In Capital, Change of Guard Shocks Some, Excites Others
WASHINGTON (AP) _ While most of America pondered how Bill Clinton might change their lives, residents here knew immediately the impact of a new boss for the city’s largest employer: lost jobs for Republicans and new business for others.
A shell-shocked Republican campaign aide said she’s moving to Eastern Europe because she doesn’t want to live in America under Clinton. The manager of a Pennsylvania Avenue espresso stand said he could hardly wait for the Clinton White House team to arrive, because he assumes it will contain more drinkers of the yuppie brew.
Across the Potomac at the Pentagon, information officer Chris Cimko - whose appointment ends when George Bush goes - was in tears as she lamented the prospect of losing income as she scrambles for a new job in a weak economy.
″My daughter’s education is in the balance,″ she said. ″It just comes at the worst time″ for meeting her daughter’s dream of enrolling at a private college next fall.
Not everyone said they felt strongly about the changing of the guard, but many said they sensed the country was yearning for change, just as it had been 30 years ago.
″I see a resemblance to the Kennedy time, the feeling we had then. People are relating to that,″ Pat Armbruster, a Washington native, told a morning- after customer in Archibald’s bar, two blocks from the presidential mansion.
″There will be changes. We know that,″ she said. ″I consider it exciting. The American Dream, right? Become president, work for meaningful change.″
Clinton’s victory - and his clarion call for change - is echoing beyond official Washington to the ordinary citizens who live and work in the capital.
Reginald Inman, 41, was hawking a special ″election final″ edition of The Washington Post outside a subway station near the White House during the morning rush hour.
″Bush and Millie had to go 3/8 Read about it in the Washington Post 3/8″ Inman hollered at commuters, then confided to one customer: ″I’ve never sold papers like this 3/8 It’s a beautiful day. People have been coming to me and buying five, six at a time. It’s like I wish I’d kept a paper when Kennedy was elected.″
A few blocks away, a smiling Curt Christenson, too, could hardly contain his glee.
″We’re gonna have rock ‘n roll wackin’ out of the White House - the beat for a new generation 3/8″ he said as he served up a tall latte inside his sidewalk Ferrara espresso stand on Pennsylvania Avenue within earshot of the White House.
″It’s gonna be a shot in the arm for business,″ Christenson said. ″It’s gonna be a lot of young people in the White House, people open to change.″
Others were more circumspect.
″My attitude is, wait and see,″ how a Clinton administration will work out, said Rick Cotton, who said he works for a federal agency but would not say which. ″Voting Republican would have technically been voting for my job,″ he said, adding that whatever the result he didn’t foresee enormous changes.
For government workers who were put in their positions by President Bush, the Democratic victory means they’ll be out of a job once Clinton takes the oath of office Jan. 20.
John R. Bolton, assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs since May 1989, said he wasn’t sure when he’d resign.
″The president is president until noon, January 20th,″ he told a reporter, ″and we’re going to act that way.″
David W. Denny is a career foreign service officer, so he is safe in a Clinton administration.
″Whatever new policies they decide to push we will be obligated to implement,″ Denny said. ″We are public servants. We work for the president″ whoever he may be.
Disappointment and even a touch of hostility was in the air at the Bush- Quayle campaign headquarters several blocks from the White House.
In the reception area, two young men were answering phones and nearby a woman was grousing to a reporter about the Democrats’ retaking power.
″I’m moving to Eastern Europe, where the real democracies are,″ said the woman, who would not give her name or say what role she played in the campaign.
″It’s not a good time to be talking,″ she said. Asked why she was going to Europe, she replied: ″I don’t want to be in the United States with a Clinton administration. You’ll see a lot of one-way tickets to Europe.″