Honor Bill

John McCaslin
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Posted: Oct 26, 2004 12:00 AM

"Services are scheduled for 7 p.m. ... at Palms Funeral Home in Angleton, Texas. In lieu of flowers, Bill would be most honored and gratified by you voting for the Bush/Cheney ticket in November."

- Newspaper obituary for William Kappes Thomasset, a West Point graduate and grandfather of 10, who died at age 81.

POOR GOOSE

On the heels of a camouflaged Sen. John Kerry bagging an Ohio goose with a 12-gauge shotgun, Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton yesterday traveled to the same battleground state to present awards to organizations that promote wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement.

CAMPAIGN CHA-CHA

It gets extremely monotonous covering a presidential campaign, as reflected in this official White House pool report, filed yesterday after a visit to Greeley, Colo., by President Bush, first lady Laura Bush and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his wife, Judith:

With a couple of dozen airmen and civilians looking on, (the two couples) did the arrival dance: Salute, wave, walk, cha, cha, cha. Pause, wave, climb steps, cha, cha, cha. Big Finish here! Turn, pause, wave, cha, cha, cha. (Caution: Music may have been playing only in pooler's head.)

UPSET BOWLES

We did a double-take after reading this latest headline from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: "Bowels up 46-44 in Latest DSCC Poll."

Change that from Bowels to Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff to President Clinton, who is running neck and neck against Republican Rep. Richard M. Burr in the North Carolina Senate race.

CONDI BABY

"On the right we have beauty and brains," Lisa De Pasquale, program director of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, tells The Beltway Beat.

She calls our undivided attention to the 2005 Great American Conservative Women calendar, to be released on Nov. 1 by the group whose mission is to prepare women for conservative leadership and promote school-choice opportunities.

"Each month features a couple of pictures and thought-provoking quotes," she says of "calendar girls" who include:

Miss February: Star Parker, founder of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education.

Miss May: Laura Schlessinger, radio talk-show host.

Miss July: Ann Coulter, conservative author.

Miss August: Michelle Malkin, syndicated conservative columnist.

Miss October: Monica Crowley, Fox News political and international affairs analyst.

Miss September: Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser to President Bush.

Miss December: Shemane Nugent, wife of outdoorsman/gun-rights advocate/rocker Ted Nugent and founder of the "Queen of the Forest Outdoor Education" program.

BUSH LANDSLIDE

Hang on, poll-weary Americans, Election Day is almost upon us.

The latest presidential polling numbers sent to The Beltway Beat range from a virtual dead heat to the most lopsided results we could find: an IncrediMail poll that gives George W. Bush 74.4 percent to John Kerry's 25.6 percent (no margin of error listed).

SEINFELD SANCTUARY

Funny bones of future visitors to the Smithsonian Institution will be tickled once artifacts from the popular TV show "Seinfeld" go on display at the National Museum of American History.

A donation reception is scheduled for Nov. 18, featuring an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld, museum director Brent D. Glass, Sony Pictures Television President Steve Mosko, and Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment President Benjamin S. Feingold.

Among the museum-bound relics: the puffy shirt from "The Puffy Shirt" episode, in which Jerry Seinfeld complains: "But I don't want to be a pirate."

ADIEU

Pierre Salinger, White House press secretary to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, was laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery after a funeral Mass at Washington's Holy Trinity Church.

Robert Devaney had "the extraordinary luck of being one of Pierre Salinger's last editors" - and at a not-so-major newspaper.

"Salinger, having retired from ABC News and taken hits for his allegations that the 1996 crash of TWA 800 off Long Island was no accident, returned from France to Washington - specifically to Georgetown, where he had lived before during the 1960s," Devaney recalls.

"In 1998, Salinger spoke at a neighborhood event and, as editor in chief of the Georgetowner, I invited him to write a regular column for this now 50-year-old community newspaper. It made sense in Georgetowners' mind. The Kennedys and Salinger: Sure, they are part of local history, too. To my amazement, Salinger agreed without hesitation - and with a twinkle in his eye."

He penned columns for two years - until George W. Bush drove him from town.

"If Bush wins, I am going to leave the United States and spend the rest of my life in France," Salinger wrote in November 2000.

"His comments made the news wires and, true to his words, Salinger left the USA in 2001 to live at his wife's bed-and-breakfast near Le Thor, France," notes Devaney. "He played that up, of course. The Georgetowner obliged with a colorful cover story, headlined 'Bon Voyage, Pierre,' and a photo of its departing columnist, who was wearing a T-shirt that read: 'He's not my president.' "

KOFI WHO?

A Big Boy Restaurant in Clio, Mich., was the unusual venue for a global briefing yesterday by Vice President Dick Cheney, who took his audience from World War II, through the Cold War and Sept. 11, 2001, and finally to the war in Iraq today.

Globally speaking, what is a positive outcome of the latest conflict?

"First and foremost, of course, is the fact that five days after we dug Saddam (Hussein) out of his hole in northern Iraq, Moammar Gadhafi, the leader of Libya, went public and announced he was giving up all of his nuclear materials," Cheney said.

"He had the uranium. He had the centrifuges to enrich the uranium. He had a design for a weapon. All of that is now under lock and here in the United States. He saw the wisdom of no longer pursuing those aspirations and contacted Tony Blair and President Bush. He didn't call the United Nations."

RELISHES MUD

We quoted former President Bill Clinton this week as saying that Democrats, in the waning days of the 2004 presidential campaign, were awaiting a "last-minute avalanche of mud we fully expect to come our way."

Have you grabbed your goggles, James Carville?

"I've been on my share of campaigns, and I can tell you . . . staff and volunteers are out there, eating cold pizza, working 18-hour days, getting bags under their eyes the size of church bells, getting hit with Republican slime every 30 seconds - negative ads, negative mail, negative press releases, and negative phone calls," says the Democratic strategist.

"And you know what? They're loving it. They're loving it because the meaner and nastier Republicans get, the more desperate it means they are."

EYE FOR AN EYE

It's not business as usual in the war room of the Democratic National Committee.

"This year is different," says Michael Whouley, the party's general election strategist. "We're not just settling for putting up a good fight. This year we are going to do everything it takes to go toe-to-toe with the Republican smear machine."

Which means?

"We are not letting a single Republican attack go unchallenged. This is the most important two weeks that we will ever face in American politics."