Magazine article Insight on the News

Women May Give Democrats Clout

Magazine article Insight on the News

Women May Give Democrats Clout

Article excerpt

This is supposed to be "The Year of the Woman," but isn't every year? What 1992 no doubt will be in the Congress, if not in other places, is the Year of the Return of the Big Spender. Coincidence, circumstance and several strong feminine candidates likely will conspire to produce an overwhelming Democratic majority in the Senate. Democrats figure to pick up four seats, which would give them a majority of the size needed to reinflate the Great Society boondoggles, with or without the Arkansas tax man at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Actually, despite the sordid scandals and unrestrained personal greed that have come to define the thoroughly modern senator (surveys continue to rank members of Congress just above journalists and just below serial killers and child molesters in the regard of voters), incumbents of both parties are, as usual, managing well.

Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, nevertheless expects surprises. "There's a lot of volatility out there," he told the Associated Press two weeks ago. "I think there will be a lot of new faces."

Gramm does not say where he expects to be surprised, but even Republicans, like blind pigs rooting for acorns, occasionally get lucky. John Glenn is stumbling in Ohio, and the lieutenant governor, Michael DeWine, is gaining on him. Time may be catching up with Fritz Hollings in South Carolina; infirmities of age may be overtaking Terry Sanford in North Carolina.

Dan Inouye, 68, who thought he had everything buttoned down in Hawaii, was rocked in mid-October by the accusation of his hairdresser that he expected her to play Samson and Delilah with him. The hairdresser, Lenore Kwock, said he forced himself on her when she went to his apartment to wash and trim his hair.

That was all of 17 years ago, when he was 51 and she was 23, and the lady said it wasn't rape, exactly, and to this day she can't remember whether he was "bad or good. …

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