- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Bush on film
George W. Bush speaks "very personally" about his life and values in an intimate film that will be shown just before he accepts his party's nomination for president tomorrow.
"We wanted to try to capture a sense of the person that we've gotten to know," said Stuart Stevens, the Bush media adviser who directed the 91/2-minute film.
Mr. Bush speaks to the camera and is captured interacting with others at his ranch in Crawford, Texas; in Kennebunkport, Maine, where his parents have a summer home; and in Austin, Texas, where he resides as Texas governor.
Mr. Bush's wife, Laura, is featured in the film. Their twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, appear but do not speak to the camera.
Mr. Stevens compared his work to the much-praised video about President Clinton that was shown at the 1992 Democratic convention.
Republican convention delegates are sure to love the Bush film, but it is unclear if the TV networks will air it. ABC President David Westin said the network has never before aired such a video, calling them infomercials.

Longing for the past
Kansas delegate Pete McGill just isn't having that much fun.
He misses the fighting from long-past conventions, when delegates arrive not knowing who their party's presidential nominee would be.
He has attended nine Republican conventions, starting in 1952. He's been a delegate four times before: 1964 in San Francisco, 1980 in Detroit, 1984 in Dallas, and 1992 in Houston.
He doesn't think much of the Philadelphia convention. "All this is, is everybody going around and patting each other on the back and trying to generate enthusiasm," Mr. McGill said. "All the decisions have been made by a handful of people."
Mr. McGill, 74, is a former Kansas House speaker who founded a Topeka lobbying firm.

Fiscal conservative
Many of the Illinois delegates today slipped away from the convention to visit the casinos of Atlantic City, but state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka was not among them.
"You will never, never, never see me in a casino," said the woman in charge of investing Illinois' tax money.
Then she softened that a bit. She once attended a national meeting of treasurers that was held in Nevada. The only way into the meeting was through a casino, she said.
"I just kept walking straight ahead and tried not to look at the slot machines to the left and right," she said. "The last thing I wanted was for a constituent to see me. … I'm not the gambling type anyway. I'm too cheap."

Strange on a train
New Mexico Sen. Pete V. Domenici is very familiar with campaign trips, but this one was unusual for him.
Accustomed to traveling to fund raisers and other party functions via more modern modes of transportation, the senator hitched a ride with the rest of the state's delegation today on the historic West Chester Railroad.
With a plate of eggs and muffins alongside a glass of orange juice in front of him, Mr. Domenici remarked how the old train, adorned with miniature American flags, and carrying a crew decked in old-style locomotive uniforms, differed from traveling by air.
"Compared to these days, when everybody campaigns by airplane, it makes you yearn for the past," Mr. Domenici said over swing music playing in the background to go along with the 1930s-era theme. "Flags and whistles. You can hardly find trains available like this anymore."
The breakfast buffet was thrown by the Credit Union National Association, said spokesman Richard Gose. The organization, in town for the convention, was honoring Mr. Domenici for his legislative support of credit union issues, he said.
"He has given the credit unions access to the legislative process," Mr. Gose said. "He has supported us for a long time and we appreciate his efforts."
The coaches, built in the early 1930s, are rented out to groups for parties and other occasions. It was originally used as a commuter train, but the remodeled version, plastered with signs reading "Bush for President," looks like it rode straight out of an old movie.

You call this a protest?
The scenes look familiar to Seattle visitors: black-clad anarchists slashing police car tires, demonstrators linking arms to stop city traffic, graffiti sprayed on city walls.
But that's where the resemblance ends between protests at the convention this week and much larger anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle last year.
Delegates at this convention did not even notice the protests unless they watched TV, unlike WTO delegates who were blocked from entering the conference.
And unlike Seattle, where police were overwhelmed and some 50,000 protesters took over the city center, Philadelphia police firmly and quickly controlled the demonstrations, making 350 arrests yesterday. Protests today were peaceful and non-disruptive.
"It hasn't interfered with getting anywhere," said Seattle GOP delegate Veda Jellen. "I think the Philadelphia police and city fathers were ready. I don't think the people in Seattle were prepared at all. Philadelphia had the Seattle experience to use as a guide."
Delegates say they feel safe walking around Philadelphia, and noticed the large police presence as soon as they arrived.
"There's been about three to every street corner," Miss Jellen said.

One hand clapping
George W. Bush accepted his party's presidential nomination this afternoon, but only a few people applauded.
The Texas governor, who arrived in Philadelphia today, took a dry run at the podium inside the First Union Center about 5 p.m., hours before delegates began showing up for the tonight's events.
With only a few dozen people milling about, Mr. Bush, scheduled to officially accept the nomination tonight, strode to the podium.
"My fellow Americans," he said, his voice booming in the empty hall. "I accept your nomination!"
After mild applause, the governor recognized someone on the floor and followed his acceptance with this cryptic line: "Will Becky Beach please behave herself!"

Chilling out
Security on the buses that take delegates to the First Union Center has relaxed a bit since the start of the convention.
On the first two days, police walked the entire bus aisles, looking at every person on the buses and asked to see delegates' passes. Today they barely glanced at the backs of the buses.
One officer, coming on board, joked, "Just looking for rocket launchers and hand grenades."
Observed one delegate: "They never would have said that at the beginning of the week."
One reason could be that the police now have a good handle on the number and capabilities of the protesters, and aren't as worried about what mayhem might they might do.

Big givers
Bill and Ellie Vernon contribute to the Republican Party with hard work and shoe leather.
So it was a treat today when the Lansing, Mich., couple attended a $1,000-a-plate convention gala featuring George W. Bush, the GOP presidential candidate, and running mate Dick Cheney.
All 116 Michigan delegates and alternates — and numerous guests — were given the chance to dine with more than 3,000 major GOP donors at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Michigan was the only state whose entire convention delegation had the opportunity to attend.
The Michiganders' tickets were paid for by investors Ron and Eileen Weiser of Ann Arbor, Mich. The couple contributed $200,000 to the Republican National Committee so 200 Michigan activists could see Bush and Cheney at the ticket's first joint convention event.
The luncheon raised $10 million for the committee.
"We wanted to make sure the people who are the grassroots, who keep the system strong, could attend," said Eileen Weiser, a Republican on the State Board of Education.
Ron Weiser is finance chairman of Mr. Bush's Michigan campaign and a member of the Pioneers, a group of donors who raised at least $100,000 for Mr. Bush. The couple contributed the money through McKinley Associates Inc., an Ann Arbor-based real estate investment company they own.

What to do?
The nomination long settled, the GOP platform handed down from on high, ideological bickering discouraged. It doesn't leave a delegate much to do.
Sure, there's eating, drinking and wearing floppy elephant ears.
But with major party conventions just for show these days, delegates say they mostly come to rub elbows with political stars and get pumped up for the fall fight.
"It's very much a pep rally, a way for people to rejuvenate," said Gov. Jim Geringer, leader of the Wyoming delegation. "There is a powerful lot of networking."
First-time delegate Mike Barry was thrilled to meet Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Rep. Jim Rogan of California while reception-hopping, and to bump into Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein while stopping for an omelet at 1:30 a.m.
"If you're a political junkie, it doesn't get much better than this," Barry said today. He clearly qualifies: The Wall Street PR man considers C-SPAN "appointment TV" and plans to study the 99-page party platform when he gets home to New Hyde Park, N.Y.
The most serious-minded hang out at policy briefings and try to nudge the party on their pet issues. D.C. delegates passed out cards seeking the right to elect voting representatives to Congress, just like a state. Some Texas conservatives protested by bowing heads in prayer during a speech by a homosexual congressman, Jim Kolbe of Arizona.

Motivated delegate
Republican convention delegate Dawn Smith of Zapata, Texas, says she has good reason to vote for Gov. George W. Bush for president.
"I am still the county [GOP] chairman until I get George Bush to be President Bush. Then I'm going back to fishing and retirement," Miss Smith said today.
Miss Smith abandoned her rod and reel to be the South Texas county's GOP leader when the previous chairman moved out of state.
A Bush presidency would be something of a delayed coup for Miss Smith. She was a candidate for county clerk in what was then the liberal Democratic enclave of Travis County.
"There were nine candidates on the ballot, that was all," said Miss Smith. At the top of the 1970 Republican ticket was none other than former President George Bush, making a run for the U.S. Senate.
"And we both lost," she said.

Compare and contrast
Dick Cheney "will draw some contrasts" with Vice president Al Gore in his speech tonight at the Convention, his first major appearance as George W. Bush's running mate, a campaign spokesman said.
The latest draft of his address suggests that the Clinton-Gore administration is partisan and focuses "on how the governor has a bipartisan approach in Texas," said spokesman Dan Bartlett.
At a Republican National Committee fund-raiser where Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney appeared together, Mr. Bush said, "I'm so honored to have him by my side."Compare and contrast
Dick Cheney "will draw some contrasts" with Vice president Al Gore in his speech tonight at the Convention, his first major appearance as George W. Bush's running mate, a campaign spokesman said.
The latest draft of his address suggests that the Clinton-Gore administration is partisan and focuses "on how the governor has a bipartisan approach in Texas," said spokesman Dan Bartlett.
At a Republican National Committee fund-raiser where Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney appeared together, Mr. Bush said, "I'm so honored to have him by my side."

Bipartisan endorsement
Shortly before he was elected governor, George W. Bush paid a courtesy call on Texas' most powerful — and ornery — politician, Democratic Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock.
As they sat around the kitchen table for three or four hours, swapping stories and ideas, the untested candidate and the 40-year political veteran began forging a remarkable, bipartisan friendship.
It was a bond so strong that, after Mr. Bullock's death, his widow feels compelled to step into her husband's place and carry his message about Mr. Bush to the convention tomorrow.
"If my husband was still alive, I feel quite certain he would be here addressing this crowd," Jan Bullock said on her way into the hall to watch last night's speeches. "I've sort of felt him in the last couple of weeks, guiding me."
Mr. Bullock died just over a year ago, at age 69, after battling lung and heart disease for years. He had left the lieutenant governor's job in January 1999 after eight years in office. At his funeral, Mr. Bush remembered him as a man who "embodied the Texas of our myths and of our hearts."
And a few weeks ago, Mr. Bush asked Mrs. Bullock to speak in a place of honor, a little over an hour before he accepts the GOP presidential nomination. Her appearance will help Mr. Bush showcase his theme of being above partisan politics.
Mrs. Bullock, who owns an Austin dress shop, has served on state boards and traveled with Texas first lady Laura Bush. Her speaking experience is limited to local groups. She plans to tell the national TV audience about a friendship that "surprised a lot of people."
"My husband was very picky, and a perfectionist. He wasn't impressed by anybody or anything," she said. "He could always see through people — he called them counterfeits — five miles away."
But he felt Mr. Bush was genuine, "his heart in the right place." And he would note admiringly that the governor "worked like a dog," Mrs. Bullock said.

Reaching out
Eight years ago, Shinae Chun scanned the Illinois delegation at the Republican National Convention and saw only one other Asian-American. She felt unwelcome, an outsider despite years of work for the party.
At this year's GOP gathering, she finds five other Asian-Americans in the Illinois crowd and said she feels a new attitude within the party. Minorities are being welcomed as part of George W. Bush's strategy of inclusion, and Miss Chun wants to seize the opportunity to change the party permanently.
"When they reach out, we have to grab that hand and show support," she said as she traveled to a reception with Sen. Peter Fitzgerald and scores of other influential Illinois Republicans.
Other minorities in the Illinois delegation offered a similar assessment, but warned of possible barriers toward diversifying the party.
One is the stigma of the word "Republican" among some minority groups. The party, whose right wing has opposed affirmative action, advocated making English the official language and fought to limit immigration, is seen as hostile to minorities.
"Being Hispanic and Republican in Chicago — it's like a sin," said Rene Noriega, an alternate delegate and chairman of the Republican Cook County Hispanic Assembly.
The answer, delegates say, is to show minority voters where their interests match Republican philosophy.
Miss Chun, former director of the state Department of Labor, said Asian-American business owners stand to benefit from the GOP's support for low taxes and less government regulation.
Norris Washington, who works for Gov. George Ryan's Transportation Department, said blacks should applaud Republican interest in cracking down on crime, helping people leave welfare and promoting job opportunities.

Racial divide?
At a GOP Convention aimed at portraying the party as an inclusive one, the nearly all-white Indiana delegation clashes with that image and the state's demographics.
Minorities hold none of the 55 voting delegate seats, although blacks and Hispanics make up about a tenth of Indiana's population. Four blacks and a Hispanic are among the 55 alternates.
"That's a tragedy," said Calvin Hawkins, a black alternate from Gary.
The state party should have tried harder to include members of minority groups in the delegation, he said. Such an effort is necessary to encourage more blacks to get involved in the Republican Party, he said.
"You can't expect people to just come walking in," Mr. Hawkins said. "You've got to go out and say, 'You're welcome here; come on in.'"
Mr. Hawkins, a lawyer and delegate to the 1996 national convention, said the racial mix of delegates should at least match the general population of Indiana.
But Claudia Cummings and Tony Samuel, black alternates from Indianapolis, said a quota is unnecessary and expressed satisfaction with the delegates selected.
Miss Cummings, an official in the Marion County clerk's office, said delegates' slots are properly given based on activism and length of service in the party.
"There are so many folks who are so deserving, you wouldn't want to appoint someone just for tokenism," Miss Cummings said.
Mr. Samuel, campaign manager for state Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed, said race should never be a factor in choosing delegates.

Read our lips: tax cuts
Vermont Republicans, taking a cue from their presidential nominee, plan to make tax cuts a campaign issue this year.
Gathered at the convention this week, a number of GOP legislative candidates have been honing their message about taxes and spending.
A record $90 million state surplus, they say, should have been returned to taxpayers this year and will be if they're elected. The size of the excess revenue was not revealed until well after legislators went home for the year.
When the Legislature adjourned, the surplus estimate was $50 million. It was boosted in early June, and some GOP lawmakers wonder whether the administration deliberately withheld the news.
"Revenue estimates, it would seem to me, had to be held low so it would preclude a tax cut," said Rep. Richard Westman of Cambridge, vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
The size of the surplus and debate about a tax cut has occupied members of the Vermont delegation since their arrival in Philadelphia over the weekend.
George W. Bush has made a federal tax cut one of his major policy proposals.
The Vermont delegates largely agree with Mr. Bush's plan, which calls for reducing the top two tax rates — 28 percent and 31 percent — to 25 percent. The rate for lower income earners would go from 15 percent to 10 percent under the Bush plan.McCain support
Connecticut supporters of John McCain say, just like the Arizona senator, they are ready to devote their loyalty to George W. Bush.
"This party is opening its arms widely for all the people who supported McCain," state GOP chairman Chris DePino said Wednesday. "And we're glad they are joining us."
In his speech at the Convention last night, Mr. McCain urged Americans to vote for Mr. Bush and called his campaign against the Texas governor "good for our party."

Alaskan questions
While many convention delegates use breakfast gatherings to socialize, Alaskans are taking advantage of rare opportunities to quiz their members of Congress.
Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young spent nearly an hour today briefing delegates on issues ranging from oil drilling on the Alaskan frontier to telecommunications links for rural areas.
"We probably get to some of these cities once a year," Mr. Stevens said during the question-and-answer session, which also touched on expanding gas exploration and coal mining.
The cross-continent flight between Alaska and Washington can take up to 12 hours, limiting the number of commutes back home for Mr. Stevens, Mr. Young and Sen. Frank H. Murkowski. So the Alaska delegates saw today's breakfast as a chance to gather information.
"It was extemporaneous," said Glen Clary, assistant to the Rev. Jerry Prevo, the delegation chairman.
"But this was a great opportunity for people in the grassroots movement from Alaska to sit here and ask questions," Mr. Clary said. "It's just a blessing to have this time with them."
Though one of the smallest delegations in Congress, Alaska's lawmakers have an unusual amount of power.
Mr. Stevens is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mr. Young heads the House Resources Committee, and Mr. Murkowski chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
During the exchange, Mr. Young told delegates they had George W. Bush's support for their top priority, opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Oops!
New Hampshire delegates to the Republican National Convention cast all 17 of their votes for George W. Bush, but some of them missed the big moment. They had the wrong day.
"We would have liked to have been there for the vote, but we thought it was [Wednesday] night," state party Chairman Steve Duprey said late last night after the vote.
Convention planners this year spread the roll call over several nights rather than doing the whole vote on one night as is traditional. Last night's roll call started with Kansas and concluded with North Carolina.
Mr. Duprey and the others were at a restaurant when the roll was called. The group arrived at the convention later, in time for Arizona Sen. John McCain's speech.

The soul of brevity
Montana Gov. Marc Racicot was uncharacteristically brief in casting the state's 23 votes for presidential candidate George W. Bush.
Mr. Racicot, who acknowledges his tendency to be long-winded when speaking at formal occasions, broke with the practice of other state delegation chairmen with a 41-word statement from the floor of the convention hall last night.
"Madam chairman," he said, "the great state of Montana, the land of the big sky, the last best place on the planet, very proudly and very humbly casts its 23 votes for the next president of the United States, Gov. George W. Bush."
That was it.
While other delegation leaders took minutes to recite long lists of their states' attributes, political heroes and even sports superstars, Mr. Racicot's moment in the national limelight was just 22 seconds.
Rep. Karl Ohs of Harrison, a delegate and candidate for lieutenant governor, made the most of those seconds by standing behind the governor and squarely in the frame of the network TV cameras.

McCain power
Many delegates last night barely paid attention to speakers like Elizabeth Dole and were moved, but not energized, by her husband's speech. But they couldn't stay in their seats for Sen. John McCain's speech at the convention.
Several delegates stood for the entire speech — "He's my man," said one of them, a woman from Rhode Island. Others had McCain posters, and one even wore a McCain 2004 button — not a very promising point for party unity.
Gene Kreyche from California, a paratrooper in World War II, stood in an aisle while his daughter took snapshots of him with Mr. McCain, 200 feet away, framed over his shoulder. She confided to bystanders it was "the crowning moment of his life."
When Mr. McCain called George W. Bush his friend, the crowd thundered, with one Maryland delegate crowing, "I want to see Bill Bradley do that!" — a reference to the primary thorn-in-the-side of presumptive Democratic nominee Al Gore.
Still, delegates were mixed as to whether Mr. McCain succeeded in his speech in persuading independents who had voted for him to now vote for Mr. Bush.
"I think it might have been stronger," said Mr. Kreyche, who supported Mr. McCain in the primaries.
But Don Murphy, a member of the Maryland House and part of the state's convention delegation, said Republicans who may have been "lite-Bush," like himself, can't help but heavily back him after Mr. McCain's endorsement.

Check please
There's been a lot of talk about campaign contributions floating around at the Republican National Convention. At least one was just lying on the ground waiting to be picked up.
Two reporters for the Philadelphia Inquirer happened upon a $5,000 check for New York Rep. John McHugh's re-election campaign that was sticking out from under a motorized cart outside the convention center.
The check was from Advo Inc., a direct-mail company based in Windsor, Conn., which gives regularly to Mr. McHugh. The congressman chairs the House Government Reform subcommittee on the U.S. Postal Service.
Mr. McHugh told the newspaper he had met yesterday with Advo representatives in a hotel bar, but they couldn't find the check they had meant to give him.
"They said they just couldn't find it," Mr. McHugh said. "I don't think they knew where it was."
The Inquirer returned the check.

Regular Joe
Republican leaders have spent much of the time at their convention proclaiming that this is a new GOP. When U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough is around, it's tough to argue otherwise.
While his august colleagues in Congress wear coats and ties, the 37-year-old from Pensacola, Fla., sometimes goes to work in a T-shirt. He writes satire for fun. And he's a rock singer.
To prove this isn't your father's GOP — or George W. Bush' father's — the "gentleman from Florida" will take to the convention stage Wednesday night with his guitar and sing with his band, Regular Joe.
"The Hollywood-type people producing it said, 'You got to be kidding,'" Mr. Scarborough said, adding that he could imagine what type of square they probably were envisioning.
"Then they listened to my CD and thought it was cool," he said.
Nonetheless, Mr. Scarborough had to write a special song to perform on the convention stage for the delegates and the prime-time TV audience.
"None of my songs really would have fit a Republican convention," said the three-term Congressman. "They're a long way from Lee Greenwood," he said, referring to the country singer who performs the anthem often heard at GOP functions, "I'm Proud to be an American."
The music he usually writes has "a little bit of an alternative edge to it," Mr. Scarborough said. He's been playing guitar since he was 14. He's played GOP fund-raisers, and recorded a CD a few years ago with some friends who became the band.
"Nobody calls me Congressman Scarborough in my district. It's Congressman Joe or Regular Joe," he said today, while strumming his slightly beat-up acoustic guitar in his hotel room, in one last warm-up for his national TV debut.
The song he and Regular Joe will perform for the delegates and a couple million TV viewers tonight "is sort of a John Cougar Mellancamp-Bruce Springsteen thing."

Young, black and Republican
The cameras last night were focused on Alabama's nearly all-white convention delegation as a black native daughter talked about advancements in civil rights.
Alabamans still live with images of police beating protesters and other violence from the civil rights movement of the 1960s. But in numerous policy speeches, Condoleeza Rice, a leading foreign policy adviser to George W. Bush, takes time to relate a more positive — albeit partisan — story about how Alabama embraced her.
And yesterday, as one of the prime-time podium speakers at the convention, her audience was the largest yet.
Mrs. Rice told of how her father was denied to vote as a Democrat in 1952 because of Jim Crow laws. But the Republicans let him in, and since an early age, she has been part of the GOP.
"I want you to know that my father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I," Mrs. Rice said.

Voice of dissent
The morning after Jerry Oliver stood alone, his fellow Minnesota delegates let him know they still are behind him.
Mr. Oliver, a dentist from Pelican Rapids, cast the lone Minnesota ballot yesterday for someone other than George W. Bush. He is one of a handful of delegates to the convention backing conservative commentator Alan Keyes.
"We respected what he did," said Judie Rosendahl, a Madison, Minn., delegate. "He was caught between a rock and a hard place."
Mr. Rosendahl was among several people who pulled Mr. Oliver aside today at a delegation breakfast to commend him for delivering on the pledge he made to the Keyes supporters who sent him to Philadelphia.
All week, Minnesota GOP leaders held out hope that all 34 delegates would go to Mr. Bush. Some delegates noticed a lobbying effort by party leaders to get Mr. Oliver to switch.
"I'm surprised both arms are intact," said Neil Breitbarth, a delegate from Fairmont.
Mr. Oliver plans to vote for Mr. Bush in November, but said he doesn't regret his decision to go for Mr. Keyes at the convention.
"There are times you have to stand for what's right even though it may not be popular," Mr. Oliver said.

From staff and wire service dispatches


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