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Jewish World Review August 4, 2000/ 3 Menachem-Av, 5760


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Bubba warms up for Hollywood -- BILL CLINTON, who abhors "the politics of personal destruction," even though half his payroll is dedicated to practitioners of that craft, is a real card. That much you have to give the country's worst president in a century. Al Gore, should he be elected this November, won't be nearly as hilarious.

After all, who but Clinton, with a straight face, could make the following remarks at a fundraiser, and not incur the immediate scorn of our Ivy League-educated media? Last Friday, at a Boston clambake, Clinton poked bad-natured fun at Gov. George W. Bush. He told a well-heeled crowd of 450: "'How bad could I be? I've been governor of Texas, my daddy was president, I own a baseball team, they like me down there, everything is rocking along hunky-dory... Their fraternity had it for eight years, give it to ours for eight years because we're compassionate and humane. We're not like what you think about us from watching the Congress for the past five years.'"

Who was behind Clinton at the lectern as he delivered these silly comments? Why, none other than Rep. Patrick Kennedy and his father, Sen. Teddy Kennedy, two legislators who scrapped their way to leadership positions by years of hard work, not the nepotism that Clinton ascribes to Bush.

Itsy-bitsy Patrick, by the way, while still learning the ropes of bald hypocrisy, got off a doozy the other day when he criticized a scheduled Democratic money-grab at the mansion of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Kennedy, who used the Chicago home of Hefner's daughter Christie for a recent fundraiser, told National Public Radio: "This totally contradicts what our party stands for in terms of equal rights, civil rights for all people, and respecting the human dignity of every individual." As New York Post columnist Rod Dreher noted on July 27, the Hefners are generous donors to the Democratic Party, but now, apparently, "they're the scum of the earth" to virtuous Patrick.

My guess is that Hef didn't promise Dick Gephardt's puppet a prime piece of tail, if he's so inclined, and that's what got his dander up.


Clinton, a champion of campaign finance reform-a blood brother of John McCain-was a busy beaver this past weekend. Not only did he shine up New England Democrats to fork over dough for Kennedy and other feminist Democrats, but he also made time to visit his beloved Waldorf-Astoria in New York to make a pitch for his witchy wife Hillary.

Listen to this whopper, delivered to a group of Korean-Americans in a pitch that grossed $250,000: "Of all the hundreds of people I've known, including many presidents and candidates for president, I have never known anyone who had the same combination of intelligence and passion and knowledge and ability to get things done for children, for families, for education, for healthcare as my wife does. She can do things and she knows things that no one else now in our public life can do and know, just because of the life she's lived."

I had no idea that Hillary Clinton, who grew up in middle-class Illinois, brought such a varied background to public life. Heck, her heroics as a suburban Cubs fan and later as a mixed-up radical at Wellesley are far more impressive than the mere war records of Sen. McCain, Gov. Tom Ridge, President George Bush or Sen. Bob Dole. The hardscrabble backgrounds of Presidents Nixon and Reagan don't compare with Mrs. Clinton's, certainly, and helping her daughter Chelsea complete homework by fax is a magnificent example of how she "gets things done for children."

Alas, after the zingy bash at the Waldorf came the morning hangover. Last Sunday, John Zogby released a poll that showed rickety Enrico Lazio with a seven-point lead over Hillary-49.6-42 percent-that even an eye-opener Bloody Mary couldn't cure.

JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and CEO of New York Press ( Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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© 2000, Russ Smith