- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Growing up
Margaret Carlson, the first female columnist in Time magazine's 78-year history, has picked a clever title for her new book: "Anyone Can Grow Up: How George Bush and I Made it to the White House" (Simon & Schuster, $25).
"Bush wasn't an intellectual and didn't try to be," Mrs. Carlson opines of George W. Bush's 2000 presidential battle with Vice President Al Gore. "Gore wasn't a wild and crazy guy, but occasionally he did try to be."
And not very successfully, we might add. Nor was Monica Lewinsky helping matters.
Unlike President Clinton's ladies in waiting, "neither Bush nor Gore had anything to fear on the woman front," the columnist writes, "except that Gore seemed to be saddled with Monica as if he were the one who'd invited the intern for a late-night pizza."
"Vice presidents have a hard time shucking the guy who brung them and look shaky when they try to do so. The more Gore ran from Clinton, the more Bush treated them as the same person, calling Clinton Gore's shadow. Every time Bush claimed he would restore honor and dignity to the White House, he scored a twofer."
Mrs. Carlson said the Bush tactic not only reminded people of what they "hated" in Mr. Clinton, "it tied Gore up in knots: he was angrier at Clinton over the whole Monica business than Hillary was."

Honoring Dubya
You can't say Ray Charles is an embarrassment.
Four years after one major newspaper boycotted the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner complaining the black-tie gala "has, simply put, become an embarrassment" no paid comedian will be roasting … er, providing the entertainment.
Instead, President George W. Bush accompanied by Mr. Charles on the piano is this year's headliner Saturday at the Washington Hilton.
New York Times bureau chief Michael Oreskes had complained in 1999 that the dinner's purpose of "honoring good journalism with awards and raising money for scholarships has become lost in the circus."
In fact, it was a dinner in which 250 association members invited an overflow crowd of 2,700 guests. During the last two decades, news agencies competed for the most recognized celebrity guests, Hollywood and political types.
"The association each year is seen around the country as host to a Bacchanalia that confirms everyone's worst sense of Washington," Mr. Oreskes griped. "The time has come to rein it in."
That has pretty much been accomplished, with the dinner's goal to honor the president of the United States.
Among the many guests of The Washington Times and Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden who will be saluting Mr. Bush this Saturday are Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, Egyptian Ambassador M. Nebil Fahmy, Chinese Ambassador Jiechi Yang, Indian Ambassador Lalit Mansing, Cypriot Ambassador Erato Kozakou Marcoullis, Singaporean Ambassador Heng Chee Chan, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee, Education Secretary Rod Paige, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, classical vocal soloist Denyce Graves, and former New York Times Executive Editor A.M. Rosenthal, whose column appears in The Washington Times.

Eating crow
We're only four months into 2003 and it already is heading into the history books as the year of the protester.
Given the Iraqi war is all but ended, a demonstration planned for Saturday evening outside the White House Correspondents Association dinner will protest "liberal bias" in journalism with an Iraqi twist.
"To commemorate the swift victory of American and coalition forces over the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein in the face of gale-force whining from 'antiwar' activists, pundits and politicians," explains Kristinn Taylor, co-leader of the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com.
As awards are presented to scribes inside the Washington Hilton, outside "ready-to-eat stuffed crows on silver platters will be awarded to those whose histrionic predictions of doom and gloom before and/or during Operation Iraqi Freedom stand head and shoulders above all others for their shrillness, certainty, and apocalyptic ravings."
Among the 39 nominees: Peter Arnett, his employment by National Geographic and NBC terminated while in Baghdad; Chris Matthews of MSNBC; Hollywood's Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Janeane Garofalo; and 20-term Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat.

Flying Chicks
Billboard magazine says the Dixie Chicks are "flying high," despite a degree of backlash for attacking President Bush.
"To be brutally honest, there has been no effect, other than the odd phone call to a building inquiring about a refund. There's a lot more noise than action," band agent Rob Light said.
Mr. Light told the magazine that of the 59 shows in the band's upcoming U.S. tour, only six have scattered seats remaining. In fact, in the first two days tickets went on sale, $49 million worth were sold.
Still, Billboard reports that the Dixie Chicks' latest album, "Home," tumbled down the music charts after singer Natalie Maines informed a London audience that she was ashamed to come from the same state Texas as Mr. Bush.

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