- The Washington Times - Monday, September 27, 2004

Dancing for Dubya

Stumping for votes in Wisconsin, President Bush traveled by motorcade through the town of Walworth, where, according to the official White House Pool Report, there was an eye-catching group of ladies on hand to welcome him: “[I]n the parking lot of the Vegas Gentlemen’s Club, the talent stood on the back of a flatbed truck and offered waves to the president.”

Newt notes

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has signed a book deal with Regnery Publishing to examine the economic, social and geopolitical issues — including the current political gridlock — facing the United States in this post-September 11 world. The book is due out in January.

Campaign buzz

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry can’t escape the “Swift Boat” wake, although CBS News anchor Dan Rather’s “bias” tops all political buzzwords in the Global Language Monitor’s September PQ (Political-sensitivity Quotient) Index.

Neither of the above sagas is helping Mr. Kerry’s campaign — “in many cases overshadowing the key messages of the Democratic nominee,” according to the index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the media.

“With five weeks remaining in the campaign, there is a very real danger that Kerry’s key messages continue to be swamped by the ‘Swift Boats’ and ‘Rathergate’ issues,” says Paul Payack, president of the California-based language monitor.

“Swift Boats” actually is getting more media hits and citations than all other key Kerry messages combined, according to the index, including “two Americas,” “Bush the misleader,” “jobless recovery” and “global outsourcing.”

Exemplary eight

They are a most unique group of eight Americans, each a public servant who, in one way or another, touched countless lives. Tonight, their country honors them.

• At a mere 28 years of age, the Energy Department’s Nicole Nelson-Jean led a U.S. delegation to the Arctic Circle to negotiate an agreement with Russian officials to better secure Russia’s nuclear materials and weapons.

• Eileen Harrington led a team at the Federal Trade Commission that developed and implemented the national do-not-call registry, reducing the number of telemarketing calls for more than 60 million Americans.

• Ambassador Prudence Bushnell, now dean of the State Department’s Leadership and Management School, guided the U.S. Embassy in Kenya through its deadly 1998 bombing and was a leading voice urging a response to the ethnic genocide in Rwanda.

• Brad Gair, federal coordinating officer with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, oversaw the government recovery efforts in New York City after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

• Stephen E. Browning, director of regional programs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, led U.S. efforts to help Iraqis rebuild their electrical infrastructure, and acted as the administrative head of multiple Iraqi ministries. Earlier, he led recovery efforts at ground zero in New York City.

• FBI Special Agent Robert F. Clifford led the investigation that resulted in the conviction of more than a dozen members of the notorious November 17 terrorist group, arguably Europe’s most elusive terrorist network.

• Peter Darling, senior special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, led a team that shut down a massive conspiracy in which babies and female couriers were used to smuggle cocaine in baby-formula cans.

• Deborah Jin, a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, created a new form of matter that could unlock the key to superconductivity, a phenomenon with the potential to dramatically improve energy efficiency.

This evening, at an awards gala at Washington’s Union Station, the Partnership for Public Service will present the eight honorees with 2004 Service to America Medals, which recognize federal employees whose professional contributions exemplify the highest attributes of public service.

Fans of this column will enjoy John McCaslin’s new book, “Inside the Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans From Around the Nation’s Capital.” Mr. McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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