Our Goyishe Bagel
* Yesterday's item about Hillary Rodham Clinton's staff serenading her with "The Twelve Days of Chappaqua" drew this response from Matthew Goodman, Food Maven columnist for the Jewish newspaper Forward: "I was amused by the photo of the bagel. . . . As far as I can make out, that looks like a whole-grain bagel, with what appears to be a hint of a raisin peeking through the crust. . . . A piece of friendly advice for Hillary: Jewish relatives or not, you'll never get any votes in the Bronx serving whole-grain cinnamon-raisin bagels."
An Affair to Forget?
ABC News star Diane Sawyer and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley managed to get through the entire half-hour of yesterday's "Good Morning America" Times Square Town Meeting without mentioning that they once seriously dated each other. Sawyer, who questioned her former boyfriend on health care and religion, was attending Wellesley and Bradley was playing basketball at Princeton when they began seeing each other in the mid-1960s. According to The Post's Barton Gellman and Dale Russakoff, their romance was so strong that Sawyer and her parents spent Christmas 1966 with Bradley's family in Missouri and their friends speculated that they might marry. During a trip to Russia on his Rhodes scholarship, Bradley bought her a fur hat (which we hear Sawyer didn't much like). Today neither wants to discuss their old romance, and ABC News spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told us it wasn't necessary to inform viewers about it: "We believe you get a pass on a college romance."
* Like many of you, The Source is perplexed by the whole Millennium Date Debate. We can't decide whether to join the folks who are partying this Dec. 31, or throw in with the experts who keep insisting that the millennium doesn't really begin until 2001. We turned to 34-year-old Micro- Strategy billionaire Michael Saylor, who blames the controversy on a diminutive Dark Ages monk named Dionysius Exiguus (a k a Dennis the Short), who royally screwed up our lives when he decided to begin the calendar with the number 1. Saylor's take:
"Since there was no year 0, 2001 would be the correct answer for our Gregorian calendar; 2001 is definitely the millennium. But I have to make the point, you can't really blame Dennis the Short for not wanting to use the year 0. That'd be weird. The computer consultants are celebrating the millennium this year because they made all this money off Y2K fears. It's an economic event for them. And they're sad they won't be making any more.
"It's kind of ironic that we're so egocentric about this. We've gotten so caught up about this in the Western world. But we're only 20 percent of the population. If you're not a Christian, 2000 means absolutely nothing. The Chinese have already had four millenn- iums. The Hindus, they're on the year 2056. The Jews are on 5760. The Islamic Muslims date the world to 1420, when Muhammad left Mecca. And, of course, the Japanese are at 1419. The good news is that the world doesn't end at the beginning of the next millennium, because we've had at least three civilizations that have got through it."
Saylor, who isn't worried about Y2K, will fly down to St. Thomas on Jan. 1, and a week later will treat all 1,650 of his employees to a Caribbean cruise. Don Graham, are you reading this? "If there are problems," Saylor said, "I think I'll just cruise into some area run by Muslims or Jewish people because their computers should be working fine."
THIS JUST IN . . .
* If you're a pol raising dough in Nashville, the Wildhorse Saloon is the place to be. The contemporary country bar is hosting back-to-back fund-raisers for Vice President Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Tonight's Gore event is expected to draw 2,000 supporters at $35 each, along with emcee Al Franken and singers Aaron Neville and Donna Summer. Tomorrow night, Bush is expecting 750 fat cats, at $1,000 a head, to mingle with Tracy Byrd and the Oak Ridge Boys. "We welcome Democrats and Republicans alike," saloon spokeswoman Haylee Waddey told us.
* Today at Health and Human Services headquarters, Secretary Donna Shalala auctions off the Baltimore Orioles jersey that she wore when she threw out the first pitch at the 1998 season opener at Camden Yards. The money will go to the Combined Federal Campaign for the United Way, which so far has raised a record $42.8 million under Shalala's chairmanship.
* Lanny Davis and Tommy Boggs are hoping that more than 100 people will pay $500 each to lunch today with Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton at their Washington lobbying firm.