Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Kerry’s grades

It turns out President Bush, who jokes about being a “C student” in school, was not the worst student running for president last year.

Sen. John Kerry has finally authorized release of his military files, and the Boston Globe reported yesterday that the records include Mr. Kerry’s grades while an undergraduate at Yale University. According to the Globe, Mr. Kerry scored four D’s his freshman year, and averaged a 76 for his four years. Mr. Bush, meanwhile, averaged a 77 for his first three years, while his fourth year he was graded under a nonnumerical system.

Mr. Kerry apparently executed Standard Form 180, authorizing release of his records to the Globe. The paper reported that the other records released were essentially the same as Mr. Kerry himself provided during last year’s presidential campaign.

David Wade, Mr. Kerry’s Senate office spokesman and former campaign spokesman, said the release of the records put the issue of his war record to rest.

“This issue is over, and what’s clear for the 300th time is that the partisan smear artists who made the 180 the holy grail of attack politics are still liars,” Mr. Wade said. “John Kerry has given unprecedented access to his military and medical records. In fact he has given more access than any candidate in modern history. End of story.”

He said the campaign refused to sign the form last year because it didn’t want to give in to calls from “the same partisan operatives who were lying about his record on a daily basis on the Web and in the right-wing media.”

Mr. Wade did not say whether Mr. Kerry would authorize similar access for The Washington Times or other press outlets.

Harris for Senate

Republican Rep. Katherine Harris, who as Florida’s secretary of state was both praised and vilified for her part in the 2000 presidential recount, said yesterday she will run for the Senate next year against Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.

Her announcement brings a major name to the race, along with the potential to raise a lot of money.

“The time has come to launch a campaign for the U.S. Senate,” Mrs. Harris told the Associated Press.

Mrs. Harris, who is serving her second term in Congress, is a top fundraiser and a popular figure among Republicans. But she is also despised by Democrats for her role in overseeing the recount that ultimately gave Florida and the White House to George W. Bush over Al Gore.

GOP’ers for porn?

Two pornographers will be among the guests at a Republican fundraising event next week, WorldNetDaily.com reports.

“Last week, Carl Forti, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, explained … that self-described pornographer Mark Kulkis and his date, porn star Mary Carey, will be attending the two-day event, ‘The 2005 President’s Dinner and Salute to Freedom,’ next Monday and Tuesday because their money is just as good as anyone else’s.”

Miss Carey, a blonde featured in such productions as “Girls School 4” and one of the candidates to replace California Gov. Gray Davis in the 2003 recall election, informed WND writer Ron Strom: “I’m especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove. Smart men like him are so sexy.

“I know that [Mr. Rove is] against gay marriage,” she added, but suggested she might try to convince the president’s chief political adviser otherwise.

Mr. Kulkis, who gave $300 to Democrats last year, has given $500 to the National Republican Congressional Committee this year, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Asked about these two guests at the Republican event, Mr. Forti told WND: “They’ve paid their money. No matter what they do, the money is going to go to help elect Republicans to the House.”

Dean hit again

Howard Dean is not the Democratic Party’s spokesman, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the latest party leader to distance himself from the outspoken chairman, said yesterday.

“I believe Governor Dean is a good chairman. He’s doing a good job,” Mr. Richardson, the head of the Democratic Governors’ Association, told reporters at the start of a two-day visit to New Hampshire. “He’s not the spokesman for the party. It’s governors, it’s senators, it’s party leaders.”

Last weekend, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards criticized Mr. Dean for recent remarks that Republicans “never made an honest living in their lives,” and for saying that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, who has not been accused of any crime, ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence.

Hillary and Moynihan

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan publicly supported Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for his seat from New York, but privately the senator, who is now deceased, and his wife despised the then-first lady, according to a new book.

“The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President” by Edward Klein will be excerpted in the next edition of Vanity Fair, the New York Post reports.

According to the excerpts, Mr. Moynihan’s wife, Liz, told a friend that Mrs. Clinton is “duplicitous.”

“She would say or do anything that would forward her ambitions.”

Frist’s joke

Tongue firmly in cheek, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist — a cardiac surgeon — pledged yesterday to resuscitate his Democratic counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, if Senate legislation to curb the increasing number of asbestos lawsuits makes him ill.

“I want that bill to come to the [Senate] floor like I want to have a heart attack,” Mr. Reid, of Nevada, had declared Monday about the pending legislation.

Mr. Frist, a Tennessee heart surgeon before being elected to the Senate in 1994, noted to reporters yesterday that heart attacks are his specialty.

“I’ll make sure he gets resuscitated,” Mr. Frist said, laughing.

Gore’s award

Former presidential candidate Al Gore took the stage to accept a Webby at the ninth annual Internet awards ceremony held in New York City’s Gotham Hall on Monday night.

This year’s ceremony offered awards in 65 categories after receiving entries from more than 4,000 sites in 40 countries.

While the Webbys may lack the glamour of the Oscars, they offer the quirky advantage of strictly limiting acceptance speeches to just five words, thus prohibiting gushingly tearful testimonials of gratitude to family and agents, Agence France-Presse reports.

Mr. Gore, who was ridiculed during the 2000 presidential campaign for appearing to suggest he had created the Internet, won a lifetime achievement award for providing crucial political support to the technical development of the World Wide Web.

Clasping his Webby, even Mr. Gore adhered to the five-word limit: “Please, don’t recount this vote.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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