Strange bedfellows mar 'family values' convention

August 30, 1996|By Mike Littwin

Dick Morris, senior political adviser and joy boy, resigned yesterday from the Clinton campaign amid allegations that he was consorting with a $200-an-hour, escort-service hooker.

This immediately brings two questions to mind:

A. Why would such a powerful man risk everything for a few bought-and-paid-for rolls in the hay?

B. When did escort-service hookers come to cost 200 bucks?

In either case, it was a nice way to end the Democrats' "family values" convention, in which the Democrats broke the record for the most times using the word "family" in the non-Sister Sledge competition.

In fact, from watching the two major political conventions, it has become clear that, in this campaign, the "family" vote will be all-important, which explains why, near the end of Clinton's speech last night, there was a guest appearance by the entire cast of the Partridge "Family."

The question for Clinton is how he will fare without Morris, the architect of the president's successful and winning shift to the center. On the cover of Time magazine, through the twin miracles of scissors and paste, a very small Morris is seen perched on Clinton's shoulder, whispering into his ear.

Now we know what he's saying: Need some phone numbers? I got 'em.

There is, of course, a great tradition of politicians who've been caught fooling around. In Britain, fooling around is virtually required for higher office. In "family-values" America, though, it costs you your job. Ask Gary Hart or Wilbur Mills or Bob Packwood. (Hugh Grant, a mere actor, drew a pass for his little automotive fling with Divine. Of course, he's also British and the cutest little guy since Peter Noone.)

But it's only recently that political advisers became sufficiently well-known that anybody cared what they were doing or whom they were sleeping with.

In fact, when you see how Morris -- described in USA Today as "openly devoted to his no-nonsense wife" -- got caught, you'll understand his problem.

He was caught because he was trying to impress the hooker.

Now this is a strange concept. Men, of course, are always trying to impress women. The reason for this is that men are always trying to get women to sleep with them.

Call it the "man meets woman on an airplane" syndrome. Here's the scenario: A guy gets on the plane and finds himself seated next to a woman. He's got maybe a one-in-a-million shot and so he begins to talk to her. He's a lawyer who worked on the O.J. trial. He's an astronaut. He races cars. He invented spandex. Yeah, spandex works every time.

The thing is, you don't have to impress hookers. That's the point of a hooker. You give her the $200 and she pretends she's impressed, even if you look like, say, Ross Perot.

You pay the hooker and it's a guaranteed "ooh, baby, baby, you're the best." It's part of the package.

When Morris gets his hooker, he can't resist telling her that he works for the president.

She says "ooh, baby, baby, you're the best" and then, well, laughs.

No, really, he says.

And so, if you believe the Star tabloid, and who doesn't, he finds a way to prove who he is. He gets the president on the phone.

"There's no doubt about it," she tells the Star of the phone call. "It was the man."

Presumably, she meant Clinton and not Stan "the Man" Musial, who never consorted with hookers but did have a career .331 batting average.

Morris, who possibly didn't date much in his youth, couldn't help himself. Soon, it became part of the whole affair. When Morris wasn't calling the president, he was bringing by convention speeches by Al Gore and even Hillary. He even told her about the Mars rock.

The hooker, Sherry Rowlands, was impressed. "Ooh, baby, baby, you're the best presidential adviser I ever had."

Then she sold her story to the Star, which also broke the Gennifer Flowers story and was, I believe, one of the very first with the Elvis Sighted at Oklahoma Wal-Mart story.

But the Star is used to big stories. In fact in this issue -- and this is true -- the biggest picture on the front page doesn't go to any hooker. It's Brooke Shields' "Diner Diet -- Lose 30 Pounds in 4 Weeks."

It didn't say how many ratings points Clinton could lose in one night.

Pub Date: 8/30/96

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