Harper, Jennifer, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Things got confusing at the White House press briefing yesterday as a determined few tried to discover what was so bad about being "inside the Beltway."
Vice President Al Gore doesn't like it anymore, and neither, apparently, does spokesman Joe Lockhart.
Things get distorted there, said Mr. Lockhart. It is far from the common folk.
"I'd like someone in this room or someone on Capitol Hill to go out to middle America and explain to them how we've just expanded the calendar to a 13th month," Mr. Lockhart said.
"I'd like someone from inside the Beltway to go out into the West Coast and say, `You know, we've got all this spending, and from time to time there's emergencies, and you know, we forgot we had to do the census.' " he continued.
And when asked if he himself was inside the Beltway, Mr. Lockhart replied "Sure, absolutely."
Who will handle Hillary Rodham Clinton - in the media sense - if she runs for office?
Spinmeister candidates were summoned to the White House yesterday, including David Doak, who designed winning campaigns for California Gov. Gray Davis and former New York Mayor David Dinkins in 1989.
Mr. Dinkins beat Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani that year. Consultant David Axelrod was also among the chosen; he was media marshal for New York state Comptroller H. Carl McCall and Andrew Span, a Westchester County official.
While some have chastised Mrs. Clinton for her entourage on the campaign trail, Mr. Giuliani showed yesterday that he too favors group travel.
Knee-deep in a three-day fund-raising tour, Mr. Giuliani traveled about the nation's capital - flock of advisers at the ready - in a white van driven by a New York City police officer, similar to the one that ferries Mrs. Clinton in New York.
Pollster Frank Luntz also traveled recently with Mr. Giuliani to Las Vegas, but had to taxi to the airport after missing the Giuliani van after a fund-raiser at Haley Barbour's lobbying firm.
In the meantime, Mr. Luntz told The Washington Times "it is likely" he would work as pollster for the mayor's Senate campaign.
THE RIGHT UPPERCUT
Play nice, now.
The House Commerce Committee approved a bill yesterday which is in part reaction to a controversial match last March between heavyweights boxers Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Experts and fans alike thought Mr. Lewis was the winner, and complained plenty when the fight was declared a draw.
New York state lawmakers eventually heard the case: a rematch has been set for Nov. 13.
The bill will crack down on bribes among officials, establish some standard criteria for ratings organizations and require referees and judges to be certified by state boxing commissions.
"Boxers and fans deserve a fair fight, and that's what this legislation works to promote," said Rep. Michael G. Oxley, Ohio Republican, who sponsored the bill.
Tonight's biennial dinner is really a forum for candidates committed to "self-empowerment," says director Alvin Williams.
BAMPAC - Black America's Political Action Committee - is the nation's largest minority political action committee. It ranks 18th in size overall. The group gave $400,000 to 86 candidates last year.
"It's an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans who have made significant strides in various aspects of our community," Mr. Williams said yesterday.
The featured speaker is Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers. Six candidates for various public offices are also on the program: Joseph Brown, running for Baltimore's City Council; Dylan Glenn, candidate for Georgia's 2nd Congressional District; Jennifer Carroll, running for Florida's 3rd Congressional District; Sophia Nelson, running in New Jersey's 1st Congressional District; Stephen Smith, a candidate for Virginia's House of Delegates and Mason Weaver, running for the California State Assembly. …