- The Washington Times - Monday, December 9, 2002

Al meets Chad
Al and Tipper Gore's new book, "Joined at the Heart," is described as personal and provocative.
"We started dreaming of having a family soon after we met, 37 years ago," writes the couple, who, unlike predecessors Dan and Marilyn Quayle, refuse to retire in defeat. (Was Mr. Quayle, two years after his dethroning, lead guest on ABC's "This Week" the way Mr. Gore was yesterday? Of course not.)
"We were just teenagers then," the Gores continue in their book, "and unlike most high school sweethearts these days, we somehow grew together instead of apart."
In fact, the "sweethearts" appeared together over the weekend at a local Olsson's Books and Records store to sign copies of their book.
"One man and his friend stopped to show us Al's and Tipper's signatures in his book," one gentleman on hand tells Inside the Beltway. "Al wrote, 'To Chad,' with both signatures underneath. We all immediately burst out into laughter and asked the gentleman if that was his real name. The answer was a resounding 'No.'"

Viagra vs. Bubba
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is slowly getting accustomed to his new role in Washington: Senate spouse.
"Since when do we allow Senate spouses to speak?" cracked Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott at one Capitol Hill function last week, referring to his former GOP colleague and his wife, Sen.-elect Elizabeth Dole, North Carolina Republican.
Appearing at the 100th birthday bash Thursday for Sen. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican, Mr. Dole said that since his wife's election victory he is now "the junior senator in my family. I feel like Fritz Hollings."
Mr. Lott is spreading word that Mr. Dole is "going to run for president again of the Senate Spouses Club. He might finally have a chance to beat Bill Clinton."

Outmoded history
Outspoken civil rights crusader and "Jefferson's Pillow" author Roger Wilkins is keynote speaker for the inaugural "Teaching American History" session this afternoon for approximately 120 Fairfax County Public School teachers. The program is funded by a $988,000 grant from the Department of Education.
An assistant attorney general in the Johnson administration and a longtime anti-apartheid leader, Mr. Wilkins in his book "Jefferson's Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism" demythologizes four of this country's founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Mason while arguing that outmoded versions of American history are being taught.
Mr. Wilkins' address to the suburban Virginia teachers, ironically enough at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate in Fairfax County, is titled: "The Importance of Studying History."
The almost million-dollar grant to the school system on teaching American history was secured with assistance from Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican. Several multiple-day enrichment seminars and activities are scheduled throughout the school year for select teachers, covering such topics as "America in a Changing World," "Society and Culture," "The Expansion and Mapping of Character," "Washington's Vision of the American Character" and "Jefferson's View of the World."
Mr. Wilkins, a professor of history and American culture at George Mason University, has served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Africa-America Institute and is a member of the board of the Legal Defense Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Conservative beauties
Young ladies who dream of being crowned Miss America can forget about charm school. Enroll instead at Washington-based Leadership Institute.
It so happens that the second Leadership Institute graduate in five years Erika Harold has won the title of Miss America. The newly crowned 2003 Miss America joins Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson, also a graduate from the institute.
Rather than learning how to hold your chin high and stroll down a runway, the institute identifies, recruits, trains and places conservatives even, obviously, in the Miss America pageant.
Morton C. Blackwell is the institute's founder and president. A White House special assistant to President Reagan for public liaison, Mr. Blackwell has worked nationally since 1960 to help conservatives become effective in the public policy process.
Since being crowned Miss America, Miss Harold has preached "abstinence until marriage," her original Miss Illinois pageant platform. She had traveled throughout the state on behalf of Project Reality, an "abstinence-only" sex education program provider.
Miss Harold had planned to attend law school this fall at Harvard University, but now will wait a year until her Miss America duties are completed.

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