Surely Time is noticing all those Clinton changes

ROGER SIMON

September 21, 1992|By ROGER SIMON

LOS ANGELES -- Campaign Notebook:

Nothing happens by accident on the Bill Clinton campaign.

So when Clinton showed up in Watts to give a speech, I noted that he wore a gray suit, white shirt and maroon striped tie.

At his next stop about a half-hour later in front of a Latino group celebrating Mexican Independence Day, I was surprised to see Clinton emerge from his limo now wearing a blue shirt and yellow striped tie.

And at his last stop, at a posh Beverly Hills party, Clinton appeared in a blue suit, white shirt, and a red tie with tiny polka dots.

I went to a member of his staff.

Does this changing of clothes for each group have special significance? I asked.

"Yes," he said. "Or else Bill just sweats a lot.

*

Clinton now likes to introduce his wife, Hillary, to crowds by saying: "She's the one who got the good cover on Time magazine!"

Hillary, indeed, did get a very nice cover picture in Time a few weeks ago. Earlier, Bill was the subject of a modernesque, neo-hip, art-director-gone-nutso cover photo that Time magazine correspondents on the road still don't like to talk about.

Covers count. You might think presidential candidates do not have egos, but then again you might own beach property in Nebraska.

At the beginning of the presidential campaign four years ago, Newsweek ran a cover story on George Bush that used the word "wimp" (or, as Bush always referred to it, the "w-word") and from that day until nearly the end of the campaign, Bush refused to grant interviews to Newsweek correspondents.

So Clinton seems to be signaling Time that he takes his covers seriously, too.

And I would guess if he stays strong in the polls, you will see another Time cover story on Clinton with a photo that makes him looks as handsome as Elvis.

The young Elvis.

*

While the press is tightly controlled at almost all Clinton events, things went way beyond control at last week's Beverly Hills fund-raiser at movie producer Ted Field's mansion.

"Let me get this straight," one reporter was heard arguing with a Clinton staffer, "I can go to the event, but I can't interview anybody?"

"Right," the staffer said, "and you have to stay on the tennis court once you get there."

"The tennis court?"

"Right," the staffer went on. "There will be television sets set up on the tennis court for the press pool. But you cannot leave the tennis court."

"You mean I am going to an event, which I will not be allowed to see live, where I cannot interview anyone, and I will have to stay on a tennis court in order to watch it on TV?" the reporter said.

"That's right," the staffer said. "And it's a very tight press pool, so consider yourself lucky."

The reporter didn't. And, to his credit, he refused to attend.

*

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

Two Absolutely True Facts:

Bill Clinton's Homicide Record!

And Barbra Streisand's Secret Shame!

Absolutely True Fact No. 1 (Source: Clinton press aide): When Bill Clinton was a teen-ager and had just gotten his driver's license, he backed the car out of the driveway and ran over the family dog!

Me: "So how did he feel then?"

Press Aide: "He felt just terrible."

Me: "So I guess that's all right then."

Press Aide: "Yeah."

Absolutely True Fact No. 2 (source: Angela Fox Dunn interview with Barbra Streisand): "I remember going to this health camp with my brown rubber sheet," Streisand said. "I was a bed-wetter until I was seven."

Watch for further chapters of Absolutely True Facts in future weeks!

Did Dan Quayle eat paste in the first grade?

Does Al Gore really sleep with his socks on?

You'll read it here first!

*

Hottest selling T-shirt on the Clinton campaign:

"Bush Hasn't. Bill Will."

I know what they are trying to say, but maybe they should re-think that one.

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