Time for another peek into the "Lifestyles of the Rich ... and Cranky." One of the advantages of being rich is that you don't have to mingle with the riffraff. No crowded airports — you've got your private jet. No jostling with the teeming masses at the beach — you've got a secluded getaway in the Azores. And if you want to golf, you can golf with your own kind — people of wealth in the most exclusive country clubs. It's simply the way the world of wealth works, and it makes it ever so pleasant for the chosen ones on the inside. So, what to do when some trailer trash from Arkansas comes knocking at your country-club door? He would be rudely rejected ... except this is no ordinary chunk of riffraff. It's Bill Clinton, who has rich friends and shares a house with spouse who's a U.S. senator. Bill likes to golf, and now that the family home is in tony Westchester County — a mecca of very exclusive golfing clubs — Bill wants to join one of them. But this made Westchester's wealthiest elite turn cranky. First is the matter of the former president's widely reported habit of replaying a ball whenever he makes a bad shot. This is called "taking a mulligan," which is generally frowned upon, and Bill is known to take excessive mulligans. As the Los Angeles Times reported: "Some people got a little stiff in the neck about that. They would say, 'Is he a golf guy?'" More upsetting, though was the prospect of presidential security swarming the course and disrupting play. One Westchester club member told the Times, "If they had security dogs sniffing in the ball washers, it would not be a particularly pleasant experience." Hmmm. What do they keep in those ball washers? This is Jim Hightower saying ... Whatever, they're not letting Bill in. Winged Foot, Mount Kisco, and Whipporwill (cq) are some of the clubs that took a whiff of the former president, turned up their collective noses and slammed the door on him. Maybe Westchester has a municipal course — they accept everyone.
Jim Hightower's latest book, If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates, has just been released in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. E-mail