Right of Walter

Posted: Nov 13, 2002 12:00 AM
It's become clear why Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas) suddenly dropped out of the race for House minority leader, replacing Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri who could soon enter the race for president in 2004. "At first blush, it appears that Martin Frost has failed in his mission to rally his party's centrists," notes Republican Deputy Majority Whip Rep. Mark Foley of Florida. "Oh, wait, there are no centrists. The reason the Democrats lost this election was because they were too extreme left. "In fact, anyone slightly to the right of Walter Mondale was considered a moderate." OUCH! "He gets to prosecute both the snipper and the sniper." -- Lawyer Gilbert K. Davis, who represented Clinton accuser Paula Jones before the U.S. Supreme Court, referring to the appointment of Virginia prosecutor Paul B. Ebert to try accused sniper John Allen Muhammad. Ebert is best known as the prosecutor in the Lorena Bobbitt case. SPORTING VICTORY Grab the shells, unleash the hounds - sportsmen across the United States are rejoicing over last week's historic gains by Republicans. Of the 24 Senate candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association, 21 were victorious. On the House side, at least 230 of the 246 NRA-endorsed politicians came out on top. -- In New Hampshire's Senate race, Rep. John E. Sununu beat Gov. Jean Shaheen, but first Sununu had to defeat anti-hunting sympathizer Sen. Robert C. Smith in a hard-fought primary. Had Mr. Smith won, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance predicted he would have become chairman of the committee with the greatest influence over hunting, fishing and trapping. -- In Georgia, Democrat incumbent Sen. Max Cleland was ousted by Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss, a key House supporter of sportsmen who was co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. -- In Maryland, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, upset by Republican Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., proposed increased gun control in the wake of the sniper shootings. Ehrlich succeeds Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening, "perhaps the only governor in the country to display contempt for sportsmen," the alliance says. -- In Connecticut, Republican Gov. John G. Rowland was elected to a third term. Last summer, he vetoed animal-cruelty legislation that critics say would have affected sportsmen who hunt with hounds. Sportsmen aren't celebrating in every state, however. In Illinois, anti-gun Democrat Rep. Rod R. Blagojevich was elected governor; in Wisconsin, Democrat Jim Doyle, regarded by sportsmen as anti-hunting, was victorious in the gubernatorial contest; and in Iowa, Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack, who vetoed a bird-hunting bill during his first term, was re-elected. MANY ARE CALLED We've been warning of the coming crisis in the federal work force: Nearly half of federal government employees are eligible to retire within the next five years, but young people today aren't considering government careers upon college graduation. So U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and employees from four federal agencies will engage in dialogue with students at the University of Maryland this week to kick off the "Call to Serve" campaign, encompassing 380 schools nationwide. A total of 60 federal agencies in need of career bureaucrats have signed on as founding partners in the initiative, co-sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service and the Office of Personnel Management. NO LEFT TURN Did you read the Democratic Leadership Council's take on last week's GOP landslide? Higher-ups in the party now recognize that bashing President Bush and demagoguing the prescription-drug industry, among other tactics, has not worked. "After four straight election cycles of campaigning on an agenda pretty much limited to promising the moon on prescription drugs and attacking Republicans on Social Security, it's time for the congressional wing of the party - and the political consultants who have relentlessly promoted this message as an electoral silver bullet - to bury it once and for all," writes the council to party members. "We agree with the many Democrats who are saying that the party needs a bigger, bolder, clearer agenda and message. But we disagree with those who are saying the party should achieve that clarity simply by moving to the left, creating partisan differentiation at any cost, and engaging in more negative campaigning against the president and Republicans in order to energize the Democratic base." FAMILY FIASCO "While the national party poured millions into a fruitless effort in Florida, other Democrats nationally could have used more last-minute money to avoid narrow losses that shifted control of the U.S. Senate to Republicans," opines Florida's Bradenton Herald. The paper was referring to Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe's tremendous infusion of DNC cash into the failed gubernatorial campaign of Bill McBride against incumbent Gov. Jeb Bush. McBride's finance chairman was Richard Swann, McAuliffe's father-in-law. DIXIE DISEASE President Clinton's former surgeon general, David Satcher, hopes to educate a pocket of naive Americans when delivering the keynote address to this week's "Southern States Summit on HIV and AIDS" in Charlotte, N.C. Why a summit in the South? It's true that new AIDS cases are declining or else are stable everywhere in the country except in the Southern states, which has seen a rise in deadly infections. Eighteen of the top 25 U.S. communities hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic are in the South, says the Kaiser Family Foundation. Also, more than half of the people living with AIDS in the South are black, although they constitute only 19 percent of the overall Southern population. SECOND PROFESSIONS Only 43 shopping days left before Christmas, which means its time once again for Washington's largest literary event. This Thursday evening (Nov. 14), more than 60 authors, many local, will be on hand for the 25th annual National Press Club Book Fair and Authors' Night. Some of our favorite local authors signing and selling their books include The Washington Times' Bill Gertz ("Breakdown"), along with Christopher Hitchens ("Why Orwell Matters"), Jim Lehrer ("No Certain Rest"), David Vise ("The Bureau and the Mole"), George Will ("With a Happy Eye But ") and Shannon Henry ("The Dinner Club"). Other authors of exposes and biographies, histories and humor, will include Phyllis George, Katherine Harris, Lisa Beamer, Sarah Brady, Malachy McCourt, Dick Morris, Kenneth W. Starr, Caspar Weinberger and James Lee Witt.