- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Schoolgirl crush
"Is George W. Bush obsessed with Bill Clinton?" New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller writes.
"Not surprisingly, many former members of the Clinton administration think so. They argue that the president's delay in getting actively involved in the Middle East was part of an ABC policy Anything But Clinton that began with minor things, like wearing coats and ties in the Oval Office and being on time. Mr. Bush would also deliver shorter State of the Union addresses, never read political polls and stay away from Hollywood swells.
"But soon the ABC policy, Clinton advisers assert, moved on to the serious business of foreign policy. Mr. Bush, they say, was so convinced that Mr. Clinton was overly involved in the Middle East that he decided early on that injecting himself would be a terrible mistake."
James Taranto, writing at www.opinionjournal.com, commented: "We're supposed to believe that Bush is 'obsessed with Bill Clinton' because he wears a coat and tie? It sounds to us as if these 'Clinton advisers' have a schoolgirl crush on President Bush and are desperately trying to persuade themselves that he really cares about them and is just playing hard to get."

Shut up, he explained
A woman who admitted obstructing a Justice Department probe of illegal contributions to Sen. Robert G. Torricelli's 1996 campaign was sentenced to three years' probation yesterday and said Mr. Torricelli berated her and told her to shut up after she began cooperating with investigators.
"Torricelli called me on the phone, yelling at me, telling me to shut up," Audrey Yu told the judge at her sentencing in Newark, N.J. "It would be so shameful if we have a senator like Torricelli representing our nation."
Miss Yu, 34, worked for businessman David Chang, a contributor who admitted funneling $53,700 to the 1996 campaign. She pleaded guilty in 2000 to obstructing the Justice Department investigation into Mr. Chang's contributions by lying to a grand jury.
"Torricelli is still lying about his relationship with David Chang," Miss Yu told U.S. District Judge Alfred M. Wolin.
Mr. Torricelli's office had no immediate response when told of Miss Yu's statements, the Associated Press reports. The New Jersey Democrat has said he was unaware of illegal contributions.

No deal on ANWR
Republicans' hopes of winning Senate approval of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska dimmed yesterday when a key Democrat rejected a compromise bailout for the steel industry.
Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia said the compromise is "quite dead" and blamed a lack of commitment by the White House to sell House Republican leaders on the steel bailout. The House passed an energy bill containing the ANWR provision last year, but it lacks the deal on steel.
"The deal was nixed by the White House," Mr. Rockefeller said. He said the White House offered to lobby Speaker J. Dennis Hastert on the steel bailout only if Mr. Rockefeller guaranteed 60 votes for the ANWR provision, enough to overcome a filibuster. Mr. Rockefeller said that was unacceptable.
"I don't think they ever had more than 54 votes for ANWR," he said. "Now they'll be lucky if they get 50."

Moseley-Braun's future
"It would have conservatives and Republicans pulling their hair and gnashing their teeth. But imagine a U.S. Senate with both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Carol Moseley-Braun. Yes, the former U.S. senator from Illinois seems to be pondering a return to politics," the Prowler column (www.americanprowler.org) said yesterday.
"In 1998 Moseley-Braun lost her re-election bid to Republican Peter Fitzgerald, but President Clinton repaid the loyal shilling she did for his administration by appointing her ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Once that job ended, she returned home. Which, apparently, is not Chicago or even Illinois. The former senator now lives on a family-owned farm in Alabama. Moseley-Braun hasn't kept in close contact with many of her former staffers, but those who have spoken to her say she's eager to get back into politics. 'She wants to run again,' says a former staffer currently working in the House. 'I don't know who is encouraging her.'
"According to the staffer, Moseley-Braun has kept her official residence in Chicago, although she hasn't lived there in nearly three years. 'Presumably she'd run against Fitzgerald in 2004.'
"The former senator earned quite a reputation during her one term in Washington. She was known for being demanding of her staff and leading a soap-opera-esque private life. A fund-raiser at the DNC says Moseley-Braun isn't getting any encouragement to run out of that building. 'God, no. What a disaster that could be. But I'm sure Republicans would love it.'"

The new Gore
"How obtuse is Al Gore? It takes amazing [nerve] after one of the most execrable campaigns in modern times to get back in the ring with the aplomb he demonstrated in Florida," pundit Andrew Sullivan writes at his Web site (www.andrewsullivan.com).
"But his timing is exquisite as usual. When 80 percent of Democrats believe he should refrain from direct attacks on a wartime president, Gore gives a shrill, [Terry] McAuliffe-like partisan address. No doubt, the need to appeal to his party base skews Gore to the left. But I think it's worth considering that this is where Gore now is. His long years preparing for coronation were peppered with moderate stances on economics, race, foreign policy, even the environment, where, despite his New Age book, his record as veep was barely distinguishable from a moderate Republican's," Mr. Sullivan said.
"But since the 2000 convention, Gore has come out as an unreconstructed leftist. He backs strong affirmative action, he describes American economic issues in purely left-populist terms, he is a captive of liberal interest groups, backing the agenda of the NAACP, NARAL and the no-enemies-to-the-left gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign. This is the real Gore, on the assumption that such a creature exists independent of bare-knuckled ambition.
"Fair enough. Let him run from the left. But what this merely proves is that those of us who supported Gore for years as a moderate Democrat were essentially manipulated and lied to. Hence, our hostility today. If this 'new Gore' is the real Gore, what does that say about the Gore of the 1980s and 1990s?"

History lesson
"Memo to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle: You might want to take a break from all that really important work you do on Capitol Hill you know, like criticizing the war on terrorism and refusing to let the Senate vote on President Bush's judicial nominations for a brief history lesson," the New York Post says.
"In your speech last week to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, you opposed efforts to restrict the 36-year-old Freedom of Information Act, saying that without it, 'We might never have known about the Pentagon Papers [and] the My Lai massacre '
"Huh? Neither of these events had anything at all to do with the Freedom of Information Act," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"The Pentagon Papers weren't released by the government through a journalist's FOIA request. They were stolen by Daniel Ellsberg, one of the project's compilers, and surreptitiously given to reporters at the New York Times.
"As for My Lai, the story emerged through interviews by a journalist who'd read published accounts of the criminal charges that had already been brought against Lt. William Calley.
"As you know, none of the assembled editors chose to challenge your version. Maybe they forgot the facts, too?
"Senator, put down the Democratic playbook for a while and check out a basic U.S. history text. If that's too difficult, there's always the History Channel."

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