- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 7, 2001

The golden girl of Al Gore's campaign trail has come out swinging.
After six months of virtual silence since her father's defeat in the 2000 presidential election, Karenna Gore Schiff is offering advice on "how to make George W.'s term a lot less scary."
It is chatty, girly stuff with teeth.
Mrs. Schiff, considered one of the former vice president's closest advisers, has written "The Guide to Not Getting Bush-Whacked" for Glamour, a women's magazine with more than 2 million readers. The issue will be out on newsstands Tuesday.
"I certainly thought that getting more votes than the other side would feel a lot better than this," she writes, adding that women were courted with sweet talk during the campaign, but that "now it may seem like a blind date is behind the wheel."
Romantic metaphors notwithstanding, Mrs. Schiff has abandoned her "heartbreak" and is ready to "forge ahead" with environmental, health care and abortion issues at the heart of her dialogue.
"This anti-choice administration has slyly taken a chisel rather than a sledgehammer to our hard-won reproductive rights," she writes, citing Mr. Bush's decision to reinstate President Reagan's "Mexico City policy" that removed funding from international family-planning groups that include abortion in their services.
Mrs. Schiff, who is expecting her second child in August, also notes that "the new administration's 'culture of life' translates into a support for a number of benignly named bills aimed at making abortion illegal or very difficult to obtain."
She is also critical of several pieces of legislation the Child Custody Protection Act, a ban on partial-birth abortions and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
"No matter how you feel about abortion, this type of legislation could hand the government the power to decide whether you can end an unwanted pregnancy," she writes.
Why such fierce words, and why now?
"She's proven to be a political player. Obviously, she wants to remain a political player," said Ron Faucheux of Campaigns & Elections magazine.
"What's remarkable is how little she — or any of them — have said since November. This magazine story may indicate change is afoot, with comments on the 2000 election, and possibly the next one," he said.
"Karenna emerged during the campaign as a strong spokeswoman for her father and on the issues," said Democratic strategist Mark Mellman. "She still has a lot to say."
Gun control, meanwhile, is also an issue that Mrs. Schiff strongly supports.
"The gun lobby may have been instrumental in bringing George W. Bush to power," she writes. "But if the American people want significant gun control, we can make it happen through sheer force of will."
She preaches the need for liberal activism, voter registration and letter writing, offering Web-site addresses for the Million Mom March, Handgun Control, the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Sierra Club and seven other causes.
Mrs. Schiff makes a comely blonde cover girl across one full page of the Glamour magazine spread, posed in front of a giant American flag, her own quote enlarged across three of the 13 red and white stripes:
"If we've learned anything from this crazy election, it's that a handful of votes can change destiny," — Karenna Gore Schiff.
Fans were only too willing to discuss Mrs. Schiff's possible candidacy for public office as she deftly speechified and smiled from podiums and town meetings last year, while plotting her dad's reinvention as an earth-toned man of the people.
The idea of elective office "feels a bit funny," she told USA Today. Politics is a "really noble profession that I certainly wouldn't rule out."
The rigors of politics may give her pause now, though. Along with her advanced pregnancy, Mrs. Schiff, a Manhattan resident and Columbia Law School graduate, plans to take the New York bar exam in a few weeks.
"In the wake of this past election, I have certainly felt the temptation to just shut out politics completely," she writes. "Why put myself through the latest details of the budget when there are plenty of reality-based TV shows to escape into?"
Nevertheless, the savvy Mrs. Schiff concludes her article by urging readers "to learn about women candidates and encourage them to run for office."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide