- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2001

Forbes and Greenspan
Steve Forbes, the former Republican presidential candidate and Forbes magazine chieftain, says Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan "had it in" for the stock market.
"When people like you are happy and youre smiling, central bankers get worried," Mr. Forbes said in a speech yesterday at the Leadership Institute in Arlington. "There is something wrong. Theyve taken a Puritan ethic to an extreme. You never see Alan Greenspan wearing shorts. You never see Alan Greenspan do a gig on Regis or Oprah. I dont know what it is. So they get upset when there is a lot of prosperity around. They figure they have to do something about it."
Mr. Forbes also imagined the following conversation between Mr. Greenspan and his wife, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell, a few years ago after Mr. Greenspan warned of "irrational exuberance" in the stock market.
"She would say to him, 'Alan, you great maestro, you muscular financial guru, how did your portfolio do this year? Mine was up 50 percent. Oh, yours was up 4 percent, Oh! Youre the genius."

Forbes and Torricelli

Meanwhile yesterday, Steve Forbes political future was the object of a front-page article by Allison Stevens in the Hill, which said the former Republican presidential candidate was "eyeing a challenge to politically vulnerable Sen. Robert Torricelli, New Jersey Democrat."
The report cited "a GOP insider" as saying that Mr. Forbes advisers had been in contact with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and quoted the billionaires former campaign manager, Bill Dal Col, as saying: "Hes clearly going to consider it… . Im sure hed be an excellent candidate."
Mr. Forbes interest has been piqued by both the increasing vulnerability of the scandal-plagued Mr. Torricelli and by several high-profile New Jersey Republicans taking themselves out of the race, Miss Stevens wrote.

The perfect storm

"If you thought the country was divided over last falls Florida election fight, just wait: It may soon split in precisely the same way over President Bushs coming energy plan," Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald F. Seib writes.
As proof, Mr. Seib cites the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which asked respondents whether their first priority was producing energy, even if that meant making some compromises on the environment, or protecting the environment, even if that meant energy supplies would be more limited.
"Given that choice between an emphasis on energy or an emphasis on the environment, Americans divided evenly: 44 percent named energy, 44 percent the environment. (The rest either said they werent sure or wanted some of both.)" Mr. Seib said.
"Moreover, members of the two political parties were mirror images of each other on the question. About six in 10 Democrats named the environment as the first priority, and about six in 10 Republicans named energy. Thus, energy and the environment right now are the political equivalent of the perfect storm: They bring together all the emotions necessary to divide the country precisely along party lines."

The odd couple

Sens. John McCain and Joseph I. Lieberman have teamed up to introduce compromise legislation to close the so-called "gun-show loophole" that allows purchases without a background check on the buyer, USA Today reports.
Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, and Mr. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, both lost to George W. Bush in last years presidential sweepstakes. Mr. McCain was defeated for the Republican presidential nomination and Mr. Lieberman was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee.
"Their partnership creates some unease among not only Senate leaders trying to maintain party discipline but also White House advisers, who assume neither has President Bushs interests at heart," reporter Susan Page writes.
However, a joint interview "mixes a philosophical discussion of the obligations of public office with the practice comedy shtick of old friends," the reporter said, before giving an example of the latter.
Said Mr. McCain: "Most Americans did not know Joe Lieberman and John McCain before we ran. Now neither of us can get through an airport. Everybody comes up and says, 'I voted for you. I should demand my own recount."
Said Mr. Lieberman: "I have not yet met anybody who voted for George Bush. That was the general election, and obviously you havent met anybody who voted for him in the primary. Whats going on here?"

Hillarys plea

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday called for a "permanent and immediate end" to the U.S. Navy exercises on Vieques island off Puerto Rico, arguing it was a matter of "simple justice."
"Its not an issue about a little island off the Puerto Rico coast," the New York Democrat, whose state has a large Puerto Rican population, told reporters. "Its how we treat our fellow citizens, how we give dignity to our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico."
If any reporter dared to ask Mrs. Clinton why she and her husband did not take the demanded action when they were in the White House — not much more than 100 days ago — it was not addressed in an Agence France-Presse report.
"There is no excuse for the continuation of naval exercises including bombing," Mrs. Clinton said in the letter to President Bush. It was co-signed by fellow New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

Shipmans new gig

Karen Hughes says she is not a morning person, but lets hope that is not the case with newswoman Claire
Shipman, who interviewed the senior presidential adviser this week in what was Ms. Shipmans first story as senior national correspondent for ABCs "Good Morning America."
"Im the first one here" at the White House, at precisely 7:15 each morning, Mrs. Hughes told the reporter.
Ms. Shipman, the former White House correspondent for NBC, accompanied Mrs. Hughes in a behind-the-scenes look at the White House on Tuesday — the piece aired yesterday — and the correspondent ended up talking to President Bush as well.
"Is (Mrs. Hughes) too blunt for your taste?" the correspondent asked.
"No. If she were too blunt, or if she were too anything for my taste, she wouldnt be here," the president said bluntly.

Jennas case delayed

A judge in Austin, Texas, agreed yesterday to postpone the case of President Bushs 19-year-old daughter, Jenna, who is charged with alcohol possession by a minor.
Community Court Judge Elisabeth Earle said Jenna Bushs attorney, William P. Allison, needed extra time because he had knee surgery Monday. She said she expected to reschedule the case in the next couple of days.
Neither Mr. Allison nor Miss Bush appeared in court yesterday, the Associated Press reports.
Miss Bush was issued a misdemeanor citation early Friday by undercover police officers checking for minors in possession of alcohol at nightclubs along the popular East Sixth Street entertainment area.
Assistant Police Chief Mike McDonald said Miss Bush was drinking beer but did not appear to be intoxicated.
Chief McDonald said two Secret Service agents were outside the bar and did not know Miss Bush was drinking.

A mild heart problem

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the 47-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was treated for a mild heart problem Tuesday and then released, a hospital spokesman said yesterday in Seattle.
Mr. Kennedy was given medication to treat a mild irregular heartbeat, which can occur in otherwise healthy adults, said Ed Boyle, spokesman for Seattles Swedish Medical Center.


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