Inside the Beltway

Article excerpt

NO FUND FOR GINGRICH

A Republican source says that John Fund, editorial-page writer for the Wall Street Journal, has elicited interest from House Speaker Newt Gingrich as a replacement for Tony Blankley, the Georgia Republican's former spokesman.

But Mr. Fund staunchly denied the rumor yesterday in an interview with The Washington Times.

"I wasn't interviewed, I wasn't offered the position, and I'm not interested in leaving the Journal," Mr. Fund said. "I'm very happy here."

Speculation on a replacement for the well-spoken, highly educated Mr. Blankley also has focused on Mark Merritt, the former communications director for GOP presidential candidate Lamar Alexander and Virginia Senate candidate Oliver L. North.

LAST LAUGH

President Clinton likes to tell jokes. So did Ronald Reagan when he was president. But if what the American Spectator reports in its February issue is true, Mr. Clinton has stooped to a new low in humor.

According to the Spectactor, while discussing how he would introduce new members of his Cabinet and renominate others, Mr. Clinton joked that he might have to shake hands with Attorney General Janet Reno, whose Parkinson's disease makes her hands shake involuntarily.

"Maybe I should just give her a pat on the shoulder," the president is said to have quipped. "I don't want to look foolish chasing that hand all over the place in front of the cameras."

As the magazine notes, Miss Reno skipped the renomination ceremony and "she had her revenge anyway, serving the White House with a flurry of subpoenas concerning potentially illegal campaign fund-raising."

GHOST WRITER

Patrick B. McGuigan was senior scholar at the Free Congress Center for Law and Democracy in Washington before leaving to become editorial page editor of the Daily Oklahoman.

This week, Mr. McGuigan sent us an article about Stephen Jones, lead attorney for Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh. Mr. Jones, the story says, recently moved from Oklahoma to set up offices in Denver, the site of Mr. McVeigh's trial. Upon leaving, he purchased a full page in the Enid News & Eagle for his farewell address.

"To this place, Enid, and to the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young man to one whose life journey is more than half over. Here my children have been born, and my father is buried," he begins.

Ring any bells?

Here's what Abraham Lincoln said on Feb. 11, 1861, in his farewell address to neighbors in Springfield, Ill. …