- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2004

Reid’s read

Ask former Clinton administration official Morris Reid and he’ll tell you it’s “pathetic that so much reactive effort is being poured into the type of wound John Kerry received or how much he bled.”

“To the dismay of the Democrats, we are witnessing … a decorated Vietnam War hero being embarrassingly dictated by a president who never served in combat,” says Mr. Reid, who plans to plant himself in New York City for the Republican National Convention and help defend his party’s presidential nominee.

But, says the man who once headed Vice President Al Gore’s campaign office, it’s Mr. Kerry’s duty to rise to the occasion, or else start swimming.

“Kerry must right his ship now, stop the hemorrhaging and demonstrate to the American people that he possess effective leadership qualities,” says Mr. Reid, who also was senior political staff aide to Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

“President Bush will undoubtedly get a bounce from the [convention],” he predicts, “so the only way the Democrats can counter and take back the White House is if Kerry begins to proactively push forth his agenda.” In other words, it’s time to report for duty.

Carding Demetria

Donna Brazile, campaign manager four years ago of Vice President Al Gore’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency, says she won’t ever forget “that fateful election night” of 2000, and for personal reasons.

“The American people witnessed a wholesale miscarriage of justice as the voters of Florida, many of them African-American, were denied the right to have their votes counted,” she says today, revealing that the “miscarriage” hit close to home.

“[I]t was my sister Demetria’s harrowing experience in 2000 that motivated me to become an advocate for election reform,” Miss Brazile explains. “In Seminole County, Florida, she was asked to produce not one, not two — but three forms of ID in order to cast a vote for the president of the United States.”

John, John & john

President Bush isn’t the only candidate to lose a top campaign attorney in recent days — albeit Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry bids adieu to one of his trusted counsels under entirely different circumstances.

Who’s the latest to jump ship?

“He’s a rising star in the Democratic Party,” says pundit and columnist Debbie Schlussel. “He ranks very high in the Kerry Campaign. … It’s the other john — Melvin ‘Butch’ Hollowell — who was caught, last week, soliciting a prostitute.”

At the time, Miss Schlussel says, Mr. Hollowell “was national attorney and counsel to the Kerry-Edwards campaign and had just stepped down as chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.”

Mr. Hollowell reportedly claims he was “helping a woman in distress.”

“And Michelle C. Sherman, the known prostitute, must have been in a lot of distress at the Dutch Girl Donut Shop, where he picked her up,” says Miss Schlussel. “It’s tough deciding between frosted and coconut in this low-carb world.”

Miss Sherman says the campaign attorney gave her $60 in exchange for sexual favors.

Veep for life

“Forty more years.” — Chant by an audience member in Pottsville, Pa., after Vice President Dick Cheney had announced that he and his wife, Lynne, who first tickled his fancy when he was a mere lad of 14, will mark their 40th wedding anniversary this Sunday. Mr. Cheney replied that he would settle for four more years.

Pays to pray

Ma and Pa’s restaurant in Eagle Rock, Va., does its part to encourage church attendance on Sunday.

The country eatery serves an all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet — the most recent holy day it was barbecued pork chops, fried chicken, veggies, salad bar with pickles, and raspberry cobbler and banana pudding — for $7.95.

However, the price drops to $6.95 for those diners who present a current church bulletin.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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