Inside Politics

Article excerpt

HELLO, RACHEL

We have a name for the woman who stripped off her shirt after President Clinton signed it Saturday in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Rachel Bennett, 22, of Queensbury, N.Y., just wanted to share a "comical moment" with Mr. Clinton when she pulled off her yellow T-shirt, state police Capt. Peter W. Person told staff writer Reggie Beehner of the Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post Star.

"It was done as a joke," Capt. Person told the Post Star, which reported that its "repeated attempts . . . to contact Bennett were unsuccessful."

Capt. Person said Miss Bennett "had been drinking alcoholic beverages" before the episode.

`GUARANTEED' LOSER

Even as the Gore campaign gloats over its post-convention poll "bounce," Democratic Party activists are skeptical about the vice president's "us against them" class-warfare theme, according to Steve and Cokie Roberts.

In their New York Daily News column yesterday, the Robertses report bumping into an activist at the Los Angeles convention who said of Mr. Gore's acceptance speech: "Wrong time, wrong message."

Al From of the Democratic Leadership Council told the Robertses, "A redistributionist appeal doesn't work any more. This is a different country. Attacking oil companies and pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies will not win elections, I guarantee you."

IT'S TRUE

Paul Fray, the former Clinton campaign operative who said Hillary Rodham Clinton used an anti-Semitic slur in 1974 has passed a lie-detector arranged by the New York Post.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Mr. Fray is truthful," polygrapher Jeff Hubanks told the Post.

Those results were confirmed by Richard Keifer, a former head of the FBI's polygraph unit, who reviewed the findings for the Post.

HIGH-SPEED GORE

Vice President Al Gore's son could lose his privilege to drive in North Carolina if convicted of reckless driving in a court case in September, state officials told the Raleigh News & Observer.

Albert Arnold Gore III, 17, faces charges of speeding and reckless driving after being stopped Aug. 12 in coastal Currituck County by a highway patrol trooper. The case is scheduled to be tried in Currituck County District Court on Sept. 13.

Highway Patrol Sgt. A.C. Joyner said Trooper Michael Conwell charged Albert III with traveling 97 mph in a 55-mph zone about six miles north of Currituck, N.C.

Tom Anglim, a prosecutor in Currituck County, said conviction could result in revocation of driving privileges. He told the News & Observer the sentence will be up to a judge, who will review other factors, including Albert III's prior driving record.

LANGUAGE `MASSACRE'

Texas Gov. George W. Bush "took a Texas chainsaw to the English language Monday night," reports Randall Mikkelsen of Reuters news agency.

In a 16-minute speech at a fund-raiser in Des Moines, Iowa, the Republican presidential candidate performed a "linguistic massacre" making a series of "bloopers."

"When we carry Iowa in November, it'll mean the end of four years of Clinton-Gore," Mr. Bush told the gathering of more than 2,000 Republicans.

Expressing support for free trade, Mr. Bush pledged he would "work to end terrors - tariffs and barriers - everywhere, across the world."

Despite such "fumbles," as Mr. Mikkelsen called them, Mr. Bush said he was confident of victory Nov. 7: "We're talking about issues in a way that the American people can understand."

RISKY SCHEME?

"One estimate, by the National Taxpayers Union, puts the dollar size of Mr. Gore's new spending at more than $2 trillion over 10 years - enough to take up the entire non-Social Security surplus without anything left over for tax cuts," Bruce Bartlett of the National Center for Policy Analysis wrote in the New York Times yesterday. …