COLUMNS

Bill Clinton — Looking La Vida Loco?

  • Capital Connections ®
  • |
  • September 29, 1999

by Karen Feld

Jazz on the South Lawn of the White House, Cajun delicacies and an hour schmoozing with President Clinton and a few Cabinet Secretaries — what more could the White House press corp want? President Clinton, sipping Diet Coke instead of Mississippi Mud beer, looked slim in tight fitting black pants and body shirt, a la Ricky Martin. It caught everyone’s eye — what are the White House docs thinking when they told him to lose ten pounds at his annual physical this weekend? When one reporter congratulated him on hanging in there, Mr. Clinton replied: “You gotta keep fightin’.” The President is fighting trim.

The Ragin Cajun, Jim Carville, was no where in sight but his spirit permeated the air. The First Lady, also noticeably absent, was campaigning in New York. Daughter Chelsea was back at Stanford for the first week of her junior year.

Education Sec. Richard Riley, who was enjoying the “good southern music,” was flattered when asked if he’s expecting to be appointed to “hold” Sen. Strom Thurmonds seat should the South Carolina Senator’s health continue to falter. “Strom Thurmond will be here long after you and I,” he told this columnist.

Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart called the new TV show, “West Wing,” “boring,” and insisted that “the President hasn’t watched it.” But we might add that if the show lasts the next couple of seasons, no doubt President Clinton will be consulting for it after the 2000 election.

When he went to Congress from Indiana at age 30, Dan Quayle was thought of as a rising star in the Republican party. But that was before his public gaffes including mis-spelling “potato” and attacking TV’s Murphy Brown. Now, some 20 years later, trailing in the polls and saddled with debt, despite his IOU’s for helping to elect Republicans to Congress, he was forced out of the race for the White House. He’s the first current or former Vice President to be denied his party’s presidential nomination in a quarter of a century. Will Al Gore be the second? Not to worry, we’ll still have Dan Quayle to kick around. He’s scheduled to appear Oct. 5, with fellow Hoosier, David Letterman, on the latter’s late night show.

Another Republican is back in the news, this time in a land tussle in Prince Georges County, MD. Watergate burglar-turned-radio host G. Gordon Liddy’s neighbor has filed two misdemeanor complaints against him accusing the mastermind of the Watergate burglary of removing a property marker. “I’ve got nine felonies on my record, and she thinks she can intimidate me,” says Liddy. “Well, welcome to the NFL.”

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