- The Washington Times - Friday, July 21, 2000

Not in Arkansas

If President Clinton should decide to run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2002, he may want to choose a state other than Arkansas, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports, citing a new poll.
Sen. Tim Hutchinson, a Republican, beats Mr. Clinton 49-41 percent in a head-to-head matchup, according to a survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc.
Mr. Hutchinson told reporter Seth Blomeley he was pleased by the poll results.
"I've always said it was less than 50-50 chance [Mr. Clinton] would do it. But his statements indicate he's at least toyed with the idea. My attitude has always been it would be a race I couldn't pass up."
Of course, Mr. Clinton could always run for office in New York, where his wife is seeking a U.S. Senate this year.
The White House had no comment, the newspaper said.

Minute by minute

Bush campaign spokesman Ari Fleischer took a playful swipe Thursday at the habit of Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat, to keep a minute-by-minute log.
During a news conference to announce a new Bush advertising campaign in Florida and three other states, Mr. Fleischer was asked if the campaign is spending money in Florida because it fears that Vice President Al Gore will choose Mr. Graham as his running mate.
"When I got up at 8 a.m., I considered that question," Mr. Fleischer said. "When I got dressed at 8:05, I considered that question. And I was driving to work at 8:10 when I considered that question."
Mr. Fleischer did allow that "Bob Graham would clearly help Al Gore in Florida."

Ticked off

"Dem veep tea leaves: How ticked off is Gore at House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt for dissing him?" the New York Post's Deborah Orin writes.
"After all, Gephardt has publicly said he'd rather not be veep meaning Gore would have to beg," Miss Orin said.
"Well, Gore just made four stops in Gephardt's home state of Missouri. He effusively praised every other local Dem at his rallies, but never mentioned Gephardt. Asked about Gephardt aboard Air Force Two, Gore ducked the question Ronald Reagan-style by rushing off, saying it was time to land."

Race tightens in Ohio

George W. Bush has lost some ground to Democrat Al Gore in Ohio but still leads the vice president by from 4 to 6 percentage points in the key state, according to a poll released Thursday.
The survey from the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research showed the Texas governor leading Mr. Gore 47 percent to 41 percent in a four-person field including potential Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan and Green Party nominee Ralph Nader.
When voters were asked to choose between only Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore, the outcome was tighter with Mr. Bush ahead 49 percent to 45 percent for the vice president.
The report was based on a statewide random survey of 537 likely voters taken between July 5 and July 13, and had an error margin of plus or minus 4.2 points.

Governor's new home

Janet Huckabee is so excited about the prospect of moving into a mobile home, she just might stay there as long as her husband Mike is governor of Arkansas, Scripps Howard News Service reports.
"It may be difficult to get us to move out," Mrs. Huckabee said at a press conference.
She called the media to the back lawn of the 50-year-old red brick Georgian-style governor's mansion in Little Rock earlier this week to explain plans for relocating her family into a triple-wide mobile home for at least 10 months while workers overhaul the mansion's electrical and plumbing systems.
The relocation could last longer, depending on the success of Mr. Huckabee's drive to raise $8 million and more to add a ballroom and a new family residence wing to the mansion.
Just don't call the temporary digs a trailer.
"This is not a trailer. Trailers are pulled behind a pickup truck," she said. "It is not a mobile home we are not going anywhere. This is manufactured housing."

Bradley to speak

Former Sen. Bill Bradley, Al Gore's former primary foe, will get a prime-time slot at the Democratic National Convention, speaking for 15 to 20 minutes on the convention's second night.
Mr. Gore and Mr. Bradley announced the scheduled speech Thursday, one week after they clasped hands in Wisconsin in their first meeting since their hard-fought primary battle last winter. After months of silence, Mr. Bradley endorsed Mr. Gore, saying, "Winning is a team sport."
The Gore campaign said in a news release that Mr. Bradley would "play a major role" at the convention Aug. 14-17 in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reports.

A courtly bunch

Pat Buchanan and his opponents are both threatening to head to court, with Mr. Buchanan seeking entry into the presidential debates as the Reform Party nominee and his adversaries looking to block him from that nomination.
Longtime party leaders loyal to founder Ross Perot say they may seek a court injunction barring the former Republican from receiving the party's $12.5 million in public campaign funding if he tries certain procedural moves to guarantee his nomination, the Associated Press reports.
But Mr. Buchanan is looking beyond the party's Aug. 10-13 nominating convention in Long Beach, Calif., where the winner of an ongoing primary will be announced. Mr. Buchanan, who said yesterday that he assumes he will win the nomination, plans a federal lawsuit in an effort to force his way into the fall debates against Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore.
"If we don't get into those debates, [we are headed] for a phony election, a fake election," Mr. Buchanan said. The rules of the Commission on Presidential Debates bar candidates from those events unless they have at least 15 percent support in five public polls. Mr. Buchanan currently stands at 5 percent or less.

Clinton's favorites

President Clinton thinks either former Sen. George Mitchell or Sen. Bob Graham of Florida would be a nifty choice as Al Gore's running mate, the New York Times reports.
Mr. Clinton recently expressed his views on the subject to friends and associates, the newspaper said, citing unidentified Democratic sources.
Mr. Clinton sounded most animated when he discussed the candidacy of Mr. Mitchell, the former Maine senator and peace envoy to Northern Ireland.
The president has told friends that Mr. Mitchell would bring weight and dignity to the ticket, has no skeletons in the closet and would be particularly appealing because he is a Catholic, the Times reported.
Mr. Clinton also tells people he has high regard for Mr. Graham and thinks his presence on the ticket could help Mr. Gore win Florida.

Free speech issue

Activists who have set their sights on next month's Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles scored a victory Wednesday when a federal judge said city officials must give protesters better access to the convention site.
U.S. District Judge Gary Feess agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the city and police department, the Associated Press reports. The suit claimed a wide buffer zone officials planned to establish around the convention site the downtown Staples Center would violate protesters' constitutional rights by keeping them too far from delegates.
"When it's convenience versus the First Amendment, convenience loses every time," Judge Feess said. "It is hard to imagine an event when free speech activities would be more important."

More McCain buzz

Vanquished primary rival John McCain has told a prominent Republican governor and mutual friend of George W. Bush that he would be willing to run with the Texan, sources told the Associated Press Thursday night.
Mr. McCain, who had called a vice presidential race unlikely but would not rule it out, signaled the slight change in a phone conversation this week with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, three Republican officials told AP.
"You know me, Tommy. If the governor asked me, you know I would serve. I would prefer not to, but I'll serve," Mr. McCain told Mr. Ridge, said four sources who all independently confirmed the quote. The sources, all of whom were briefed on the talk by participants, spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Two of the sources said Mr. Ridge told a senior Bush adviser about his conversation, and received a "cool reception."
Mr. Ridge has been considered by some a leading candidate, but he told Mr. McCain that he didn't think he still had a shot, the sources said.
According to the sources, former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney asked Mr. McCain's staff Thursday to provide phone numbers where the senator can be reached this weekend and next.
Advisers to both Mr. McCain and Mr. Bush said Thursday night that, despite the developments, they doubt the senator will get the nod because of lingering animosity from the primary race. Mr. McCain's staff suggested the numbers were sought to allow Mr. Bush to give the senator a "courtesy call" once he makes his pick.

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