- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Reiner and Mrs. Cheney

Filmmaker and liberal activist Rob Reiner met with Lynne Cheney for an hour last week to discuss what Mrs. Cheney said were "topics ranging from early-childhood development to cleaning up the culture," USA Today reports.
Mrs. Cheney, a conservative intellectual and wife of the vice president, called it "a good meeting."
Mrs. Cheney told reporter Jill Lawrence that she was "especially impressed with Mr. Reiner's efforts to make the movie-rating system more informative and useful for parents. Though Mr. Reiner and I have sharply divergent political views, we agree on the importance of giving our children a loving, healthy start in life and a nurturing environment to grow up in."
Mr. Reiner, an activist on child-related issues, told the newspaper last month: "If the guy that doesn't agree with you is in office, you can still present your ideas and try to convince him."
The filmmaker, a close friend of defeated Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore, "had dinner with Gore last week and is working with him to develop a TV series linked to a book Gore is writing on American families," the reporter said.
He was with Mr. Gore the night the U.S. Supreme Court dashed his hopes of capturing the presidency. "I don't know that I'm ever going to get over this," Mr. Reiner said, his voice rising in anger. However, he said he was not angry at President Bush.
"Why should I be angry at Bush?" Mr. Reiner said. "I have nothing against Bush. He seems like a decent guy."

A lust for luxury

"In the White House and Camp David, Bill and Hillary grew to enjoy the ultimate in luxury," former Clinton adviser Dick Morris writes.
"As the day to leave approached like the pumpkin coach arriving to carry Cinderella home, one can imagine their panic at the imminent disappearance of their valued lifestyle. After 22 years of the best in food, entertainment, housing, child care, housecleaning, transportation, security and staff, the days of wine and roses were coming to a close," Mr. Morris said in a column in the New York Post, citing the Clintons' years in the Arkansas Governor's Mansion as well as the presidency.
"The Clintons would do well financially after the White House but not well enough to replace a staff of 450, a magnificent mansion decorated with antiques, scores of household servants and a Boeing 747 jumbo jet waiting at their whim.
"So they determined to raise well in excess of $100 million for the Clinton Library a library that reportedly will cost only $50 million to build. The surplus will pay for a life of staff, perks and luxury, akin to that which surrounded them on Pennsylvania Avenue.
"But as his presidency wound down, the kind of donors upon whom Clinton relied began to change. The partisans, the ideologues, the special interests were no longer interested in giving to a man about to lose power. Even the donors motivated by ego began to fall away, their pride satiated, their walls filled with his photos.
"Now he came to rely on those who wanted the one thing he could give, by himself, even in his final hour in office presidential pardons… ."

No paper trail

"The apparent nomination of Ralph F. Boyd Jr. to head the Justice Department's civil-rights division is clever: Boyd has no particular experience with civil-rights law, which means he won't have much of a paper trail for critics to exploit," John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru write at www.nationalreview.com.
"He is a Boston lawyer and experienced prosecutor who was formerly an assistant U.S. attorney. That may be an important asset in what is typically an explosive nomination process. During his eight years in office, Bill Clinton tapped three people for this post: Lani Guinier, Deval Patrick, and Bill Lann Lee. The Senate confirmed only one of them (Patrick). And the first man President Bush's father picked for the job, Bill Lucas, didn't make it, either.
"Boyd may be exactly the kind of candidate who can survive confirmation, and that's nothing to take lightly," the writers said.
"But Boyd is an unknown. His lack of experience with civil-rights law suggests that important decisions about civil rights will be made at a more senior level and that the Bush administration views civil rights as a set of issues to be managed politically, rather than pursued legally.
"President Bush has appropriately tried to shift the civil-rights debate away from what the NAACP thinks it should be and onto new ground. 'Reading is the new civil right' was one of his best campaign lines.
"Given Boyd's background in criminal prosecution, get ready for a variation on this theme: 'Safety is the first civil right.' That's true. But it's also a dodge. There are other branches of the Justice Department more directly involved with safety.
"Boyd's jurisdiction covers thornier areas: racial preferences, voting rights, and so on. He may be an outstanding pick; a handful of conservatives privately say that he's quite solid. Based on his public record, though, he's a cipher."

JFK's voice

"The voice of John F. Kennedy is returning to the airwaves, this time to sell President Bush's $1.6 trillion tax cut," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.
"The Issues Management Center, a Republican group created to back Bush programs, says it's taping radio ads featuring a 1962 JFK speech in which he uses the same arguments for a tax cut as Bush did last week. They'll be aired in the home states of Democrats facing re-election," Mr. Bedard said.
"For example, the ad slated for Louisiana says, 'If Jack Kennedy can support tax cuts, so can [Sen.] Mary Landrieu.' Get this: The tape comes from Rush Limbaugh's archive."

Bush's pitch selection

"George W. Bush brought 250 autographed baseballs with him to Washington, but he apparently wants more," National Journal reports.
"Word is that the First Fan has invited all living members of baseball's Hall of Fame to a March 30 White House lunch. That leaves Bush time to travel to Puerto Rico two days later for Opening Day between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers, the team he once owned," the magazine said.
"In 1990, Bush's father became the first president to throw out the ceremonial Opening Day pitch on Canadian soil. This year marks the first time Major League Baseball has opened the season in Latin America. The Rangers would like Bush in their home ballpark on April 3, but White House aides were mum about which trip Bush will make."

Dole deeds, part I

The insurer Lloyd's of London has hired former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole to help make its case against a provision in a bankruptcy bill that could block Lloyd's from collecting debts from some U.S. investors.
Lloyd's chief executive, Nick Prettejohn, was on Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers to remove the provision from the bankruptcy-overhaul package, which passed the House by a 306-108 vote Thursday and was the first major bill to come to a vote in the new Congress, the Associated Press reports.
An expectation that President Bush will sign it has increased momentum to pass the legislation designed to make it harder for people to use bankruptcy court to erase credit-card and other debts.
Mr. Dole's hiring by Lloyd's, first reported Monday in the Wall Street Journal, was confirmed by a Lloyd's spokesman and by Doug MacKinnon, a spokesman for Mr. Dole at his Washington law firm, Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand. Mr. MacKinnon said Mr. Dole "is providing Lloyd's with strategic advice."
Mr. Dole has said he will not personally lobby his old colleagues in Congress. He could help the British company, however, by writing position papers and op-ed pieces and by providing guidance.

Dole deeds, part II

Former U.S. senator and Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole will join Rep. Lindsey Graham's campaign for the Senate seat of Strom Thurmond.

Mr. Dole will be chairman of Mr. Graham's national steering committee for the 2002 South Carolina Senate race, the Associated Press reported last night.

Mr. Thurmond, 98, is retiring.

Mr. Graham, a House prosecutor during President Clinton's impeachment, announced his decision to run last month.

"Serving with a living legend like Strom Thurmond has truly been a pleasure, and I know that Lindsey Graham will honor Strom's legacy and continue his fight for the cause of conservative government," Mr. Dole said.


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