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Inside NCR.

Truman came into office immediately saddled with a decision to make: whether to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. Kennedy walked into office with arms outstretched, and the previous administration gave him the Bay of Pigs to hold. What has Clinton been handed in the Persian Gulf?

How's this? Around Washington, word is that there are Pentagon contingency plans - ideas real or floated around to see if anyone will pick them up - for the United States to explode an underground nuclear device inside Iraq. The explosion would then be depicted as an Iraqi nuclear device exploding, possibly an accident, the work of a misdirected Saddam Hussein.

Is this real? In time, if we live long enough, we'll find out. History is a great tattletale.

Those "photo ops" that key members of the U.S. church hierarchy provided President George Bush in the weeks running up to the November election are coming home to roost. (NCR printed several of the pictures - and criticized the episcopacy's partisan political game.)

NCR Editor-at-large Arthur Jones, just back from Rome, reports how serious the situation has become. The Clinton administration, which also saw the pictures and watched the Catholic prelates' performance, retaliated by not inviting Washington Cardinal James Hickey to the inaugural - a significant snub, and only the first Clinton team rejoinder by an offended administration.

Jones reports that only last-minute, high-level negotiating in Washington by extremely well-placed Catholic Democrats and others resulted in the new White House overcoming its reluctance and issuing an invitation to Hickey.

Official Catholic-White House links are all but severed. With a strongly feminist White House now in place, the Catholic antiabortion and anti-family-planning agendas globally and domestically have lost, too, reports Jones. (In a Clinton presidency, population will again be an issue at environmental conferences.)

Some U.S. Catholics, including particularly Catholic Democrats, said Jones, are looking for a public bridge-builder to the Clinton White House. Apparently, the first one up is Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. His immediate challenge was slated for two days after the inaugural - giving the homily at the evening Right-to-life Mass in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Finally, this week's moving front-page Bosnia-Herzegovina report by Paul Wilkes should not be missed. Wilkes' works have appeared in a number of places, including The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. Two articles he wrote on Archbishop Rembert Weakland in The New Yorker have recently been published by Orbis Books with the title The Education of an Archbishop.
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Title Annotation:election photo opportunities by Bush campaign with Catholic bishops
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 29, 1993
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