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Gratitude With Attitude: An AllPolitics Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 26) -- We admit it. We're newsaholics. When Thanksgiving rolls around, here at AllPolitics we can't help but give thanks for all the people, events and, well, the weirdness that enlivened the past 12 months. It kept us busy, even in a year when the biggest election was that oh-so-pivotal Staten Island congressional race.

Here's our list of what we're thankful for:


Page-View Paula: Disparaged by many in the press, Paula Jones nonetheless delivers for the new media. At least she does for us here at AllPolitics. We brought you special reports on volunteerism, the budget battle and campaign reform, but nothing captured readers like a good Paula Jones story (or even a mediocre one).


Newt's Ethics: The '96 election was past, lawmakers were going home for the holidays -- a pretty sleepy time, right? Wrong, thanks to House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The feisty Georgian agreed last December to admit violations of House ethics, and sparked a firestorm over what he'd done, and how he'd pay for it, both financially and politically.

campaign finance

Campaign Finance: Since last fall, revelations in the continuing fund-raising flap have served up a seemingly bottomless cauldron of titillating allegations, from the irregular to the criminal. From coffees and overnight stays at the White House to sham donors and overseas money, this has been one of those "never-say-die" stories.

Chelsea Clinton: The only Clinton that Americans love to love. Far less visible than her parents, Chelsea emerged from her protective cocoon this year, and AllPol readers ate it up. In June, our coverage of Chelsea's prom and graduation blew everything else away, even while we were producing big packages on campaign finance, the Helms-Weld fight and Paula Jones.


Helms v. Weld: While journalists bemoan the newsless dog days of summer, relief arrived this year in the form of a showdown between Sen. Jesse Helms and William Weld, President Bill Clinton's nominee to be ambassador to Mexico. The epic battle culminated in a Sept. 12 Foreign Relations Committee meeting, where Helms delivered a very public coup de grace. It was as ugly as a car wreck, but you still had to watch.


Bill Clinton's knee: There aren't many stories that we get to update 10 times in a day, but since the president slipped after all the a.m. newspapers had gone to press, the story of his right quadriceps tendon was all ours, all day.

Arkansas: Any state that brings us Jim and Susan McDougal, Jim Guy Tucker, the would-be law school dean Kenneth Starr, the "Little Rock Nine" and a trunk full of bank papers in a tornado-destroyed car is our friend indeed. What has Missouri done for us lately?


Bomb Threats: Though he only made news in D.C., we must acknowledge the disgruntled Morton's Steak House employee who, almost every day in July (minus Fridays ... go figure), called in a bomb threat to the office building housing the restaurant and, more critically, AllPolitics' Washington office. The two hours it took for bomb-sniffing dogs to comb the building forced our writers to tear themselves away from their computer screens and actually experience daily life in the nation's capital. If the broadened exposure didn't noticeably improve our political coverage, rest assured it did our tans.


Janet Reno: An unlikely heroine in an era of telegenic politicians and eloquent sound bites, Reno wades through Washington's mine fields without the personal charisma and famously flexible principles that define her boss. Her slow and careful deliberation ensures we'll have plenty of news, even when it's "no news yet."


Internal GOP Strife: The breadth of the 1994 Republican Revolution raised the specter of a smoothly-running Congress firmly in its leaders' control, a potential nightmare for anarchy-loving journalists. But margins narrowed in the 1996 elections and Newt Gingrich's ethics troubles caught up to him. By the time the coup attempt fizzled, it was clear that newsies nothing to worry about.


Harold Ickes: A sharp-tongued Ickes gave better than he got when he testified before Sen. Fred Thompson's committee in early October. The White House was so thankful, there was talk of bringing back the man who got unceremoniously pushed aside earlier in the year.

white house

The WHCA: Until this fall, not many people had even heard of the White House Communications Agency. But who couldn't be thankful for the people who produced all those videos of White House money-grubbing in all its seedy glory?

In Other News:

Wednesday Nov. 26, 1997

Cohen Intervened To Allow Arlington Burial
Gratitude With Attitude: An AllPolitics Thanksgiving
White House Bird Spared The Ax
Reno Hospitalized In Mexico City
A North Carolina Tree For The White House
President Clinton's 1997 Thanksgiving Proclamation

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