Inside the Beltway

Article excerpt

TUNE IN, PEEK OUT

If Kennedy memorabilia can sell, why not peddle a few Clinton consequentials?

That's the idea of one firm, which is presently soliciting offers for two large-screen television sets reportedly used by Bill and Hillary Clinton during the presidential inaugural.

Quit laughing. The 60-inch Mitsubishi sets, if nothing more than televisions, are sources of mystery and intrigue.

Both sets, one of which was used by the Clintons at the Lincoln Memorial and again at the old Capital Centre in Largo, were said to once be equipped with actual surveillance devices. The question is, were the bugs used to eavesdrop on the Clintons, as the firm suggests, or implanted for security reasons?

Adding to the intrigue, the televisions were said to be placed under military guard at the Washington Navy Yard for 10 days after the inaugural, then transported by United Van Lines to California.

There, a rather bizarre chain of events followed, including the "theft" of one of the televisions by two men - a Japanese company executive and a federal government employee posing as an inaugural committee attorney. The set later was recovered.

Copies of the transportation documents and court documents surrounding the theft, and communications from the inaugural committee are all included in the sale. Bids start at "over $15,000" per set.

To place a bid, don't bother contacting Sotheby's (after all, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis didn't watch TV on either set); try PREZTV, PO Box 208, Irvine, Calif., 92650.

PAINFUL POSTS

More evidence that President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yelstin are working as a team for re-election can be found in Mr. Yeltsin's 127-page platform: "As president, I know better than most how tough things are for you now. I feel all your pain, and all the country's pain."

OLD JOKES

Enough "age" jokes on late-night television, says the butt of the jokes, GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole.

In fact, says the candidate, if hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman think they're so young, they ought to walk a mile in the candidate's shoes.

"I'd like to have both of them follow me around," the 72 year-old Mr. Dole tells our reporter following him on the trail.

The Dole campaign's customary five-event, 16-hour travel days - exhaustive to scribes and aides alike - might wipe the smirks off the comedians' faces, Mr. …