- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Quote of the week

“I have felt them at crucial hours.”

President Bush, thanking members of the Southern Baptist Convention this week for their prayers.

Bush meets Custer

President Bush arrived at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., yesterday and “was whisked to a conference room where there were name cards for about 15 generals and rear admirals, including one General Custer” — reads the official White House pool report.

One-term blues?

A veteran of the Clinton administration equates the travails of President Bush to the malaise of Jimmy Carter, marking this president, like the former, “a one-termer.”

Morris Reid, a Democratic political consultant in Washington, says the taking of American hostage Paul Johnson is the latest example of the Bush presidency mirroring Mr. Carter’s. Besides a “chaotic” foreign policy, Mr. Reid cites high gas prices, millions unemployed, rising inflation, and a Carter-like “national sense of unease.”

Mr. Reid toiled under Commerce SecretaryRon Brown and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

Diversions help

The Global Language Monitor’s June PQ (political-sensitivity quotient) Index was just released, with former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton stealing thunder from the 2004 presidential campaign.

Which for President Bush might be a good thing, says the index’s Paul “JJ” Payack.

“Ronald Reaganholds the top spot … whileBill Clinton’smemoirs debut at No. 8. This will undoubtedly climb even higher as the Clinton publicity machine clicks in,” he predicts. This, he says, will help to further “obscure” the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq, which has fallen to No. 3 from the top position in May.

Casual line

From Riverside Drive in New York City comes a new line of clothing: “Dubya Duds.”

“Casual clothing of high quality,” says designer (and former Republican National Committee agent) H. Stuart Hotchkiss, who in 1981 created the Original Jellybean Necktie paying tribute to President Reagan’s favorite sweet.

Where has Mr. Hotchkiss been since 1981?

“In 1983, I moved into a career in book and magazine publishing, retiring from that profession as president of Time Inc. Home Entertainment,” he says. “Despite all my good fortune in that 20-year period, I never had as much fun as I did back in those halcyon years.”

Dubya Duds, named after George W. Bush’s nickname, consist of caps, polo shirts and neckties featured in “Republican Red” and “Bush Blue,” the latter 100 percent silk and adorned with Ws, American flags and cowboy boots.

Politics and Reason

As soon as Miss North Carolina America 2003 Dana Reasonwraps up her yearlong reign next week, the Charlotte Observer reports, she’s hopping aboard Republican Rep.Richard M. Burr’s Senate campaign.

Prior to being crowned Miss North Carolina, the 25-year-old worked to elect Elizabeth Dole the state’s Republican senator.

Miss Reason will be a field representative for Mr. Burr in more than a dozen crucial counties.

“Dana will be a valuable addition to our growing grass-roots team,” Burr spokesman Doug Heye tells this column. “Certainly, given her title, she has a strong knowledge of the state.”

Go it alone

American Enterprise Institute fellow Thomas Donnelly’s latest paper, “Learning to live without Europe,” has an appropriate title and argues that the United States must learn to map its strategy “without Europe.”

“Our security depends on it,” says Mr. Donnelly, pointing out that the two important challenges of the new century — the Middle East and the rise of China — “have very little to do with Europe” anyway.

“[T]rying to revive the Cold War model of cooperation with Europe will retard the American effort to accomplish its lasting purposes in the rest of the world,” he warns.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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