Jewish World Review Nov. 29, 1999/ 20 Kislev, 5760
NOW THAT Pat Buchanan has bolted the GOP, with conservative leaders like
Bill Kristol and Bill Bennett wishing him godspeed, isn’t it time for
Jesse Jackson to stop humiliating the Democratic Party? Isn’t it time
for race-baiting liberals such as Teddy Kennedy, Tom Daschle and Dick
Gephardt to say enough is enough, we don’t need this showboat
trivializing our causes any longer? Obviously, Al Gore and Bill Bradley
can’t lead the charge: they’re too dependent on the black vote in the
coming primaries; but surely the party’s brain trust knows that
Jackson’s latest stunt in Decatur was a parody of the civil rights
movement, a sad example of a washed-up huckster who refuses to recognize
his own irrelevancy.
Hillary R. Clinton, Will You Please Go Now!
HANDS DOWN, the most exciting bit of information in last Sunday’s New York
Post was that P.T. Sharpton is contemplating running for Daniel Patrick
Moynihan’s New York Senate seat. Giving Hillary Clinton a deadline of
January, Sharpton told channel 4: “If you’re too scared and too
intimidated and too much of a lackey to challenge Giuliani, then step
out of my way and let me take him on... My patience is running thin.” If
Clinton does run, which is still unlikely, Sharpton says he’d run for mayor;
but he’d prefer going to Washington because in the Senate he’d be
“dealing with national foreign policy.” What a thought.
And, it appears we have another cliche for Election 2000: “the whispering campaign.” According to Time’s Eric Pooley, writing in the Nov. 29 issue, “For months, the idea that Clinton would drop out had been the subject of a Republican whispering campaign spread by miscellaneous kibitzers and Giuliani operatives.” Pooley’s all over the state in his essay: on the one hand, he quotes a Clinton aide who said, “If people think a few bad days are going to make her pout and go home, they don’t know who they’re dealing with.” On the other, the Time reporter repeats many of the First Lady’s miscues: the Yankees hat, the use of soft money ads, that charming Suha Arafat kiss and hug, the FALN clemency and her newfound Jewish roots.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of people who aren’t “whispering” about the desirability of a Clinton run: Democratic City Councilwoman Ronnie Eldridge said last week she’s “the weakest candidate”; the New York state Democratic chairwoman, Judith Hope, had encouraged the First Lady to give up “her day job”; even Congressman Charlie Rangel, who first urged her to run, is wondering why she hasn’t yet announced. Because she can’t win.
Meanwhile, according to syndicated columnists Jack Germond and Jules Witcover last week, “...Democrats are talking among themselves about who might serve as a replacement candidate, with speculation centering on Robert Kennedy, Jr., Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.”
National Review’s Kate O’Beirne wrote on the biweekly’s Web edition last Sunday: “When she pulls out of the race next year, expect her to explain that she tried to juggle her responsibilities, but found she couldn’t without sacrificing her White House duties. Therefore, she is sacrificing own political ambitions in New York to fulfill her responsibilities to the country. No one will believe her, but since when has that stopped a Clinton from insulting our intelligence?”
In fact, in a decidedly downbeat week for Hillary, I heard of only one person who enthusiastically insisted the campaign was on, and full tilt! Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the ultraliberal from Maryland—and as representative of the East Baltimorean that you could find, with a wonderful accent—was bubbly about Hillary on last Saturday’s Capital Gang. She said: “I think Hillary wants to be a senator. I think she’s going to be a fantastic senator. Look, they bought a home in New York... Second, she has been raising her money. Third, she’s putting together a team and we know, one of the things I liked about Hillary is that she is duty-driven. She has her duties as the First Lady. She’s getting to wrap those up and stick primarily to ceremonials and I think after the first of the year you’re going to see her really go like a rocket.” Straight back to Chicago, I’d say.
JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and publisher of New York Press. Send your comments to him by clicking here.