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London Times: Swinging left fast, Arianna the conscience-stricken chameleon

by Matthew Campbell Thursday, Aug. 10, 2000 at 7:02 PM

NOTE: What is especially noteworthy about this report is that Huffington reveals, to a FOREIGN reporter (she has been careful not to do so to an American reporter), her Republican bias in favor of oil-rich George W. Bush over environmentalist Al Gore.

(Fwd: from a listserve post)

London Times: Swinging left fast, Arianna the conscience-stricken chameleon

NOTE: What is especially noteworthy about this report is that Huffington reveals, to a FOREIGN reporter (she has been careful not to do so to an American reporter), her Republican bias in favor of oil-rich George W. Bush over environmentalist Al Gore.

Paragraph 1-2:

But a look of mild annoyance ruffles Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington's immaculate countenance when asked if she knows George W Bush: "Of course I do." He is, she says, a "charming man" - but not one with the imagination to do anything to help the poor, her new passion.

Paragraph 23:

Gore, Huffington says with a wave of a jewel-encrusted hand, "would adopt any cause if he thought it would help get him elected".

Arianna Huffington has always been, is now, and will always be, a Republican loyal to the political candidates and issues that support the main source of her income -- big oil companies, high society, conservative media, and white males.

==================================================

Newshawk: Doug Caddy

Pubdate: Sun, 6 August 2000

Source: Sunday Times, The (U.K.)

Website: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk

Author: Matthew Campbell

http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2000/08/06/stirevnws02002.html

Swinging left fast, Arianna the conscience-stricken chameleon

Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Ltd.

At 50, her skin seems as smooth as porcelain. Not a hair of her reddish mane is out of place. But a look of mild annoyance ruffles Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington's immaculate countenance when asked if she knows George W Bush: "Of course I do."

He is, she says, a "charming man" - but not one with the imagination to do anything to help the poor, her new passion.

Huffington has made a career out of knowing rich and powerful people in various phases of an eye-catching life as author, socialite and political commentator. When the name Arianna crops up around political dinner tables, nobody asks, "Who?" She is famous for her chameleon-like ability to blend in. These days, however, there is slack-jawed amazement at her shedding of yet another political skin. This former queen of conservative policy seminars has

re-emerged as a champion of radical, left-wing causes - a revolutionary in designer clothes.

[clip]

The doom-laden statistics tripped off her tongue as easily as the instructions to the many minions fussing about her, one of them fielding mobile telephone calls through a headset.

At home in Los Angeles are still more helpers, including a nanny, a housekeeper and a "house manager" who doubles as a driver. Huffington sees no contradiction between her newfound activism and well-established credentials as a member of an affluent American elite.

"Look at the civil rights movement," she said. "It didn't just consist of blacks, right? It consisted of a lot of whites who had nothing to gain from blacks getting the vote except their recognition that they would be living in a country where all men were truly equal."

[clip]

When she moved in 1980 to America, it seemed like a spiritual homeland.

"So many people have accents here," she enthused. "I love living here.

The United States is a country built by immigrants." By contrast, "you

[in Britain] could never have a foreign secretary with an accent like

Henry Kissinger".

She first stepped onto the American political stage as a Washington wife

after marrying Michael Huffington, the son of an oil millionaire. When

he ran for the Senate in 1994, there were few doubts that his wife was

orchestrating the campaign. It cost m, a record for a Senate race.

That role ended when her husband lost. He also announced that he was

gay.

She moved on, befriending Newt Gingrich, the Speaker of the house, in

his campaign for the conservative Contract with America. She started her

own think tank, the Centre for Effective Compassion, emphasising the

need for private charity rather than

government aid for the poor - a message touted last week by Bush.

When that fizzled, she moved on again, settling in Los Angeles, where her home became as much of a celebrity salon as it had been in the capital. Surrounded by the more liberal denizens of Hollywood, Huffington's views turned leftward.

[clip]

Her ability to reinvent herself is as remarkable as her disdain for other political figures who bend with the wind.

Gore, Huffington says with a wave of a jewel-encrusted hand, "would adopt any cause if he thought it would help get him elected".

An unspoken question hangs in the air. "I would never run for office,"she says at last

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