President Clinton's visit last week to Norway went well, even though he never did get reunited with Ellen Andenaes, a Norwegian woman who must have made quite an impression on him the last time they met, when Rhodes scholar Clinton went through Oslo in 1969 en route to Moscow.
The Israeli press reported last week that Clinton told Shimon Peres, now Israeli minister of regional cooperation, that there had been "international relations" between them and he had asked the embassy in Oslo to track her down so they could meet again. They found her, Clinton recounted to Peres (who told others in the delegation), and they told her of Clinton's interest, but she replied: "Clinton? I don't remember meeting someone of that name," reported Yedioth Ahronoth.
Actually, the search was done in 1997, when Clinton planned to revisit the country as part of an eight-day swing through Europe. The embassy talked to her mother, according to brother Ulf Andenaes, a leading reporter in Norway. Ellen is a linguistics researcher at the university in Tronheim, some 300 miles north of Oslo.
Now a married mother of two, in 1969 she was an 18-year-old secretary at the Norwegian Institute for Peace, a gathering spot for Americans heading through town. Hundreds of young Americans "with not too short hair," came through, Ulf said, and, on occasion, his sister would give them brief tours around Oslo. She is said to be a classic Scandinavian beauty.
But the bottom line of the story is the same: When asked recently about Clinton, she told a Norwegian reporter she couldn't remember meeting him, Ulf Andenaes said. Then, when told Clinton had stopped in Oslo on his way to Moscow, she remembered getting a postcard from Moscow from one of the young Americans.
Ulf Andenaes, as it turns out, was posted in Washington last year as a correspondent for Aftenposten and lived in a condo just across the way from--who else?--Monica S. Lewinsky.
Clinton apparently didn't try to see his old tour guide on this trip.
Also on the foreign news front, this just in from Mexico City: "A Mexican jail warden fell to his death while spying on couples"--with binoculars, no less--"during their conjugal visits, crashing down next to a Nicaraguan prisoner and his wife," Reuters reported yesterday, citing local media reports.
"Raul Zarate Diaz, prison warden in Tapachula, on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala, fell 23 feet to his death after tripping on a skylight looking over the conjugal visits section," the wire service said. Naturally enough, "the prisoner who was interrupted attempted to start a riot," but security squelched it.
Pickard to Be No. 2 at FBI
Thomas J. Pickard, a 25-year FBI veteran and head of the criminal division, is the pick to be deputy director, the No. 2 post at the bureau. A New York native, Pickard, a certified public accountant, joined the bureau in the mid-1970s and found himself a mere four years later working undercover on the Abscam case.
Pickard has held a number of senior level jobs at the FBI. In the fall of 1996, he was named head of the FBI's Washington field office, where he presided over the arrest of FBI agent Earl Edwin Pitts for espionage and the capture of convicted CIA killer Mir Aimal Kasi. FBI Director Louis J. Freeh appointed Pickard last year to head the criminal division. As deputy, he replaces Robert M. "Bear" Bryant, who is leaving after 31 years to take a job fighting fraud in the insurance industry.
'Silver Lining' on Lead Balloon
When history is being made, advocacy groups rush to get their message out quickly, lest they be beaten by other groups and their special take be drowned out.
The winner in the race to comment on the Microsoft decision Friday has to be taxpayer watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste, which was on the wires at 6:09 p.m., some 20 minutes before the ruling was released.
CAGW's view? "A vindication of the Microsoft Corporation," the announcement said. "Judge Jackson's ruling confirms that the government's case against Microsoft has been an inexcusable waste of taxpayer dollars," said CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.
This is, to say the least, a truly minority view, but CAGW media director Jim Campi said yesterday he stands by it. Campi said CAGW hadn't seen the ruling before issuing the victory statement for Microsoft, but "we knew it was going to be bad." Still, "we see a silver lining" and "the judge didn't make his case," Campi said yesterday.
Dewey Defeats Truman!
It's Official . . .
Clinton has nominated Mark L. Schneider, a former Peace Corps volunteer and more recently assistant administrator of the Agency for International Development, to be director of the Peace Corps. Schneider has been at the State Department and the Pan American Health Organization and worked on the Hill.
This Isn't What Was Said in Cloakroom
Quote of the week: "It's not a pleasant situation," Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-Ala.) said last week upon voting against his own foreign aid bill after the House leadership agreed to numerous amendments he opposed. "But even members of Congress, some of us, have principles."