- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2000

DETROIT Vice President Al Gore yesterday shelved his bitter attacks against Texas Gov. George W. Bush and tried an uplifting message to motivate black supporters.
The vice president is searching for the right message, as well as the right mix of electoral votes, in the final mad dash to Election Day.
Mr. Gore appeared drained but determined as he wooed black churchgoers in Philadelphia with two days left in a race that could come down to turnout.
"Pennsylvania is the Keystone State, and this year more than ever before," Mr. Gore said early yesterday at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.
At Morris Brown AME Church, Mr. Gore added: "There is an old African proverb when you pray, move your feet. Tuesday is the day to move your feet."
The stops in Philadelphia kicked off a marathon campaign day that also took Mr. Gore to Detroit, Milwaukee and Waterloo, Iowa.
The Gore campaign announced that starting this morning the vice president will cap his campaign with a sleepless 30-hour dash to seven cities in a frantic search for the magic number 270 electoral votes.
A presidential race has not been so uncertain in the home stretch since 1976, when Jimmy Carter edged President Ford.
Mr. Bush, with bases of support in the mountain West, the Great Plains and the South, maintains a slight lead in the national polls and a base of roughly 200 electoral votes. He appears to have more room for error than Mr. Gore does in the fight for 270.
But the outcome remains uncertain because as many as 15 states with 158 electoral votes remain up for grabs. Mr. Gore is pinning his hopes on vote-rich states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida.
"I feel very good about it. We're gonna win. We're gonna win," Mr. Gore told reporters Saturday on Air Force II. "You can write it down. You can book it."
This much is clear: The nominees are battling on Mr. Gore's side of the field.
In 1996, President Clinton carried every one of the remaining tossup states: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Missouri, Washington, Minnesota, Oregon, Arkansas, New Mexico, West Virginia, Maine and New Hampshire.
In recent days, Mr. Gore attacked Mr. Bush relentlessly. For example, he ridiculed a Bush misstatement about Social Security and questioned the Texas governor's capacity to lead.
At a black church in Pittsburgh Saturday evening, Mr. Gore suggested Mr. Bush would appoint racially insensitive justices to the Supreme Court.
He said Mr. Bush's support of "strict constructionists" reminds him of "the strictly constructionist meaning that was applied when the Constitution was written how some people were considered three-fifths of a person."
At a prayer breakfast in Memphis Saturday, Mr. Gore said: "I am taught that good overcomes evil when we choose that outcome."
The Bush campaign accused Mr. Gore of calling the Texas governor evil. But tape recordings of the speech made it clear that Mr. Gore was talking about personal redemption not about Mr. Bush.
"Oh, of course not," Mr. Gore said Saturday on Air Force Two. "I said that in each of us as human beings there is the capacity for good and evil. I think that's true of every human being."
Democratic surrogates continue to attack Mr. Bush, even as Mr. Gore softens his tone.
Late Saturday night, Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, a winner of the Medal of Honor who lost part of his right leg in Vietnam, bitterly criticized Mr. Bush's decision to serve in the Air National Guard.
"Now, he didn't do anything illegal. He didn't do anything dishonorable. He served honorably. But I'll tell you what he didn't do what his conscience told him to do," Mr. Kerrey told electrical workers outside a union hall in Pittsburgh.
"His conscience had to tell him that there are high school graduates over there with nowhere near the privilege that he was given in his life, bleeding and dying on the fields of Vietnam," Mr. Kerrey said.
The Nebraska senator also derided Mr. Bush for failing to disclose an arrest in 1976 for driving while intoxicated. Mr. Kerrey dismissed Mr. Bush's argument that he wanted to keep the information from his daughters.
"You're covering your rear end," Mr. Kerrey shouted. "You're protecting yourself. You were concerned about what might happen to you. How dare you say that your character is superior to Vice President Gore?"
The unusual assortment of states still in play accounts for Mr. Gore's breakneck schedule.
Today, Mr. Gore begins a final sprint at 5:30 a.m., shaking hands with workers at a John Deere plant in Waterloo, Iowa. He will attend a midday rally in St. Louis, meet with voters this evening at a union hall in Flint, Mich., and then fly to Miami for a midnight rally.
The vice president will chat with working women in Tampa, Fla., at 4:30 tomorrow morning, before flying home to vote in Carthage, Tenn. Mr. Gore heads to Nashville tomorrow afternoon to watch the returns.
The vice president's weariness began to show last night at a rally in Detroit. Mr. Gore twice referred to pianist Bruce Hornsby as Rogers Hornsby, a second baseman in baseball's Hall of Fame.
Mr. Gore finally corrected himself, saying, "I know better than that."

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide