- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 6, 2002

Noble: Elizabeth, Great Britain's Queen Mother, for a lifetime rich in nobility. The Queen Mother, who passed away a week ago at age 101, lived the lines of poet Alice Cary's "Nobility":

"True worth is in being, not seeming In doing, each day that goes by, Some little good not in dreaming, Of great things to do by and by. For whatever men say in their blindness, And in spite of the fancies of youth, There's nothing so kingly as kindness, And nothing so royal as truth."

Despite a royal lifestyle, the Queen Mother never lost her common touch whether betting on race horses, indulging in a pint, or shooting a game of pool.

She never expected to become queen, especially not after marrying Prince Albert, the second son of King George V and Queen Mary. However, when the prince's brother, King Edward, abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson in 1936, she met the wrenching change with a simple, "Well, we must make the best of it."

She did, and even managed to make the best of the bombing of Buckingham Palace during the Battle of Britain, remarking famously, "It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face."

After the king died, she became the beloved "Queen Mum" to millions of Britons, serving countless charities and always acting with dignity and grace.

Britain, and indeed the world, has become a poorer place with her passing.

Knave: Bill Clinton, for an interview with Newsweek magazine that was simply rich in outrageousness.

Mr. Clinton was asked, "If you had to do it all over again, would you pardon Marc Rich?" "Probably not," Mr. Clinton replied, "just for the politics. It was terrible politics. It wasn't worth the damage to my reputation."

It's hard to imagine a more selfish, more amoral perspective on a pardon request so out of order that even Arthur Andersen's accountants wouldn't have touched it. After all, by the time he received his pardon, Rich had amassed a lengthy rap sheet (and a hefty bank account balance).

Nor was the rest of the interview much better, and Newsweek's Jonathan Alter deserves some blame for lobbing softballs that would embarrass a beer-league pitcher with a lifetime ERA of 1,000. In short order, he asked Mr. Clinton, "Why do you think the right wing was so obsessed with you?" followed by, "Why do they still beat you up when you're not in power any more?" The answers were as far in left field as the questions.

Mr. Clinton has still not recognized that he was dogged by scandal, not because he was hounded by members of the "vast right wing conspiracy," but because as president, he hunted personal pleasure and approval ratings. He remains a moral pauper.

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