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Jewish World Review Jan. 3, 2001/ 8 Teves, 5761

Wesley Pruden

Wes Pruden
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Consumer Reports

A modest proposal for Arkansas folk -- NOW IS THE TIME for all good Arkansas folk to come to the aid of the prodigal son and his ambitious Yankee wife.

The Clintons need help, and who better to help than the compassionate conservatives they left behind down yonder in the land of cotton.

Bygones are bygones, and it's a time for "healing," "sharing" and "bonding," the fashionable virtues good ol' boys hold dear. But we must be quick about it. The Clintons have to be out of Laura and George W.'s house by Jan. 20. Checkout time is noon, sharp. No extensions.

Hillary will be moving into a new house off Massachusetts Avenue, just as soon as her check clears the bank. Bill's mother-in-law has agreed to rent Bill the spare room in Little Rock until his new digs, in his presidential library, are completed in '04. This may say something about Hillary, that life with his mother-in-law in an oversized efficiency in Arkansas sounds better to Bill than life with Hillary in a house with seven bedrooms and bathrooms that seat five. And have you heard the one about a mother-in-law, a mule and an alligator? (Well, you won't hear it here, either, because this is a high-class column.)

Hillary's first dilemma of 2001 is that, having lived on a public dole all her adult life, she has none of the household traps — dishes, bed linens, pots, pans, bathroom plungers, brooms, mops, dust rags — that are the due of a virgin bride, or at least a bride rarely touched by human hands.

The New York Times reports that Hillary did not register as a bride those many years ago when she married Bill, then a professor of law at the University of Arkansas. The bourgeois customs of Fayetteville, Ark., such as wedding gifts, were far beneath an enlightened and gifted young Wellesley socialist. But that was then and this is now, and socialism is so second millennium. But Hillary's on a bridal register at last.

This one is in Nebraska, of all places, and Borsheim's Fine Jewelry & Gifts of Omaha is a store with reliably expensive goods. It's owned by Warren Buffett, a regular at the dinner tables of rich Washington liberals whose delicate taste buds would be abused if someone served them soup from anything but a Spode tureen, available at Borsheim's in Hillary's pattern for $2,340. You could look it up. Mr. Buffett, one of the richest men in America, could afford to give his pal Hillary her entire china set, of course, but the rich are different from you and me. Let her beg.

When Hillary's spokeswoman confirmed that her china and silver patterns were indeed registered at Borsheim's, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, who keeps up with this sort of thing, checked the store's bridal registry and posted shopping tips for Hillary's closest friends. The stuff is pricey, and it might take a village to outfit the new house, but what are rich friends for? "The vegetable serving spoon is a bargain at $510 and an iced tea spoon goes for only $240," Miss Dowd reports. "Asparagus tongs are a mere $535 . . . . It's easy to picture Bill tossing leftover pizza onto a $980 vegetable dish or spearing some fries with a $284 lobster fork. But Hillary will need the booty — the $716 teapot, the $476 sauce boat, the $792 punch ladle — to entertain a parade of possible contributors for her next political adventure."

And not just society suck-ups. How about those jaspers from Viacom, who put out the $8 million for her new book-to-be? But what if Hillary's rich friends don't come through right away? This has occurred to some of us. What Hillary needs now is the fine old Arkansas chivaree she never got.

Some of us are concerned that Hillary will not be able to entertain in the way we would and she should. We want her to put out the right fork when Kay Graham comes to supper. We're not at all confident that her new friends up here will come through for her, so it's incumbent on Arkansas folks — who will always do to tie to — to help out.

A dish, a knife and fork, a few bars of P&G laundry soap, toilet paper, the old sofa in the garage or that old refrigerator on the back porch —anything would no doubt be appreciated and this could get her by until her gilt-edge friends come through. Montgomery Ward's is kaput, but Wal-Mart has some nice things. Dishes with small chips are OK, but nothing to embarrass us. The Clintons have made it clear that they have outgrown Arkansas, but Arkansas folk are raised never to leave a lady in distress.

A tip to White House security: Yankees have a bad habit, picked up during the War of Northern Aggression, of taking forks and spoons that don't belong to them. All crates and barrels leaving the White House for Whitehaven Street on Jan. 20 should be inspected closely. Bill, a good ol' boy from Hot Springs, knows about this, and should warn Hillary to be careful with her packing.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


12/19/00: The reflexive sneer at George W. Bush
12/15/00: Taking inspiration from John Birch
12/12/00: It's time to raise high Florida's standards
12/08/00: A President Bush, and about time, too
12/05/00: Here come the judge --- and he's got a hook
11/28/00: Cry no tears for Al, lawyers are the losers
11/21/00: The useful loathing of America's sons
11/17/00: When this is all over, we spray for lawyers
11/14/00: Something murky in the twilight zone

11/10/00: Something sinister in Palm Beach

11/07/00: Low days in the life of the ruptured duck

11/06/00: A little race baiting in the final hours

11/01/00: Creator gets a hard time on the hustings

10/27/00: The sorcerer rides to rescue his apprentice

10/25/00: The founding father with a story to tell

10/23/00: A lonely passion for religious rights

10/16/00: Spending blood on the folly of fools

10/11/00: A big night for the embellisher-in-chief

10/06/00: AlGore's black problem

10/04/00: In headlong pursuit of the bigot vote

10/02/00: A modest proposal for Rick Lazio

09/27/00: When folks at home give up on a scamp

09/25/00: Gore plot exposed! The secret minutes

09/18/00: Playing politics with the blood supply

09/14/00: Al sets out to find his 'tolerance level'

09/12/00: When it's time for a thumb in the eye

09/07/00: Making a daughter a campaign asset

09/04/00: A footnote to the lie: How he beats the rap

08/30/00: Unbearable lightness of a cyberjournal

08/21/00: Clinton chickens on AlGore's roost

08/16/00: The long goodbye to California's cash

08/09/00: Innocence by proxy is a risky scheme

08/07/00: After insulin shock, an authentic rouser

08/02/00: When it gets hard not to get a little giddy

07/31/00: George W.'s legions of summer soldiers

07/26/00: He's set a surprise --- or a trap for himself

07/24/00: How do you serve a turkey in August?

07/19/00: Would Hillary sling a lie about a slur?

07/17/00: Process, not peace, at a Velveeta summit

07/12/00: The Texas two-step, a nudge and a wink

07/10/00: The Great Mentioner and his busy season

07/05/00: No Mexican standoff in these results

07/03/00: Denting a few egos in the U.S. Senate

06/28/00: Bureaucracy amok! Punctuation in peril!

06/26/00: The water torture of American resolve

06/21/00: The happy hangman is a busy hangman

06/19/00: Dick Gephardt finds a Dixie dreamboat

06/14/00: Taking a byte out of innovation

06/12/00: 'Go away, little boy, you're bothering us'

06/07/00: When a little envy is painful to watch

06/05/00: Fire and thunder, bubble and squeak

05/31/00: South of the border, politics is pepper

05/26/00: Running out of luck with home folks

05/24/00: The heart says no, but the head says yes

05/22/00: A fine opportunity to set an example

05/17/00: The Sunday school for Republicans

05/15/00: Hillary's surrogate for telling tall tales

05/10/00: Listening to the voice of an authentic man

05/08/00: First a lot of bluster, then the retreat

05/02/00: Good news for Rudy, bad news for Hillary

04/28/00: The long goodbye to Elian's boyhood

04/25/00: Spooked by Castro, Bubba blinks

04/14/00: One flag down and two memorials to go

04/11/00: Consistency finds a jewel in Janet Reno

04/07/00: Here's the good word (and it's in English)

04/04/00: When bureaucrats mock the courts

03/28/00: How Hollywood sets the virtual table

03/24/00: Dissing a president can ruin a whole day

03/20/00: When shame begets the painful insult

03/14/00: The risky business of making an apology

03/10/00: The pouters bugging a weary John McCain

03/07/00: When all good things (sob) come to an end

© 2000 Wes Pruden