It's been a year since President Clinton's impeachment trial, and the Senate historian is quietly taking oral histories from the various senior support personnel to preserve their perspectives of the extraordinary time.
The idea is not to get ruminations of the senators--who have been interviewed repeatedly by the news media--but rather folks "who wouldn't normally be interviewed," Senate associate historian Donald A. Ritchie told Federal Computer Week, such as people who printed the tickets or arranged for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to come across the street from the Supreme Court or those who set things up for the prosecution and defense teams.
"Our purpose is to create a record. We don't want spin. We want facts and people's perceptions," Ritchie said.
So is the House, with equal moments of historic proportion to preserve, also making special efforts to record the events? Not exactly, said Steve Mayer of the House Legislative Research Center. The House will of course do the regular cataloguing of House proceedings and documents, he said, but there is no special effort so far to preserve the impeachment process. The House doesn't have the staff to do such a job, he said, though he would like to.
Maybe it's because the House doesn't have a historian? There hasn't been one since the unhappy and brief tenure of Christina Jeffrey, a political science professor from Georgia's Kennesaw State College. Former history professor Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), then about to become House speaker, hired Jeffrey on Jan. 3, 1995. He fired her a week later after it was disclosed that in 1986 she had criticized a Holocaust course for not presenting "the Nazi point of view."
Actually, the House has just begun the process of looking for a House historian, or at least someone to handle those record-keeping duties, said John Feehery, press secretary for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).
Gov. Thompson's Unrequited Yearning
Job Wanted! Wisconsin Gov. Tommy G. Thompson is thinking maybe he wouldn't mind taking a job in Washington if Texas Gov. George W. Bush were elected president. In an interview with the Green Bay News-Chronicle last week, Thompson, 58, said it was "probably highly unlikely that I'm going to run" in 2002 for a fifth term as governor.
Loop Fans may recall that Thompson had an awful time last spring trying to bring himself to say he wasn't running for the GOP presidential nomination. Try as he might, he couldn't quite bring himself to do it.
It seems he still can't. "I still harbor somehow there's going to be a bolt of lightning someplace and I'm going to be the nominee," Thompson told the News-Chronicle. "But I think that's less and less likely to happen. I think I'd be a great nominee, but I'm the only one that thinks that."
Surely there might be some family members . . . ?
G-Man on Buchanan's Trail?
Patrick J. Buchanan, who's fighting for the Reform Party presidential nomination, showed recently he's still as quick on his feet as ever. Buchanan and his wife Shelley were planning to fly to Boston Jan. 6 to drum up support for his struggling campaign and to promote his book, "A Republic, Not an Empire."
But the flight was delayed in Washington and Buchanan had to hustle to make it on time to an intimate luncheon meeting of the World Affairs Council of Boston, where he was introduced by Boston Herald columnist Don Feder.
Then, during his remarks, the lights in the reception room briefly went out. Not missing a beat, Buchanan deadpanned: "Is Gordon Liddy around here?"
Harvard Alums in an Intramural Squabble
It's a rare moment when a Republican publicly intrudes in a spat among Democratic presidential primary opponents. But G. Hunter Bates, counsel for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), could take it no longer. "One recent charge by the Bradley camp" against the Goristas was "truly out of bounds," Bates said.
Seems Matt Henshon, an aide to Bill Bradley, recently said his Harvard Law School basketball team repeatedly beat the team of Vice President Gore's press secretary, Chris Lehane.
"Simply not true," says Bates. "Although Lehane and I have always played on opposite political teams, we played on the same basketball team at Harvard and won the intramural championship three years in a row. . . . Henshon's team was not able to prevent the threepeat," Bates said.
"I played basketball with Chris Lehane. Chris Lehane is a friend of mine. And Matt Henshon is no Chris Lehane," Bates said.
D.C. Grad Launching Tuition Aid Program
Hazel Mingo, a Department of Education specialist in college student aid, has been detailed to the D.C. government to help set up the new tuition assistance program that lets the District's college-bound students pay in-state rates at eligible colleges in Maryland and Virginia.
Assigned to Mayor Anthony A. Williams's office for a year, she will serve as acting director of the program for the first two months. Several years ago, she led a department initiative to encourage more college-going by D.C. graduates, of whom she is one--Theodore Roosevelt High School, class of '68.