Spinning for Paula Jones: She Hires a Witty Feminist to Respond in the `Image' War

By Murray, Frank J. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 19, 1997 | Go to article overview

Spinning for Paula Jones: She Hires a Witty Feminist to Respond in the `Image' War


Murray, Frank J., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Paula Corbin Jones raised the temperature this week in her simmering war with President Clinton. She hired a "spin doctor" of her own for combat with the celebrated White House public-relations juggernaut.

She chose a Los Angeles columnist-activist, Susan Carpenter-McMillan, who describes herself as a conservative feminist, to tell Mrs. Jones' story and guide her legal fund raising.

Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan, popularly called Suzie, is a militant and something of a Los Angeles legend for her crusades, ranging from her advocacy of castration of child molesters to preventing singles and homosexuals from adopting children. Her outspoken commentaries on KABC-TV and regular Los Angeles Times columns draw both loud cheers and intense criticism.

"I'm going to put a human face on an American hero," Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan vowed yesterday, recounting how she and Mrs. Jones became friends.

Cindy Hays, the Washington fund-raiser who introduced the women in 1994 after reading Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan's newspaper columns on the case, declares her trustworthy, politically on target and quick-witted.

"We all made a decision here that she would be maybe the kind of person we needed," said Miss Hays, who remains the legal fund director while Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan becomes chairman.

Said Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan, as she prepared for a TV shootout with Clinton advocate James Carville, to be broadcast on CNN: "I want to go out there and shut their lying mouths and let people know my friend Paula.

"I feel like a lamb going to slaughter," she mused, showing uncharacteristic humility for a woman most Californians regard more as the wolf than the lamb.

The quotable crusader fights from the right - a conservative feminist who uses her wealth and privilege to project her outrage.

For almost 10 years, she has called the RU-486 "morning after" abortion pill "human insecticide," and she overcame revulsion of capital punishment long enough to join liberal feminists in lobbying, unsuccessfully, District Attorney Gil Garcetti to seek execution for O.J. Simpson.

The 1996 chemical-castration law for child molesters was a "Suzie" project, as was opposition to Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, who is, in Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan's colorful words, a "check-bouncing, pay-raising, aging cheerleader."

She professes anger at slurs against Mrs. Jones' character and sexual history, and such sneering terms as "trailer trash."

"I get crazed at what they do to Paula and what she puts up with so gently. Paula's very different - like just walking away when Clinton came on to her and exposed himself.

"If somebody did that to me I would kick them right in the wee-wee . I'm passionate. That's the key for me."

The Paula Jones sexual-harassment suit is the first cause she pursued for reasons other than personal experience. She says she was sexually molested for months at age 6 by a gang boy sheltered by her missionary parents, and decided at age 21, in college, to have an abortion, which ultimately led to campaigning against abortion. …

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Spinning for Paula Jones: She Hires a Witty Feminist to Respond in the `Image' War
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