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Excerpts From 'Standing Firm'

May 06, 1994|ELIZABETH MEHREN

Here are some highlights from Dan Quayle's "Standing Firm":

* Forget any questions about inhaling. Quayle was worried that a college arrest for underage drinking might prove his political undoing.

* His father, a newspaper owner, refused to remove his jacket even in the most stifling of outdoor summer news conferences in hot-and-humid Indiana. Quayle \o7 pere \f7 was worried that the bulldog tattooed on his forearm might embarrass his son.

* Marilyn Quayle, for her part, was worried that in the crush of the campaign, she might not get 1988 school shopping done for Tucker, Benjamin and Corinne. Ever efficient, she did all her buying before leaving for the GOP convention in New Orleans.

* Sometimes the "self-importance" of the press was amazing, Quayle writes. Think of the time former Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn said to him, "Did you ever think you'd be among so many important people?" Quayle concludes she meant herself and the rest of the media present.

* There's such a thing as wearing objectivity on your sleeve--but apparently not on your shirt. One New York Times reporter showed up in the White House press room wearing a T-shirt depicting Edvard Munch's creepy painting "The Scream," with the caption "President Quayle?"

* How 'bout those White House insiders? Former Chief of Staff Jim Baker cared only about "what was in it for Jim Baker," Quayle writes. Jack Kemp nattered on, wandering onto "tangents" that had "no discernible point." And the handlers who surrounded George Bush "made the President look foolish."

* Combat with the press was often downright intoxicating. "I loved every minute of it," Quayle relates.

* On a judicial level, racism had ended in this country by 1989, writes Quayle: "No one could seriously argue that in our country the races were still unequal before the law."

* Quayle may have been portrayed as "the $650-million man" because of his family's wealth. But his own circumstances were far more modest, he insists. To pay for her inaugural attire, Marilyn Quayle sold the family van.

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