Inside Politics

By Pierce, Greg | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 28, 1998 | Go to article overview

Inside Politics


Pierce, Greg, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


SID THE HISTORIAN

"When more than 400 of the country's greatest historians took out a full-page ad in the New York Times against impeaching the president just days before the elections, it raised eyebrows in the world of academia and beyond. Turns out that the pro-Clinton manifesto had a little help from a friend in high places," Richard Blow reports in the January issue of George magazine.

"Sidney Blumenthal, who has a controversial reputation for planting favorable Clinton stories in the press, helped the historians create the ad. Blumenthal, who fancies himself the White House's resident intellectual, was the historians' `connection at the White House,' says an informed source.

"Though Blumenthal's secret role has been confirmed by others, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, one of the ad's initiators, denies that Blumenthal had anything to do with it, saying that `we kept it separate' from the White House, and `this was not a partisan effort.' Blumenthal did not return phone calls for comment."

LET US PREY

The editors of the American Enterprise magazine, in their January/February issue, saw fit to reprint part of a speech by President Clinton, given June 13, 1996, after he had received a report on teen pregnancy:

"There is no advanced country in the world that has anything like the teen-pregnancy problem that we do, and we have got to do something about it. We have got to give these young people opportunity. We have to insist that they take more responsibility. We must help them to make good choices. . . .

"The other thing we have to do is to take seriously the role in this problem of older men. It's a sad fact that half of all the underage mothers in this country were made pregnant by a man who was in his 20s or even older, someone who has no business taking advantage of an underage girl. . . . It is time for [the law] to be enforced so that older men who prey on underage women are held accountable."

NEW YEAR'S GABFESTS

"In their only point of bipartisan agreement, Democrats and Republicans have conspired to ruin New Year's Eve by turning it into a tiresome gabfest," writes New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

"Clintonites have their annual Renaissance Weekend at Hilton Head, S.C., and conservatives aped them with their own version, held this year at the Arizona Biltmore," Miss Dowd noted.

"It's a hard call which New Year's Eve festivity is more irresistible - getting wasted with Strobe Talbott and Norm Ornstein jawing about `Y2K Internet Hazards and Other Geek Tragedies' or boogying down with C. Boyden gray and Grover Norquist to debate `Can the Republican Party be Fixed?'

ODD PARALLEL

"They were so alike: two boys, born at the same time in the same region, both eager to participate in the great events of the day. Yet they grew up to be so different: the first man, who always seemed blessed by political fortune, became the ruler of the realm. But the second man, inspired by the divine and outraged by injustice, led a righteous campaign against the first," writes syndicated columnist James Pinkerton.

"Many suffered in the titanic duel of egos and ideologies, and so both men, who came to despise each other, were linked together forever.

"Yes, you know who I'm talking about: Rameses and Moses, as they are portrayed in the new movie, `The Prince of Egypt.' But I suppose I could also be talking about Bill Clinton and Ken Starr, born in small towns in adjoining states less than a month apart from each other in 1946, named by Time magazine as co-Men of the Year.

"But in the words of executive producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, who produced `Prince,' any animated film should be `a powerful allegory that we can relate to our time. …

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