HUMOR IN HILLARYLAND
At Sunday night's Christmas revels for Hillary Rodham Clinton and her inner circle, hosted by chief of staff Melanne Verveer and lawyer-husband Phil Verveer at their Kalorama home, about 80 partygoers serenaded the budding Senate candidate with a lusty rendition of "The Twelve Days of Chappaqua," written by some of her resident comedians. The first lady is bracing for a brutal battle against New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, but on Sunday she laughed heartily. The lyrics:
On the first day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: Legitimate residency
On the second day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: two dozen bagels and
On the third day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: three new Jewish relatives
On the fourth day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: four trips to Skaneateles
On the fifth day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: 500 fund-raisers.
On the sixth day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: six new black pantsuits
On the seventh day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: seven black flies biting
On the eighth day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: eight tabloids prying
On the ninth day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: nine Rudy tantrums
On the tenth day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: ten neighbors gawking
On the eleventh day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: eleven screaming headlines
On the twelfth day in Chappaqua, New York gave to me: twelve Points-a-leading
Armstrong Williams's Believe It or Not
* Here's a little follow-up report on Friday's warm and fuzzy item about a budding friendship between lefty television mogul Norman Lear and conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas under the tender loving care of their mutual pal, radio host Armstrong Williams. Yesterday--after an uproar among financial supporters of Lear's lobbying group, People for the American Way--Lear retreated from his praise for Thomas. Williams and Lear disputed each other on the date of Lear's meeting with Thomas, and incoming People President Ralph Neas told us the group is preparing a white paper condemning the judicial actions of Thomas and fellow justice Antonin Scalia.
"They were [ticked] off at me," Lear said about the phone calls he received over the weekend. "I'm still chairman of People for the American Way, and I would still strongly oppose another Supreme Court nominee with the same judicial thinking as Clarence Thomas." Lear insisted the meeting took place six years ago--not in January 1999, as Williams claimed his "computerized records" showed. Yesterday Williams stuck to his guns, sort of. "It did happen within the last two years." And Lear responded: "Armstrong is crazy--or he's being mischievous."
THIS JUST IN . . .
* Feet of Clay? We hear that Village Voice media reporter Cynthia Cotts today administers a severe journalistic thrashing to "Hillary's Choice" author Gail Sheehy, wife of former Voice honcho Clay Felker, saying she blithely broke a confidentiality agreement with Hillary Clinton. Sheehy denies the charge and blames all the criticism of her book on "the White House spin and counterattack machine."
* In Dutch with Ronald Reagan loyalists and academic historians for his medium-selling, semi-fictional memoir of the 40th president, Edmund Morris and wife Sylvia may be abandoning Washington for New York. "We're thinking of it," Morris told us yesterday, but denied that the storm of criticism has anything to do with it. "Absolutely not. That's just silly."
* Before begging off Sunday's White House press party, a flu-stricken President Clinton hauled himself out of his sickbed to accompany his wife to Ted Turner's televised "Christmas in Washington" gala at the National Building Museum. At the final curtain, a feverish Clinton (much hotter than 98 Degrees, one of the bands on the program) got to his feet while an announcer delivered a variation on the customary admonition, exhorting the audience to stay seated "until the president and Mister Clinton depart."