- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Sharpton drops by
The Rev. Al Sharpton, an unlikely guest at this gathering of Republicans, criticized the convention proceedings as staged pageantry rather than political substance.
Mobbed as he made his way through one of the tents housing the media, the activist said today he was unimpressed by the parade of members of minorities appearing on stage at the convention.
"Choreographed speeches do not mean inclusion," Mr. Sharpton said. "Republicans cannot just stack a stage Broadway-style. You can talk inclusion but your policies speak for themselves. We've heard a lot of talk here. We have not heard any policy change that would appeal to anyone in the African-American community."
Mr. Sharpton, who has been outspoken on issues of race, attended a church rally in Philadelphia last month to condemn the city police for the videotaped beating of a black carjacking suspect.
He has filed a $30 million libel suit against the Republican National Committee and its chairman, Jim Nicholson, accusing the GOP of blaming him for riots and protests that led to deaths in Crown Heights in 1991 and Harlem in 1995.
Many in the Republican Party view Mr. Sharpton as a polarizing figure and link him to Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Arizona Sen. John McCain, during his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, called Mr. Sharpton and several others "agents of intolerance." Mr. Nicholson called him a hatemonger, an anti-Semite and a racist.
Despite the hostility, Mr. Sharpton accepted the invitation of black conservative commentator Armstrong Williams to visit the GOP convention. Mr. Williams, in return, agreed to accompany Mr. Sharpton to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles later this month.
"If [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat is at the White House, certainly Al Sharpton can be at the Republican convention," Mr. Williams said, adding that he hopes to broker a resolution of the lawsuit.

Allen comes to town
Former Virginia Gov. George F. Allen arrived today at the convention fresh from campaigning in Prince William County in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Charles S. Robb.
Mr. Allen had high praise for Laura Bush's speech last night, which he caught the end of. "I got my main report from [Mr. Allen's wife] Susan — she said she did very well," Mr. Allen said.
Mr. Allen said his wife and Mrs. Bush became good friends when both were their states' first ladies. "I can imagine her as being first lady," he said of Mrs. Bush.
He called retired Gen. Colin Powell's speech "very powerful," though he said he missed Mr. Powell's comments on affirmative action.
Ever-frugal, Mr. Allen isn't staying at a hotel the two nights he's in town. Instead he's staying at the home of his press secretary's parents, who live in the area.
"I'm staying at the 'Murtaugh Hotel.' The prices are right," he said.
Meanwhile, members of the Virginia delegation held a seat for Mr. Allen on the convention center floor with a marker that read: "Senator George Allen."

IRS probe sought
The Internal Revenue Service should investigate the tax-exempt status of a Philadelphia church whose pastor is vocally endorsing George W. Bush for president, a church watchdog group says.
The Rev. Herbert Lusk, pastor at Greater Exodus Baptist Church, appeared via video feed from inside the church last night at the convention to speak glowingly of the Texas governor.
"We are supporting Governor Bush, and we are supporting him because we know that he understands that we must give faith a chance," Mr. Lusk said, according to transcripts of the speech.
Churches and other nonprofit groups that are exempt from federal taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code cannot endorse or oppose candidates for public office. They risk losing that status if they do so.
Americans for Separation of Church and State, a watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., said in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti that the comments may warrant an investigation.
"It appears that Reverend Lusk has violated federal tax law by announcing that we, meaning his church, are supporting candidate Bush," said Barry Lynn, executive director of the group.
Mr. Lusk did not immediately return a telephone call today to his church. IRS officials declined comment on the letter, but the agency recently warned nonprofit groups to be careful in getting into politics.

Senate guy
Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist may become George W. Bush's man in the Senate.
Mr. Frist talked to the Bush campaign today about becoming the Texas governor's liaison to the Senate, Mr. Frist's office confirmed. Mr. Bush's previous liaison, Georgia Sen. Paul Coverdell, died July 18 of a stroke.
"Senator Frist has not been asked to take that position. They've had conversations about it," Frist spokeswoman Margaret Camp said.
A telephone message seeking comment from the Bush campaign was not immediately returned.
Mr. Frist's stature with the national Republican Party has been highlighted during convention week. He was a co-chairman of the committee that wrote the party platform and played a key role in retaining Mr. Bush's education initiatives.
He also was on Mr. Bush's list of vice presidential possibilities.

Who would have thought it?
Dick Cheney says he never expected to find himself as a vice-presidential candidate. In fact, he always thought he would be speaker of the House.
"I served 10 years in the House. I aspired to be speaker," he told a convention crowd at a lunch honoring Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois. "I never made it — there was a little problem in terms of numbers in the House of Representatives."
Democrats controlled the House throughout the 1970s and '80s, when Mr. Cheney served as congressman from Wyoming. He left the House to serve as defense secretary under President George Bush six years before Republicans gained control of the House.
In contrast, the current speaker said he had no aspirations to match Mr. Cheney's.
"It's a great honor to be the speaker of the House," Mr. Hastert said. "It's something that I never dreamed would happen."
Back when he was teaching high school in Illinois, "I just thought it was a job someone else did," Mr. Hastert said.

Busing policy
Nevada's delegation leaders at the convention say they need new wheels to get around town.
They are trying to hire some private limousines and buses to ferry them from their downtown hotel to various parties after GOP-arranged buses stood them up last night.
"It was a fiasco," said Ryan Erwin, executive director of the Nevada Republican Party.
Mr. Erwin apologized to his delegates at a breakfast meeting today and assured them efforts were under way to find alternative transportation.
"The Utah delegation had the same hour-wait for a GOP Express bus that never came. They pulled a guy driving a bus over and offered him $100 or $200,'" he said. "We're talking to … some bus lines to see if we can arrange some pickups."

Will he or won't he?
Steve Goldsmith, a George W. Bush advisor and former Indianapolis mayor, rode the political fence today when asked whether he thinks Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh might become Vice President Al Gore's running mate.
Mr. Goldsmith, during an Indiana delegation luncheon at the convention, said he does not dismiss that possibility even though some news reports call it a long shot.
"Over the last two weeks, I've been asked a lot about Evan Bayh and what he accomplished as governor of Indiana," Mr. Goldsmith said. "The national press thinks he has a shot or they wouldn't be doing so much background on him."
Attending the luncheon were individuals described as "major donors" by state Republican Party Chairman Mike McDaniel. They each have contributed more than $1,200 to the state GOP, he said.
The meal at a colonial-style restaurant was paid for by the Indiana Electric Association and Ameritech, Indiana's largest provider of telephone service. Indianapolis delegate Ed Simcox is the association's manager.
Mr. Goldsmith, domestic policy adviser for the Bush campaign, was defeated four years ago in his gubernatorial race with Democrat Frank O'Bannon.
Mr. Goldsmith joked that, given his fate in 1996, his role in the campaign properly does not include giving Mr. Bush political advice.
Mr. Gore is scheduled to announce his vice presidential choice Tuesday. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, Florida Sen. Bob Graham and former Senate leader George Mitchell are said to be in the running.

Cheers R Us
Maryland saved the day for Wyoming and the Republicans during the introduction of vice-presidential candidate Richard B. Cheney at the convention last night.
When Mr. Cheney and his wife, Lynne, arrived at the floor the Wyoming section on the floor was empty — just a few folks in the seats.
Knowing the cameras would pan to the Wyoming delegation right after Mr. Cheney was introduced, someone drafted part of Maryland's delegation to sit in those empty seats, said Audrey E. Scott, a member of the Prince George's County Council who has played head cheerleader for her state's delegation.
"He's pointing to us like we're his best friends, and we're waving and pointing back," she said today.
As luck would have it, Republicans couldn't have wished for a better surrogate delegation — Marylanders have been among the most vocal, enthusiastic of any of the delegations.

Riding in style
Dick Cheney has been in monster presidential motorcades before, but it's never been for him until today since he's the toast of the town until Texas Gov. George W. Bush arrives.
Philadelphia police mustered 17 motorcycles and four police cars to escort Mr. Cheney's mid-afternoon motorcade to the First Union Center, where the convention is being held.
One of the motorcycle cops agreed that's presidential-weight for the vice-presidential nominee in waiting. Normally, even Vice President Al Gore would not rate such VIP treatment on an official visit.
"There's nobody else here yet," the officer said.

Mounted police
One of the weirder sights at the convention is the Philadelphia police's bike patrol. Police officers are nearly omnipresent, giving directions, opening doors for out-of-towners and dashing around on bikes.
Anyone who ventures outside downtown will hear a "whoosh" and see two dozen police officers are riding by, looking all like a miniature Tour de France. The blue-shorts-clad, white-helmeted, black-gloved officers zip through city streets much faster than a police cruiser could drive them.
"We haven't eaten since 6 a.m.," one officer told The Washington Times at about 3 p.m. as he rested by the curb near the Philadelphia Convention Center.
"This," he said, motioning toward his bike, "helps us get around much quicker. Pedestrian traffic is very heavy down here."
Does anyone try to steal the two-wheelers? "No," the officer said, showing off a bike lock attached to a handcuff.

Reality check
The watchdog group Media Research Center today is noting how the TV networks portrayed Gen. Colin Powell's rousing speech at the convention last night as a rebuke of the Republican Party.
ABC News anchor Peter Jennings "pushed Powell to denigrate himself, arguing on 'Nightline': 'Most famous black man in America, probably, and they push you into the front position all the time. Do you ever feel that maybe this is the professional wing of the party trying to use you?" the research center notes in its Media Reality Check today.
Its quote of the night: "You said you ended up with a more conservative platform than you originally drafted. How disappointed are you?" — NBC News correspondent Maria Shriver to platform committee Chairman Tommy Thompson, during MSNBC's coverage last night.

A tap from Cindy
Delegate S.G. "Vet" Payne couldn't bring himself to back George W. Bush at the convention.
The Rhode Island retiree, a fervent John McCain supporter, planned to abstain when his state pledged itself to Mr. Bush in the roll call of states.
Then, someone tapped him on his shoulder last night and asked him to step to the back of the convention hall.
There stood Cindy McCain, Mr. McCain's wife, waiting to speak with him.
"I'm saying to myself, 'Oh my God,'" Mr. Payne said. "I guess word got around that I'm the Rhode Island recalcitrant."
She reminded Mr. Payne her husband urged his delegates to support Mr. Bush, then she asked Payne to change his mind.
"I said, 'OK, I am a loyal McCain supporter. Yes, I will at your very specific request change my position,'" he said.
The two hugged and went their separate ways.

GOP bouncer
Blake Hall of Indiana says his job as sergeant-at-arms for the convention is as much about getting people in as keeping them out.
More diplomat than political bouncer, Mr. Hall is in charge of coordinating the "political concerns into the security operations at the convention.
"The sergeant-at-arms manages the exceptions to the security regulations," he said.
For example, if security tries to keep a governor's chief of staff from entering a VIP area, Mr. Hall would be dispatched to help find a solution.
A member of the Republican National Committee off and on for 15 years, Mr. Hall remembers when the late Barry Goldwater, the GOP's 1964 presidential nominee, showed up at the 1988 convention in New Orleans "without a single credential.
"He says, 'I'm going in. I'm Barry Goldwater,'" Mr. Hall said.
"But there were all these volunteers and paid security people saying, 'I don't care if you are George Washington, you are not going in without a credential.'
"Under our arrangements this year, security would immediately call my shop and I would dispatch a political team, not a security team," Mr. Hall said.
"They would go to the location, determine it was Barry Goldwater and escort in Barry Goldwater because he is Barry Goldwater," he said.
"Quite frankly," Mr. Hall said, "if you are Barry Goldwater, you don't need credentials to get in to a Republican convention."

Getting away from it all
How do you take a break from all the political speeches, protesting and parties full of lobbyists, candidates and journalists in Philadelphia?
You get out of Philadelphia.
That's what several Florida delegates did today, saying that all in all, they'd rather be in New York, at least for the day.
With no day session scheduled, many in the delegation took a chartered bus to New York for sightseeing and shopping. They planned to be back in time for the evening session.
"Just a fun side trip, that's it," said Florida Republican Party Executive Director Jamie Wilson as he shepherded delegates toward the buses.
In a delegation with several New York natives, some were going home.
"I've got to go see my aunt," said Rich Ramos, an alternate delegate from Broward County.

Winning New Hampshire
George W. Bush must reach out to independent voters and discuss campaign finance reform, education and taxes if he wants to win New Hampshire, the chairman of the state's delegation at the convention said today.
"Independents are very much interested in issues of change and reform," said Peter Spaulding, who supported Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
That is why Mr. McCain fared so well in New Hampshire and beat Mr. Bush in the state's GOP presidential primary, Mr. Spaulding said. Mr. McCain talked about changing government and independents loved it, he said.
Independents make up 37 percent of the state's registered voters, along with 36 percent who are Republicans and 27 percent who are Democrats, according to figures compiled in November by New Hampshire's secretary of state.
With such a heavy mix of independents, McCain supporters dominate the state's delegation. Ten of New Hampshire's 17 delegates have been supporting Mr. McCain, five Mr. Bush and two Steve Forbes.
But Mr. Spaulding and others say internal differences have been resolved and the focus is now on attracting independent votes.
Underlining that, on this morning, two days after Mr. McCain asked his supporters to back Mr. Bush, the New Hampshire delegation unanimously agreed to give all 17 of their votes to Bush during the convention roll call.

Lucky break
U.S. Senate candidate Duane Sand is getting the plum role of announcing North Dakota's convention nomination vote tomorrow.
Mr. Sand, who is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, had planned to pass up the convention, saying it was too expensive to attend and that he would rather use the time for campaigning.
But Curly Haugland, North Dakota's Republican chairman, said the national Republican senatorial committee pushed to bring Mr. Sand to Philadelphia, and he complied.
Mr. Sand's campaign manager, Judi Roberts, said the candidate was flying in tonight.
Announcing a state's vote at the convention allows a speaker time to plug a state and themselves. Often a state party will use a candidate.
North Dakota has 19 of the convention's 2,066 delegates.
Mr. Sand, 35, who is Naval Academy graduate and former submarine officer, is an underdog against Mr. Conrad. As of June 30, Mr. Conrad had raised $1.77 million for the race, compared to Mr. Sand's $181,782. Mr. Conrad was first elected to the Senate in 1986.

Keyes conundrum
Conservative Alan Keyes built a small but dedicated following in his failed presidential bid, but he has a difficult relationship with Republicans in his home state of Maryland.
For some, hard feelings persist from the Darnestown resident's failed 1992 bid to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate.
"So many of us remember the senatorial campaign where he blew, in my opinion, a really good chance of winning," said Joyce Terhes, party chairman from 1989 through 1998. However, she added, "those of us who have worked with him do admire him very much for his principles and oratory."
Mr. Keyes yesterday apparently refused to release his delegates from Arkansas and received five of the 228 votes cast during the roll call of the states at the Republican National Convention. He won a total of 21 delegates, none from Maryland.
Jim Dexter, Maryland coordinator for the Keyes campaign, concedes there is a rocky relationship with the Maryland Republican Party, as there is between Mr. Keyes and Republicans nationally.
"The GOP is desperately trying to get into the middle of the road to be known as moderates to be elected," Mr. Dexter said. "They don't understand that the way to be elected is to take that more conservative position. I think Bob Dole illustrated that adequately. You couldn't tell what Bob Dole stood for."
Mr. Keyes could not be reached for comment, and Connie Hair, his spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Leaders in the Maryland GOP were impressed by the former Reagan administration official when he made his first Senate bid in 1988 against incumbent Democrat Paul S. Sarbanes. But his second bid opened a rift between Mr. Keyes and some in the party that has not closed.

The Chao buzz
As far as Kentucky's convention delegates are concerned, Elaine Chao would be a great choice to serve in the Cabinet under George W. Bush.
The morning after she addressed the convention, Mrs. Chao was the talk of the state's delegation, with some saying they believed the Texas governor would ask her to serve with him if he is elected president. She would be the first Asian-American woman to serve in a Cabinet post.
Mrs. Chao, who is the wife of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, served as deputy secretary of transportation under President George Bush. She also ran the Peace Corps and the United Way of America.
"I'm hearing the buzz that she would be a good cabinet secretary and she might actually accept it, and it might actually be offered," said Jefferson County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson.
"There is not a more competent person the governor can have, and he's very high on her," said Ellen Williams, chairwoman of Kentucky's Republican Party. "I could see her at Commerce or Transportation."
Mrs. Chao currently is a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington-based think tank. She has been helping Bush raise campaign cash in Kentucky.

Religion and politics
Rabbi Victor Weissberg got into politics to help an Illinois Democrat reach Congress. Now he has taken center stage at the biggest Republican event in the nation.
Mr. Weissberg, rabbi emeritus at Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, Ill., delivered the invocation last night at the convention.
"Gird us with strength, oh Lord, that we may labor to eliminate the debilitating scourges of poverty, of ignorance, of fear and violence and disease from all who are caught in the net of tragic circumstance," he prayed.
Mr. Weissberg seemed mystified at being chosen for the honor. He said he knew nothing about it until getting a call from convention organizers.
Yet Mr. Weissberg is no stranger to politics.
He helped found To Protect Our Heritage, a political action committee that encourages strong relations between Israel and the United States, and Mr. Weissberg says he has many friends in politics.
Jona Cohn has worked with Mr. Weissberg on political activities for years. He said they first got involved to help Richard Durbin, now a U.S. senator, win election to Congress in 1982.
The PAC gives to candidates from both parties and sponsors public forums at election time, said current committee treasurer Alan Molotsky.

Housing tour
U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. of Oklahoma today took some time off as deputy permanent co-chairman of the convention to tour a Habitat for Humanity project with Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Watts and Mr. Santorum toured the Habitat site in the 4900 block of West Philadelphia in conjunction with a new nationwide initiative called the Good Neighbor program, which links corporations and charities to revitalize economically strapped communities.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit group that builds, renovates and provides affordable housing for low-income families.
"Our economy is humming. But pockets of poverty remain," Mr. Watts said in a press release. "Good Neighbor is part of an initiative to make sure no neighborhood is left behind… . The Republican National Convention will be over at the end of the week, but the impact of the Good Neighbor program will be felt for years to come."

Chenoweth-Hage leaves
U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage of Idaho left the convention today to see a doctor in Washington and may have walking pneumonia, an aide said Tuesday.
The congresswoman has been ill for several days with a sore throat and headache and was persuaded by her husband, Wayne Hage, to return to Washington, spokeswoman Elizabeth Schwarzer said.
"She's stubborn and didn't want to go but we want her to go to the doctor," Miss Schwarzer said.
The conservative lawmaker who is retiring at the end of this session was not a formal delegate but had intended to spend the week with the Idaho delegation.

Ohio advice
Enough about Bill Clinton already, pleaded Donna Harter, a convention delegate from New Madison, Ohio.
"People's memories are good enough," she said today. "We've just got to look ahead."
Ohio is considered a hotly contested state in this year's presidential contest. But the Bush-Cheney ticket should win it if the candidates avoid negative politics and don't take a single vote for granted, Ohio delegates said today.
George W. Bush, the presumed GOP presidential candidate, needs to continue showing his prowess as a party uniter, said delegate Jan Antonoplos, 50, a township trustee from Dublin, Ohio.
"Continue the course," she said. "The positive message he's trying to deliver is good. People are tired of negative messages out of Washington."

No loaves and fishes
It takes a lot to feed more than 4,000 convention delegates and the more than 15,000 journalists covering them, say the caterers providing services here this week.
"Our work this week is like choreographing a herd of elephants, so to speak," says Sara McGregor of Capitol Catering, one the primary caterers for convention events. "We're serving gourmet food to hundreds of people all at once in places that don't exactly have connoisseurs's kitchens and expansive dining areas.
"We will be working around the clock. We're moving literally tones of gourmet food, bringing in buses full of wait staff, chefs and assistants, and always to the standards of the finest restaurants in the county," Miss McGregor said in a press release.
Below are some food and drink figures for convention events this week:
3,000 Philly cheese steaks.
3,000 crab cake sandwiches.
100 pounds of beef.
8 gallons of mayonnaise.
120 pounds of domestic cheese.
75 pounds of provolone cheese.
75 pounds of squash.
1,500 pounds of ice.
Capitol Catering is based in Washington, D.C.

Laissez les bon temps roulez
Members of the Louisiana delegation are calling it the best party of the convention — and who can blame them?
With Cajun food, the Neville Brothers and the Washington king and queen of Mardi Gras, the party thrown by Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin of Louisiana will be hard to beat.
"I've had more people ask for that ticket, even the RNC members in Washington," said Pat Brister, chairwoman of Louisiana's Republican State Central Committee.
About 2,500 people are expected to attend the $400,000 party at the Navy Pier tonight.
Mr. Tauzin's spokesman, Ken Johnson, would not say who the sponsors were but said several communications companies are involved.
Mr. Tauzin wanted the rest of the nation to see how Louisiana celebrates Mardi Gras, Mr. Johnson said.
"It's the main event," said alternate delegate Cornel Martin. "Everybody's trying to get into the party. Louisiana, Mardi Gras, parties, everything is synonymous with who we are."
The party, with an all-star lineup featuring the Bayou Boys and the Neville Brothers, will be the best of the convention "if we live up to our reputation," Mr. Martin said. Mr. Tauzin's cousin, Jimmy Gravois, will cook.

The new GOP
Chad Gallagher brought his 21/2-year-old and 14-month-old daughters to the convention so he wouldn't be the youngest in the Arkansas delegation, or so the joke goes.
The De Queen mayor no longer holds the distinction of being the youngest municipal chief executive in the country — a 19-year-old in New York now holds that title.
But the 23-year-old fits nicely with the new face that George W. Bush's presidential campaign and national Republicans are putting on the party this week — fresh, diverse and focused.
"People of my generation are beginning to emerge. We're seeing within the party an opportunity to make good contributions, and we're starting to get involved," Mr. Gallagher said.
"Some of those stereotypes are from folks in the party in days gone by who sometimes made some poor judgments," he said, counting Mr. Bush, retired Gen. Colin Powell, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and himself among a new wave of Republican leaders more moderate and flexible than their predecessors.
"People really are looking for a visionary, for somebody who is willing to demonstrate a level of integrity, respectability and trust. George Bush does that. This is a genuine effort to all of America, to minorities, to say you've got a place under my tent. That's good for America."

Running man
Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, the nation's highest-ranking elected black statewide officeholder, got a standing ovation when he addressed the convention last night and told delegates that some people need a helping hand.
Among those cheering was Gov. Bill Owens, with whom Mr. Rogers has feuded since last summer.
The reception was a welcome change for Mr. Rogers, who now goes back to Colorado to fight for his political life because Mr. Owens allowed a bill to become law without his signature that allows gubernatorial candidates to pick their running mates.
The bill will replace the current system under which candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separate election campaigns, often resulting in forced political marriages.
Mr. Rogers, whose term still has two years remaining, said he knows his career is on the line, but his goal in speaking at the convention was to show that the Republican Party represents more than just the middle and upper classes, not to draw attention to his political predicament.
"The goal of this party is to emphasize that it is the party for America and by that we simply mean that the party must reflect America in all of its diversity," Mr. Rogers said after his speech last night.

Old friends
Looking to put Republicans back in the White House this fall, Dick Cheney huddled briefly today with former President Gerald Ford, the man who first elevated him to the national stage 25 years ago.
"It was like a family reunion," said Dirk Vande Beek, a spokesman for the former Wyoming congressman and George W. Bush's choice to be his vice-presidential running mate this fall. "There was a great warmth in the room."
Just before the meeting, Mr. Ford, now 87, boosted the choice of his former White House chief of staff for the No. 2 spot on the GOP presidential ticket this year, saying it will improve the party's prospects in November.
"I think a good nominee for vice president will make a difference in this election," Mr. Ford said in an interview on C-SPAN. "Cheney will add to to the ticket in the campaign; he will add to the ticket when he's elected vice president."
Mr. Cheney was just 34 when Mr. Ford tapped him in 1975 to become the youngest White House staff chief in history, succeeding Donald Rumsfeld in the job. It was a career-launcher for the young aide.
"Here was the excellent, well-trained, bright young man who could move up to take Rumsfeld's place, and he did a super job," Mr. Ford, now 87, said today. "In my case, because I had so much admiration for Dick Cheney, I gave him duties that others might not have."
Mr. Cheney also is teaming up today with Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois on efforts to maintain GOP control of the House. His appearance at a luncheon for Mr. Hastert "serves to energize our troops," said John McGovern, a spokesman for the speaker.

The last word
"George [W.] Bush doesn't want a negative campaign. But he certainly doesn't want them getting away with anything blatant." — New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman explaining why she's going to Los Angeles to counter Democratic accusations during that party's convention.
From staff and wire service dispatches


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