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November 19, 1990|YEMI TOURE

Image vs. Issues: As CBS anchorman for 19 years, Walter Cronkite was often approached by well-wishers who urged him to run for office. "Not once did any of them--and there were quite a lot--not once did they ask me where I stood on the issues. Not once," Cronkite told about 800 people late last week at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. "We . . . have concentrated on the sizzle rather than the steak," he said.

Is That Clear?: Paul Wellstone's first meeting with Sen. Jesse Helms is likely to be a little tense. "I have detested him since I was 19, and moreover I think he won against Harvey Gantt on a blatantly racist campaign. Period," said Wellstone in Washington, D.C. Senate members rarely attack each other personally. Wellstone, a liberal Democrat, was recently elected as Minnesota's junior senator. Helms is the arch-conservative North Carolina Republican who last week defeated black Democrat Gantt. Helms' retort: "I hope that (Wellstone) will prove to be somewhat more stable . . . . Otherwise he's going to have a difficult time in the Senate."

Exception to the Rule: Although James Michener, a champion of free speech whose books have probably been censored more often than those of any other best-selling author, does not normally believe in censorship, he would make at least one exception. "Child pornography should be outlawed," Michener declared in an article published in Sunday's Parade magazine, "and its perpetrators jailed."

Poetry vs. Politics: U.S. poet laureate Mark Strand, who has held the federal post in D.C. since Oct. 1, says no one from Utah's congressional delegation has even called to say hello, even though he is from their home state. Utah politicians may feel they have "everything to lose politically if they are tainted by poetry," he joked.

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