duck hunters and foes of gun control expressed pleasure at seeing
the president on a duck-hunting trip recently.
television networks showed President Clinton in camouflage clothing
with a party of hunters. The president did not, however, claim to
have killed the only duck the group took that morning.
Arkansas conservationists have tried to increase Clinton's concern
for the environment by inviting him on outdoor-sports activities
over the past decade or more. Occasionally, Clinton has participated.
I recall, Clinton is a life member of Ducks Unlimited and has helped
attract large donations to DU, the Nature Conservancy, the Arkansas
Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups by appearing at
fund-raising events held by such groups.
Clinton is not a serious hunter. He is, however, reasonably well
informed about conservaion matters and the importance of sporting
arms to a significant number of those who support him in politics.
dedicated outdoorsmen can be drawn into the political life. Teddy
Roosevelt was the most visible American hunter of all time, I suspect,
and the major exception to the rule.
Gore, as vice president, has written and spoken a great deal in
support of important environmental concerns. If Clinton's major
social and economic policies succeed, maybe Gore will manage to
move the environment to the top of the polical agenda in coming
president's visit to Arkansas last week caused a lot of activity,
much of it possibly good. But a waitress in Fayetteville may remember
Clinton's visit with anger for a while.
to one of her fellow employees, the young woman, a university student
working part time, dashed into the street when the Clinton entourage
stopped in front of her work place. Leaving several tables of lunch
customers untended, she left herself vulnerable to a boss who apparently
lacked a sense of humor.
was summarily dismissed from her job. No report of the amount of
tips left by her customers accompanied the story. And no one said
whether she was allowed her share of those tips.
president, of course, could recommend her for work someplace else,
but he would not be able to help every potential victim of excessive
excitement when his entourage appears.
maybe the outdoor sportsmen among the Washington crowd that now
gets first chance at Clinton will keep taking him outdoors and increase
his awareness of the value of the environment and the outdoor sports
that depend on a healthy environment.
maybe that young waitress will pay more attention to the customers
that help pay for her education and ignore celebrities from now
my personal New Year's resolutions is to try to ignore distractions
and get my own work done faster and better.