White House in Retreat

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: Whoever is in charge of scheduling fund-raisers at the DNC needs to get a clue. Clinton spokespeople were left floundering Wednesday as they tried to defend the President and Vice President’s Democratic donor retreat in Florida — which takes place over Halloween weekend, and which you can attend for the bargain price of $50,000 a head. Pushed on the fact that Clinton would be the first sitting President to attend such an event, Mike McCurry fell back on his usual wry humor: "Democrats had a little problem electing sitting presidents," he said.

For all the droll comments, this fund-raiser has attracted a lot of unwanted attention at a politically sensitive time. Yesterday, Fred Thompson blasted the President over "blatant manipulation" of the electoral system, and accused him of "perpetrating a ruse on the taxpayer." The sense that Clinton was morally in the wrong seems to be spreading — now even leading Democrats such as Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut say the White House fund-raisers "made me itch."

Never mind that Thompson's committee was halted Wednesday as senators protested campaign finance reform. That hardly made headlines next to the $50,000 Florida retreat. Tape-weary journalists everywhere must be praying no one brings a video camera along.