|Bill Clinton, Master Political
Consultant; Losers &
A Great Idea
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
Bill Clinton is one shrewd political star.
First of all, for the record, I like him just in case you didnt know.
Hes been wonderful for our country. Hes been wonderful for the world. He is a
charming and charismatic leader with his head and his heart in the right place. He is
He sure messed up with the Lewinsky affair
and his attempt at handling the damage.
But none of that can take away the seven
years of prosperity and the progress weve made on his watch. The economy has boomed
really boomed! And yes, to those naysayers he gets the credit. He and
Greenspan and his appointees were there their watch if it went bad they
would have been the goats. They saw the technology boom and allowed it to happen
encouraged it. And it continued and continues today.
The world is at peace and he struggles
valiantly and creatively for a mideast lasting solution. The country not only prospers, it
is the world leader socially, politically and economically. It is our time in history.
Clinton deserves much of the credit.
So we take this remarkable man and place
him at or near the decision-making ability of some high-powered political campaigns: Al
Gores and Hillarys.
Now Hillary insiders have reiterated time
and again that the real Hillary campaign manager is Bill himself. He knows the game and is
playing master on behalf of his wife. Who do you think arranged for her Monday night Dem
No one is even whispering how close he is
to the top of the Gore campaign hierarchy. But if you have a master in your corner, you
might as well hear him out. Were pretty sure Al relies on Bill, big time.
So who suggested Joe Lieberman and why?
The unorthodox move of picking an Orthodox
Jew was a choice of more than political chemistry. They polled; they had to poll. They
likely found out that most of the people who wouldnt vote for Lieberman because he
was Jewish werent voting for the Democrats anyway. He clearly helps the Dems regain
the moral and ethical high ground. Hes bright and articulate. Hes a centrist,
he helps to do political battle right in the middle of the swing vote.
Michael Schenkler with Bills friend Al.
There is one more thing. He
helps Hillary in New York. In this writers opinion, Joseph Lieberman is the secret
weapon that takes Hillary from "just lose" to "just win." You see,
Hillary Clinton does not have the overwhelming support of the large registered Jewish
block that can be the swing vote in New York elections. They helped DAmato stay
"in" over Bob Abrams seven years ago and then gave it to Chuck Schumer last
The Jewish block used to be loyal Dems. But
times have changed and Republican support for Israel and challenges to banks hiding
Holocaust survivors funds have attracted many former Dems to the GOP, especially the
Hillary, saddled with some bad press over
her acceptance of Arafats wifes statements on Israel and her own statements in
support of a Palestine state, is struggling to rally Jewish voters behind her in the
numbers needed for a Dem to win in New York.
Enter Joe Lieberman...the man who will, if
he wins, be the most powerful Jewish leader in the world. He will dwarf the Prime Minister
of Israel and be viewed as the international Jewish spokesperson. He will, of course,
first be a very effective Vice President.
Take this Joseph Lieberman, put him on the
phone to the rabbis in Borough Park and Kew Gardens Hills; put him in the streets of the
Jewish neighborhoods in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, have him address a synagogue or two
and he will make a difference. He will woo the Jewish voters not only to the Gore ticket
but to Senator Hillary.
Now the interesting thing here is that Gore
doesnt need Liebermans help in New York. Count the Empire State in the Donkey
column with or without Joe Lieberman. So unless hes fundraising, there is no reason
for Lieberman to appear in New York or pick up a phone to any NY Jewish leader. Sit back
and watch. If Lieberman is here and Hillary is with him, its payback to Bill.
The same Bill Clinton who made Al Gore
Presidential Candidate and helped select Veep Candidate Joe Lieberman, is calling the
shots for the Senate campaign of his wife. Bill Clinton is a winner.
Sit back and watch the master at work.
Hillary in November by 4 points.
WINNER & LOSERS: Who were the big
losers in the Walter McCaffrey fiasco? Besides Walter, that is.
To quickly refresh your memory, if
necessary, Councilman McCaffrey, along with Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Councilman John
Sabini defied the Queens County Dem Organization and County Chair Tom Manton after Manton
handed over his Congressional seat to then-Assemblyman Joe Crowley. Mantons timing
was so slick as to prevent anyone from challenging Crowley in a primary. That was two
For the past two years the threesome
McCaffrey, Nolan and Sabini have been at war with the rest of the party and vowed
to challenge Crowley and the organization in a primary this year. They selected their best
and brightest champion term-limited Walter McCaffrey a shrewd political
operative in his own right.
Then everything blew apart when the Queens
Tribune and NY1 disclosed that McCaffrey may have been dipping into his campaign
Within days of the questions, McCaffrey
withdrew from the race reaching out to Manton, perhaps for help with his very sticky
problem. Not only was his political future in question, there were still questions of
potential criminal action.
Loser #1, Walter McCaffrey.
Now, if Cathy Nolan is on your lips as
loser #2, youre wrong. She just may turn out to be a winner. Watch this week as
Cathy throws in with the Queens Dem organization by endorsing their choice in the 34th
Assembly District Primary, Mike Genaris over Kimon Thermos who twice almost took
the seat away from the organizations Denis Butler, who is retiring.
Watch the organization abandon any support
of Patrick OMalley, brother of Baltimore Mayor Martin O, who is challenging
Nolan for her Assembly seat.
Now OMalley never had overt support
of any of Mantons guys, but trust me, they were there. OMalley was counting on
them. Sorry Pat, your help is going to dry up. You are the #2 loser in the McCaffrey
fiasco as Nolan gets unified support from all the Dems.
Nolan is back in the fold and will be
quickly welcomed back by old friend Gerry Sweeny, one of the guiding forces behind the
Manton operation. Shell have an easy primary.
Loser #3, Kimon Thermos could have expected
help from the McCaffrey operation in his challenge to the County Organization. Sorry
Kimon, there is no operation and watch as Nolan is reunited with Manton and joined by Alan
Hevesi and Pete Vallone and just about every elected Dem in Queens (and anywhere else for
that matter) with the unqualified support of Speaker Shelly Silver.
Genaris has also, so far outmonied Thermos.
Without McCaffrey-Crowley, this is the race to watch between now and Primary Day. However,
the scrappy Thermos looks like hes in for a chilling experience.
The big winners: Joe Crowley, Tom Manton.
RUMORS: In spite of his recent victory
and truce with Speaker Silver, rumors continue that Tom Manton is considering stepping
down as County Leader. We expect to hear nothing until well after the November elctions.
A second rumor circulating inside the Dem
Party grapevine is that Peter Vallone may be talking judgeship. If so, that would end the
potential war that could splinter Queens between Mayoral wannabes Vallone and Comptroller
Reporter Denise DeJesus
MEET DENISE DEJESUS: Denise is a
reporter who joined us about a month ago.
As a matter of fact, she wasnt a
reporter, she was a waitress, Im told, who wanted to be a reporter. She was and is
bright, spunky, energetic and curious. Shes spent the past month writing for our new
paper the PRESS.
Shes real good at it. But, shes
not sure whether this is for her. She thinks maybe shed prefer videotaping a story
in some far-off land instead of writing it here in Queens.
Now, Ive told you just about all I
know about her, except that shes a Queens girl lives in East Elmhurst. Much
of what Ive shared with you, Ive gotten from her editors. The spunky part is
While Denise explores her journalistic
options, she should realize that community print journalism is a real quick way to make a
difference. Change on a small scale is easier to effect than change on a grand scale.
Advocacy journalism is the stuff stars in our industry understand and thrive on.
Denise has it. Let me explain.
Friday night at a space allocation meeting
with our Editor Tamara Hartman and the PRESS Managing Editor David Harris, David
proposed a follow-up to his PRESS front-page story on voter registration in
Southeast Queens. It wasnt his proposal although perhaps he helped her refine
it it was the creation of novice journalist Denise DeJesus the spunky,
Since voter registration in Queens is
slipping, Denise wanted to do something about it. As a result of a conversation she had
with Board of Elections spokesperson Naomi Bernstein, Denise proposed inserting or
printing a voter registration form in our paper. She got the specs and approval and David
pitched it to Tamara and me.
Its simple. Its brilliant!
It is our responsibility, our mandate.
Im somewhat embarrassed we
havent done it before this.
There is no more meaningful use of space
inside a community newspaper than to urge the community to action. There is no more worthy
action than to take part in our participatory democracy.
Registering to vote has no downside
they assure me they do not use the voter rolls for jury duty, in case that worried you.
Registering to vote empowers you.
This year, you will have the opportunity to
vote for President, US Senator and local Congressional, State Senate and Assembly races.
Cmon, its a Presidential year. Clip the form on the next page, take five
minutes, mail it in. Its simple.
Then, drop Denise a line and tell her she
made a difference.
I think she belongs right here.
You can reach Denise by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax or letter at
the address on the edit page.
Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@queenspress.com