AllPolitics - News Briefs

Babysitting Bob

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 22) -- Author Bob Woodward testily suggested White House press secretary Mike McCurry may owe him an apology for saying he'd had the "thankless task" of being Woodward's "baby sitter" during interviews for his best-selling book "The Choice." McCurry, whose comments appeared in a Washington Post column by media critic Howard Kurtz, said he was surprised by how much Woodward relied on his information "because I'm not that significant a player." In an interview with CNN, Woodward said McCurry's remarks were at least laughable, if not insulting. "For a press secretary to have the fundamental attitude apparently that he is a baby sitter for a reporter . . . McCurry either ought to apologize or seek other work," Woodward said.

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Media's Tables Turn On Klein


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 22) -- Under intense scrutiny for denying he wrote "Primary Colors," Newsweek columnist Joe Klein said he sympathized with politicians who live under the media microscope. A handwriting analysis of the manuscript last week proved Klein to be the book's "Anonymous" author. When the truth came out, "I was almost relieved...(but) the ensuing maelstrom was unbelievable," Klein wrote in his Newsweek column on newsstands today. In the same issue, Newsweek editors apologize for running a one-paragraph item last February naming a former speechwriter as the author, when editor Maynard Parker knew Klein wrote the book.

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Rostenkowski Starts Serving Time


ROCHESTER, Minn. (AllPolitics, July 22) -- Former Illinois Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, recovering from prostate cancer surgery, begins his 17-month sentence today in a federal medical prison. Once the Democrat has recuperated, he will move to a minimum security prison in Oxford, Wis., closer to his Chicago home. With time off for good behavior, Rostenkowski may serve just 15 months. The former chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee pled guilty in April to two counts of mail fraud, admitting he used office funds for personal use and mailed House payroll checks to personal and political employees.

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Sibling Rivalry Comes To Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AllPolitics, July 22) -- Two members of the Gingrich family will make political stops in Indiana this week, but for very different reasons. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) appeared Sunday at a fund-raiser for GOP House candidate Virginia Blankenbaker, saying reported drug use among members of the White House staff would become an issue this election year. "What kind of signal is it to say to kids, 'Do drugs and get hired to the Clinton White House'?" said Gingrich. "That's exactly the wrong message." The speaker's half-sister Candace, who is gay, has her own message to deliver Wednesday, when she will visit Indianapolis to promote the national gay and lesbian OutVote '96 convention. OutVote '96 will be held in Chicago Aug. 16-18.

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Quayle Still Has Eyes For Pennsylvania Avenue


DUNBARTON, N.H. (AllPolitics, July 22) -- At age 49, former Vice President Dan Quayle won't rule out a future bid for the White House. "I counted up the presidential elections the other day. I have seven presidential elections to go before I turn 73," said Quayle, referring to likely GOP nominee Robert Dole's age. "We may very well run ourselves before I turn 73." Speaking at a picnic fund-raiser for the re-election campaign of Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), Quayle said he's confident Dole will win the election in November. He said President Bill Clinton's recent speeches about family values were attempts to "sound and talk like one of us. But he ain't one of us."

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GOP Youth Campaign The Old-Fashioned Way

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 22) -- Likely GOP nominee Robert Dole won't be the only one taking a whistle-stop train to the Republican National Convention in San Diego. Members of the Young Republican National Federation will take a train from Chicago to San Diego, stumping in eight states with the same message: Dole isn't too old to be president. Passengers onboard the "Freedom Train" will mingle with GOP politicians and discuss the importance of strengthening the economy for future generations. Fare for the one-way, 46-hour trip is $149, lower than Amtrak's regular $256 fare and more affordable than the $1,500 to $5,000 seats in Dole's "Victory Express."

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More Stations Drop AFL-CIO Medicare Ads

SPOKANE (AllPolitics, July 22) -- Two TV stations have pulled an AFL-CIO ad accusing Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.) of trying to abolish Medicare. The ad ties Nethercutt to House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) and shows a clip of Gingrich saying, "We believe it's going to wither on the vine." Republicans say Gingrich's comments were taken out of context, and the "it" he's talking about is not Medicare but the federal agency that administers Medicare. Nethercutt says he does not want to dismantle Medicare, and, in fact, if it weren't for the federal program, his mother wouldn't have been able to have heart surgery a few months ago. One Spokane TV station is still running the ad, saying it wants to promote an open exchange of issues. The ad is part of the union's $35-million nationwide media blitz aimed at putting the Democrats back in control of Congress.


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