COLUMNS

Call Him “Shrub”

  • Capital Connections ®
  • |
  • January 26, 2000

by Karen Feld

Overheard at NARAL’s 27th Anniversary Dinner marking the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade . . . Former Texas Governor Ann Richards to First Lady wanabee Ernestine Bradley (wife of Senator Bill Bradley): “Start having your husband call Bush ‘shrub.’ It didn’t work for me, but it’ll work for you.” And in case you don’t know, NARAL stands for National Abortion Rights Action League. You’d never know from their event program — not once was the acronym NARAL spelled out. That’s the way in Washington.

California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein offered some non-partisan advice to Los Angeles GOP Mayor Richard Riordan concerning preparations for the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles next August: “Get involved.” The city will be in the national limelight for an entire week and if something goes wrong it will reflect on him. So he’s taking back some control from the local host committee run by his friends and supporters. It seems the host committee got off to a slow start — they are about $10 million behind their fundraising goal of $33 million. They’re also looking for a host for the traditional pre-convention media bash. It’s usually sponsored by the major daily newspaper in the host city but insiders say the Los Angeles Times has opted out this time.

Looks like Hillary Rodham Clinton will take some time away from decorating her new Chappaqua home to finally and formally announce her candidacy for Senator from New York. Sources tell me that the big day is February 8th and will include the political “must” of a “Larry King Live” appearance that evening. But the media-savvy First Lady could change the date if it serves her campaign needs.

Speaking of New York media, Mrs. Clinton will like this next bit of news . . .First Friend, Rosie O’Donnell, is working hard behind the scenes — her “Chub Club” groupies would be proud — to be tapped as a guest host of “Late Night with David Letterman” as the funnyman recovers from open heart surgery. CBS brass has yet to make up its mind about whether to go with reruns or guest hosts during the February sweeps, but the Queen of Daytime is ready to conquer the night.

With less than one year left in his presidency, Bill Clinton is looking to leave a positive legacy. The Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership, the only presidential award honoring U.S. companies for outstanding achievements in employee and community relations may contribute to that. The President’s own First Friend, actor and food entrepreneur Paul Newman, has joined the panel of judges that will decide the recipient of the award, to be presented in February.

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