- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2007

In the fast lane

Former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential contender Mitt Romney says it’s not unusual for governors to be driven by state troopers at high speeds, as was the case with New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who remains hospitalized in critical condition after his 91-mph crash on the Garden State Parkway.

During dinner-table conversation in Washington on Wednesday night, when he was presented with the annual Ronald Reagan Award by Frontiers of Freedom, Mr. Romney said these days when he climbs behind the wheel and drives at 65 mph “I feel like I am going slow.”

Haunted fields

“Ancestors of mine fought on both sides of the Civil War,” recalls Sen. James H. Webb Jr., Virginia Democrat, “including William Jewell, who was wounded in the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County, Virginia, wounded again at Antietam, and was finally killed in action at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863.”

As the freshman senator puts it: “It is not every day you can visit these battlefield sites and have an immediate, direct connection with your ancestors.”

Equating such battlefields to “outdoor classrooms,” Mr. Webb, a former secretary of the Navy, warned senators this week that more than 200,000 acres of “significant” battlefield land is now threatened by development. To prevent their loss, he urged his colleagues to fully fund the Civil War Battlefield Protection Program, an arm of the National Park Service.

“But for the preservation program and their partners with the Civil War Preservation Trust, we would have lost key sites from such national shrines at Antietam, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Bentonville, Mansfield and Champion Hill. Their names still haunt us to this day,” Mr. Webb noted.

“Had the [preservation program] not intervened, the sites would have been lost forever to commercial and residential development.”

Controversy sidelined

Without specifically mentioning Don Imus and the controversy that has been swirling around their basketball team, the U.S. Senate this week approved a resolution commending the achievements of the Rutgers University Lady Scarlet Knights.

The senators applauded the “character and integrity” of the players and their coaches without rehashing the fired radio host’s attack on the team’s race and sex. The resolution praised the Lady Knights for their 27-9 season record, their upset of top-seeded University of Connecticut for their first-ever Big East Championship title, and for reaching the NCAA championship title game.

Another shopper

It appears that former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, a Republican — if he indeed seeks the presidency in 2008 — will be taking a conservative path to the White House.

Mr. Gilmore’s presidential exploratory committee has just brought aboard Tom Readmond of Roberts, Raheb & Gradler LLC, a former staff member of both conservative activist Grover Norquist and former Sen. Phil Gramm, Texas Republican.

Earlier this year, Mr. Gilmore announced that he was creating a presidential exploratory committee, and says he will decide in the near future whether to formally announce a presidential campaign. However, as critical as face and name recognition is in a presidential contest, he’d better decide soon.

Come to think of it, this columnist recently spotted Mr. Gilmore alone in the checkout line at the Safeway in Old Town, and not a single person paid him any attention.

Worth the wait

We touched yesterday on George Mason University’s “Sextravaganza 2007,” an annual sex-education day that promotes safe sex through all forms of birth control — including abstinence.

Since then, we’ve received word from college students on the Harvard University campus who are embracing a new sexual revolution — the True Love Revolution (TLR) — albeit this revolution promotes abstinence.

In February, TLR members sent valentines to all freshman women at Harvard that read: “Why wait? Because you’re worth it.”

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

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