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Kemp's Consolation Prize Is a Hero's Welcome

August 18, 1988|Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Rep. Jack Kemp was welcomed as a hometown hero Wednesday by New York delegates to the Republican National Convention, one day after he was passed over as George Bush's vice presidential choice.

"New York Loves Jack," said handwritten signs some waved at a delegation breakfast in Kemp's honor. The local political leaders rose to their feet, clapping and cheering as Kemp, the nine-term Buffalo, N.Y., congressman, worked the room.

Kisses Old Friends

Under the glare of TV lights, Kemp kissed old friends, shook hands and joked with some that "now I'll go back and play for the Bills," his old professional football team.

Kemp said he would not run for his congressional seat again when he began his other failed race, for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a speech that was warm, spontaneous and even included a respectable Ronald Reagan impression, Kemp admitted he was disappointed when Bush telephoned him Tuesday to give him the news. Bush later announced he had chosen Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate.

"I'm not going to get emotional," Kemp said, clearing his throat, "but I was brought up by my parents to believe that all things work together for good. I was brought up to believe that momentary disappointments in our lives turn out, many times, to be blessings in disguise."

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