Bill Turque

Capitol Letter: Moment Of Truth

The legislative term of art is drier than sawdust: "nonseverability." But as Sen. John McCain likes to say, "It's French for no campaign-finance reform." It's also the moment of truth for Senate Democrats who claim to support the McCain-Feingold-Cochran bill, which eliminates unlimited and unregulated "soft money" donations from unions and corporations.

Capitol Letter: Buying Influence

Anyone who thinks that the debate over campaign-finance reform, which will return to the Senate floor next week, is a piece of policy esoterica with little relevance to their lives ought to take a look at "Buying Influence, Selling Death," a new study of tobacco-industry money and its pernicious influence on our politics.

Capitol Letter: Uncivil Society

Civility has never been a big part of Rep. Cynthia McKinney's operating style. The liberal Georgia Democrat, the first African-American woman elected to Congress from her state, has honed a reputation for racial demagoguery and partisan trash talk.

It's The Gop Way Or The Third Way

Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana surveyed the packed Crystal Room at the Willard Hotel Tuesday night and had to marvel. Moderation has never been so hot. The occasion was the winter dinner of the New Democrat Network (NDN), the fund-raising organization he cofounded with Sen.

Bill Turque: Freshman Day

Few forms of Washington life are lower on the city's food chain than first-term members of the House. Freshmen scrap and scuffle for recognition, but in a world where seniority still counts for a great deal, they fight constantly to hold total obscurity at bay.

Next Up On The Hot Seat

The subject was one close to Gale Norton's heart: states' rights. George Bush's nominee for secretary of the Interior was still Colorado's attorney general in August 1996 when she spoke to the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank.

Why Gore Fights On And On And...

It was less than three minutes to air, and no one could find Al Gore. Everything was ready for last Monday's speech kicking off the All Al All the Time media offensive, aimed at convincing the public that the 2000 presidential election wasn't over yet.

A Viewer's Guide To Gore

Early in the 1988 presidential campaign, Al Gore was getting ready to debate his Democratic primary opponents when his mother slipped him a note. Pauline Gore, widely regarded as the most astute politician in the family, had written just three words: "Smile, Relax, Attack." Gore has seldom strayed from his mother's advice.

Gore's Truth Troubles

It sounded like a vivid personal anecdote that drove home the urgency of Al Gore's signature campaign issue: the high price of prescription drugs for seniors.

The Soul And The Steel

I am going to Mississippi because there is much work to be done there and few men are doing it," wrote 21-year-old Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Yale Daily News, in his column on Oct. 28, 1963.

The Politics Of Payments

Simone Ledeen, a 25-year-old market researcher for a Washington technology firm, thinks it's a good time to buy stocks. She started investing last year when a subsidiary of her company went public.

A Prescription For November

Al Gore looked every bit the good son as he accompanied Shirley Kindle to fill her prescriptions last week at an East Hartford, Conn., pharmacy. The 65-year-old retired clerical worker, who has no insurance coverage for drugs, rang up $506.34 for a month's supply of medicines to treat diabetes and other ailments; the total devouring her monthly Social Security check of $496.

Brother In The Background

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his big brother, George W, like to share. That includes even the lines they use to distance themselves from their famous parents. "I'm not running because I'm the son of George and Barbara Bush, but because I'm the father of... [insert names of appropriate children here]," both men said in 1994, when they first ran for governorships.

Reinventing Gore

It may have been a bit more than some of the 1,200 Democratic women at last week's Washington fund-raiser wanted to know about the real Al Gore. The Gores have decided that marital bliss sells in the post-Monica era, so when Tipper called her reserved husband to the stage, he made sure everyone knew he was actually a tiger after hours. "I love it when she beckons me with her finger like that," Gore said. "I always respond."Election time is approaching, and once again Gore is trying to colorize...

Next Year's Model

Bill Clinton loves the hotel del Coronado in San Diego. With its Pacific view, it's one of his favorite places to jog. But as the president huffed down the beach last week, a bystander cut into his early-morning down time. "You're a draft-dodging, yellow-bellied liar," shouted a woman just yards from the president.

Turning Clinton Green

BILL CLINTON KNOWS THAT GREEN sells. He celebrated the Fourth of July by helping launch Freedom, a bald eagle recently recovered from a broken wing, back into the wilds of southern Maryland. ""Beautiful, fabulous,'' the president exclaimed to the cameras as Freedom flapped off.

American Odyssey

IT WAS RON BROWN'S SIGNATURE role as commerce secretary--playing shepherd to a planeload of American CEOs in search of new foreign business. The destination last Wednesday was Croatia, where executives from AT&T, Bechtel and 10 other firms would press government officials for a larger role in the postwar reconstruction of the former Yugoslavia.

Aborted Revolution?

Sue Myrick should be a symbol of a triumphant autumn for the anti-abortion movement. Next month the Republican from North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District will be one of 40 new House members -- including six women -- who oppose abortion.

Where Have All The Perotians Gone?

IN THE SPRING OF 1992 RICK ROBINSON was a gung-ho Ross Perot supporter. Fed up with government regulations, mush-mouthed career politicians and a Republican Party seemingly unable to revive the economy, the 48-year-old Vietnam veteran enlisted in Perot's populist army.

The Problem With The President

JACKIE TEDRICK WAS FEELING WISTFUL about the 1992 Clinton-Gore bus tour. She was one of about 10,000 people who gathered at the old Illinois Statehouse in Vandalia on the evening of July 21 to cheer the Democratic ticket on the last leg of its eight-state barnstorming trip.

New Deal In Detroit

Dennis Archer, Detroit's first new mayor in 20 years, stood at the altar of the First United Methodist Church in suburban Birmingham and looked out at the virtually all-white congregation.

In The Line Of Fire

WITH THE EXCEPTION of his wife, Bill Clinton has no closer senior adviser than George Stephanopoulos. In the crucible of a turbulent 1992 campaign, Clinton came to depend heavily on Stephanopoulos's combination of razor intellect and political instinct.

The Unsinkable Scandal

EVEN AFTER THE MOST humiliating stretch of days in the Clinton presidency-after the parade of subpoenas, the forced resignation of the White House counsel, the Republican charges of cover-up, the spectacle of aides marching into the federal courthouse to deliver grand jury testimony-the White House still simmered in an angry state of denial for much of last week.

Mississippi Burning

BRENDA HENSON GOT THE MESSAGE early on the morning of Nov. 8 as she dug a ditch on her new 120-acre farm in Ovett, Miss. She was readying the site for Camp Sister Spirit, a women's retreat she cofounded last summer with other community activists from nearby Biloxi and Gulfport.