- The Washington Times - Friday, May 16, 2003

‘It’s all true’

A woman has come forward to confirm she had an affair with President John F. Kennedy when she was a teenage intern.

“It’s all true,” Marion “Mimi” Fahnestock, 60, told the New York Daily News. “I was 19 years old. It was 1962, ‘63, and it’s the truth.”

Now a widowed grandmother of four, Mrs. Fahnestock said it was a huge relief that her affair with the president had finally been made public as the result of a new biography that refers to her only as “Mimi.”

Mimi Beardsley was a senior at an exclusive girl’s school in Connecticut when she was invited to the White House in 1961 to interview Jaqueline Kennedy, an alumna of the same school.

The president spotted the tall, blonde teen, and Mimi was awarded a White House internship the next year, though she couldn’t even type.

“Apparently, her only skill was to provide [sex] for JFK,” said historian Robert Dallek, who was researching his new Kennedy biography, “An Unfinished Life,” when he learned about the intern from a former White House aide.

“I was 19 years old, a very young, very naive, very innocent young girl,” said Mrs. Fahnestock, who now lives on Manhattan’s upper East Side.

She and other girls attended private White House pool parties with the president. Mimi had secret liaisons with JFK at resorts and summit meetings, traveling on Air Force jets. Kennedy aides once caught her hiding on the floor of a limousine in JFK’s entourage in the Bahamas moments after the president left.

Kerry’s delay

Presidential candidate John Kerry put off his plunge into the Democratic health care fray, saying he was scrapping a major campaign event to stand up against President Bush’s tax cuts.

Mr. Kerry had scheduled a high-profile event yesterday at a Des Moines, Iowa, hospital to announce his $80 billion expansion of the health care system, but instead found himself headed back to Washington, where votes were scheduled on the tax cut.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Kerry said the two issues are inextricably linked because the nation can’t afford health care reform and big tax cuts.

Aides were scrambling to reschedule the event for today, although word of Mr. Kerry’s health proposal began to leak out.

His plan would expand existing programs to insure children and low-income adults, paying for the effort by repealing some of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts. He estimates 95 percent of adults and virtually all children would be covered by his plan.

“It’s paid for by canceling only the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, while keeping tax cuts for the middle class,” Mr. Kerry said in prepared remarks obtained by the Associated Press. He did not say which taxes he would keep and what he would repeal.

Daddy’s girl

Rep. Richard A. Gephardt expects his lesbian daughter to help him win the support of homosexuals for his Democratic presidential campaign.

“Chrissy is a lesbian. She is a great young woman. She is doing great work. She’s a social worker here in D.C. And I’m very proud of her,” the Missouri congressman said recently on CNBC. “And I want her help in the campaign. And she’s going to help with gay and lesbian people, but she’s going to help with people all over the country.”

Mr. Gephardt’s campaign Web site says: “Like her parents, Chrissy also attended Northwestern University for her undergraduate degree. She received her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She works with female survivors of trauma and abuse at a mental health agency in the District of Columbia. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her partner, Amy.”

Miss Gephardt will be profiled in an upcoming issue of People magazine, the Web site Gay.com reported last week.

No press allowed

The Republican Party continues trying to woo blacks, but it apparently prefers to do so behind closed doors.

The perfect example: The party this week brought 350 well-heeled blacks from around the country to Capitol Hill for a three-day “African American Leadership Summit,” led by Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and including talks from Education Secretary Rod Paige and HUD Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

“Closed to the press,” Hutchison spokesman Kevin Schweers said when Steve Miller, a reporter for The Washington Times, tried to enter the hotel ballroom where the event was taking place.

“It is in the best interests of everybody not to have the press there,” he said. “It allows an open and free-ranging discussion of the issues.”

He added, somewhat cryptically, “And people can feel free to say what they want.”

Trouble in Detroit

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is facing a firestorm over his dismissal of Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown, who oversaw the department’s internal affairs division and says he was uncovering possible wrongdoing by people close to the mayor.

Mr. Brown says he was fired May 9 because he had begun to investigate reports of drunken-driving accidents, falsified overtime records and a possible cover-up — all involving members of Mr. Kilpatrick’s security detail.

Mr. Brown also said he was looking into reports of an incident at the mayoral residence involving Mr. Kilpatrick, his family, a party with nude dancers and an assault that purportedly was concealed from police, the Associated Press reports.

The mayor denied the accusations. Jamaine Dickens, Mr. Kilpatrick’s spokesman, said he could not comment on why Mr. Brown was fired because it was a confidential personnel matter.

Praising Hispanics

President Bush paid tribute yesterday to Hispanics who serve in the military and to the “army of compassion” that religious Hispanics form with prayer and good works.

At the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, Mr. Bush laced his speech with Spanish, rattled off a litany of Spanish surnames in the audience, some of them members of his administration, and showered his listeners with praise, the Associated Press reports.

“Hispanic-Americans bring many gifts to this nation: hard work and strong cultural traditions and patriotism,” Mr. Bush said. “Your good works and reverence bring compassion for our country and honor to almighty God.”

Mr. Bush singled out for special praise a “son of Mexico” who served in the Marines for 25 years and was wounded in Iraq. Mr. Bush visited Master Gunnery Sgt. Guadalupe Denogean at a hospital last month as he received a Purple Heart and took his oath of citizenship.

“It was an amazing experience, a truly American experience to be in the hospital where he was recovering from his wound, to see the son of Mexico raise his right hand and pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Mr. Bush said.

Military says ‘non’

The Pentagon is cutting the number of people and aircraft it will send to the Paris Air Show following the rift with France over Iraq, military officials told the Associated Press yesterday.

The weeklong air show, a premier biennial international event for the aviation and aeronautics industries, will begin June 15.

A limit of 150 people will go, with none having a rank above colonel, a defense official said on the condition of anonymity. And only six planes will be sent, less than half of the 13 sent last time. All will be for stationary exhibits rather that the usual flying demonstrations, the official said.

At a Pentagon news conference, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld denied there would be any outright U.S. boycott.

“All I can remember off the top of my head was some discussion about the Paris Air Show that’s come up,” he answered. “I don’t know precisely, but it’s not as though people won’t be going from the United States. It may be at a certain level.”

But he said military commanders and other defense officials want “to work closely with those countries that want to work closely with us. And that logically leads you to countries that are of a certain relationship with us.”


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