- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Memory lane
The Democrats are coming, the Democrats are coming Democratic presidential wannabes, that is, who are leaving the campaign trail ever so briefly to address the party leadership in Washington.
Always looking to make a buck, the financially depleted Democratic National Committee, we're told, is preparing to peddle an "exclusive video" of the declared 2004 presidential candidates "going head to head": Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, Al Sharpton and perhaps Carol Mosely Braun.
The DNC will sell the video for a "contribution" of $75, which by the way is not tax deductible.
Meanwhile, one part of the Democratic Party's 2004 theme is to recall history in particular, the Democratic presidents who successfully "fought" for the United States.
Topping the DNC's list is Franklin D. Roosevelt, who "created Social Security and led the country out of the Great Depression"; followed by Harry S. Truman, who "developed the Marshall Plan and helped begin NATO"; John F. Kennedy, who "peacefully resolved the Cuban Missle Crisis and created America's space program and the Peace Corps"; and Lyndon B. Johnson, who "passed the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Great Society programs."
Next came Jimmy Carter, who "negotiated a historic peace accord between Egypt and Israel and passed new environmental protections, including the Superfund program"; and last but not least, Bill Clinton, whose legacy is "sustained fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets, big surpluses in the federal government" and a whole lot more we don't have space for.

Hang Clinton
Bob Weiner, a former Clinton White House communications director who now owns his own consulting shop, charges that a presidential photo exhibit in the sports bar of the downtown Renaissance Hotel is a "deification of Bush, anti-Clinton and thereby partisan."
A snowbound Mr. Weiner told us in a telephone interview yesterday that he visited the bar on two occasions last week in advance of its preliminary "presidential pictures" opening so that he could donate a large photo of Mr. Clinton leading a group of joggers from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.
"I went with the idea that this would be a wonderful celebration," Mr. Weiner said yesterday. But he encountered an entrance corridor of four "dramatic" photos of President Bush, another flattering Bush photo inside the bar and "buried in the corner" a single photo of Mr. Clinton shooting pool.
Mr. Weiner says that there's nothing wrong with billiards, but that the Clinton photograph does little to reflect the man we've all come to know. Take two of the exhibit's other photos, he told us, showing former Presidents Reagan and Bush "riding horses over fences" and demonstrating "vitality and high adventure."
Mr. Clinton loved running 25-30 miles a week, Mr. Weiner observed not shooting pool in his leisure time.
"We offered the Renaissance a beautiful picture, free, of him running, poster sized, and even offered to quickly get a comparable outstanding frame from the National Gallery so it would match the other quite wonderful photos of the many other presidents the exhibit has," he says.
When Mr. Weiner approached the hotel's exhibit organizer, Bill Englar, with the picture of the former president in full stride, he says he got the response, "I paid a contractor, they organized it and there's no space."
So Mr. Weiner says he pointed to various open spaces on the wall, at which point Mr. Englar asked to see a higher quality photo.
Mr. Weiner reminded us yesterday that Mr. Clinton was the most popular president upon leaving office in Gallup polling history 65 percent job-approval ratings, compared with Mr. Reagan's 63 percent, Mr. Bush's 56 percent, and Jimmy Carter's 34 percent.
"If the hotel managers are playing to a perceived negativity in Clinton's popularity, they are missing a huge market," Mr. Weiner said.
The bar had what it calls a "soft opening" Friday. They are having a "grand opening" later this month or in March. The hotel manager has since met with Mr. Weiner, but it remains to be seen whether an additional photo of Mr. Clinton will be hung.

Private security
A key player in the White House's seeking to create a Department of Homeland Security has decided against following his boss into the new agency.
Mark A. Holman, longtime chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, will begin working with the Business Software Alliance to provide strategic counsel and public policy representation on cyber-security issues.
Until recently, Mr. Holman was deputy assistant to the president for Homeland Security at the White House Office of Homeland Security. He was previously chief of staff to Mr. Ridge during his tenure as both Pennsylvania governor and U.S. representative.

Inside the Beltway reader Brad Fox of Columbia, Md., writes: "Please stop publishing photos of comedian Rich Little and telling your dear readers he is actually Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist. The resemblance is uncanny."

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