illegal drugs."

Streaming age
"I'm fascinated to know we're all on live and streaming video. I'm glad I'm live, I don't know if I'm glad I'm streaming."
Brookings Institution panel member Trevor Potter, of the D.C. law firm Caplin & Drysdale, after being informed at this week's forum on Congress and campaign finance reform that, well, the event was on live and streaming video.

Plug needed
Finally, regarding Washington-based Republican political consultant Craig Shirley's comment in this space yesterday that he does not consider one of the contenders to head the National Endowment for the Arts New York state senator and Ex-Lax heir Roy M. Goodman to be a "regular" Republican, Richard Asper of Watertown, S.D., writes:
"Considering what has come out of the National Endowment for the Arts, the last thing they need is an Ex-Lax heir as their head. Is there a Kaopectate heir available?"

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