- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2000

The coming campaign

"One senses that we will learn a great deal about the shape of the coming campaign from what we see at the Democratic convention, and what tone is established," writes Peggy Noonan, who made her reputation as a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and George Bush the elder.
"The Al Gore we will see will be the final Al Gore, because he can only remake himself so many times, and if he adopts any more personas, by the fall he's going to look not supple but like Sybil, the famous schizophrenic," Mrs. Noonan said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
"Will the campaign be rough-and-tough vs. slyly large-spirited? We'll find out next week, but here's a hunch: When people who are by nature angry and tough go into a bad patch and start to fear they'll lose everything, it doesn't make them nicer."

New York up for grabs

"State Democrats are reeling from the success of last week's Republican National Convention and now privately concede George W. Bush could win New York," the New York Post's Fredric U. Dicker writes.
"A top Democratic insider told the Post [Sunday] that a just-completed private poll shows the Texas governor 'within striking range' of Vice President Al Gore in New York, an overwhelmingly Democratic state."
The insider, described by Mr. Dicker as a strategist prominent in Democratic circles, said: "It's really unbelievable that Bush is doing so well. As much as I hate to admit it, Bush has a real chance of winning New York."
The Democrat added: "The bottom line is that Republicans hit a home run in Philadelphia and, as a result, Bush has gotten an enormous bump."
Another prominent Democrat, who works on Mr. Gore's New York campaign, said: "Our people are really feeling down. The Republican show in Philadelphia really sucked the air out of everyone."

Daley at the helm

"Top Gore supporters, including congressional leaders and officials with major constituent groups, say that they have noticed a distinct change" since William M. Daley replaced the ailing Tony Coelho as chairman of Al Gore's presidential campaign, the New York Times reports.
"The latest change in the campaign's leadership, its second in barely a year, could have been deeply destabilizing. But as Mr. Gore moves into two critical weeks in which he will select a running mate and accept his party's nomination in Los Angeles, his aides and leading supporters say they feel more optimism than at any point since the vice president swept the primaries," reporter Kevin Sack writes.
Someone identified only as a top Gore aide told the reporter: "Morale is shockingly high for a campaign that's 10 points behind."

Check's in the mail

George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney will receive $67.56 million in public funds for the general election, the Federal Election Commission announced yesterday.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney requested the money after receiving their party's nomination at the convention last week, the Associated Press reports.
Under election law, major-party nominees are entitled to federal funding for the general election if they agree to national spending limits. They may spend no more than the public funding plus a combined total of $50,000 from their personal funds.
The candidates also may raise money from supporters for legal and accounting expenses, subject to FEC rules.
The Democratic ticket of Al Gore and Joseph I. Lieberman will be eligible for the federal money after the party's convention in Los Angeles next week.

Casey's sons invited

Vice President Al Gore has invited two sons of the late Robert Casey to introduce a video tribute to the pro-life Pennsylvania governor at next week's Democratic National Convention.

Campaign aides told the Associated Press yesterday that Robert Casey Jr., who is up for re-election as Pennsylvania auditor general, and Pat Casey will speak to the Aug. 14-17 convention on a yet-to-be determined date.

Mr. Casey was governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995. He died May 31.

He was one of the Democratic Party's few opponents of abortion and thus was not allowed to speak at the 1992 Democratic convention that nominated Bill Clinton and Mr. Gore.

Gore campaign spokesman Doug Hattaway said the Casey family speeches and tribute to the governor are meant to send a message of inclusion.

Praise for Lieberman

Al Gore's selection of Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as his vice-presidential running mate drew immediate praise yesterday in some unlikely quarters.
Tom Jipping, of the conservative Free Congress Foundation Center for Law & Democracy, put out a statement lauding Mr. Lieberman for his stand against violence in youth entertainment.
"Sen. Lieberman is publicly concerned about the cultural influences that impact young people's values, attitudes and behavior, and he has the courage to admit what the evidence proves," Mr. Jipping said in a prepared statement.
"He opposes the destructive virus of violence in our young people's diet of entertainment, and he has actively used his Senate seat to bring attention to this epidemic. I hope he will continue to focus on these cultural issues in his new role as vice presidential candidate."
Mr. Lieberman has endorsed Mr. Jipping's report titled "There is a Virus Loose Within Our Culture: An Honest Look at Music's Impact," first released in July 1999. Tipper Gore, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney declined to endorse the report, Mr. Jipping said.
Meanwhile, Michael Tanner, director of the Cato Institute's Project on Social Security Privatization, hailed Mr. Lieberman's stance on personal retirement accounts.
Mr. Lieberman declared in 1998 that "individual control of part of the retirement/Social Security funds has to happen."
Said Mr. Tanner: "It will be more difficult for Gore to denounce Social Security privatization as a 'risky scheme' when his own running mate supports the idea."

Happy conservatives

"To our friends on the other side of the divide still trying to place that giant sucking sound they heard the other evening, here's a hint. It was George W.'s compassionate conservatism, sucking away decades-old liberal presumptions of moral superiority," the Wall Street Journal says in an editorial.
The newspaper added: "Though the talk shows are filled with furrowed brows telling us conservatives have had to grit their teeth and bite their tongues over Mr. Bush, the conservatives we see are cheering. In sharp contrast, it is the liberals who appear so discombobulated by the specter of their moral monopoly slipping away.
"Should Mr. Bush succeed in the vision he has outlined, he will not only have restored dignity and honor to the Oval Office. He will have left his own, happy mark on American conservatism."

'Very telling'

NBC is repeating the first five episodes of "The West Wing" this week, starting last night with the premiere, in which actor Martin Sheen, as the president, tells leaders of the religious right, who are called anti-Semitic, to get their "fat [expletive] out of my White House."
"Very telling that NBC decided to run 'West Wing' five times in the week leading up to the Democratic convention," said Brent Baker of the Media Research Center.

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