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DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION '96

The Protest Front

August 28, 1996

Protests near the United Center and in Grant Park have remained largely peaceful two days into the convention since the debacle of 1968. All told, only eight people have been arrested for convention-related protests--most on disorderly conduct charges, said Chicago police spokesman Pat Camden. Those arrested included a woman wearing a Hillary Rodham Clinton mask who went topless Monday in Grant Park and an abortion protester taken in Tuesday after a scuffle at a medical clinic.

Carter Opts for Montana

While Democratic leaders of virtually every stripe gathered in Chicago, the party's only living ex-president has, well, gone fishin'. Former President Jimmy Carter is spending this week in Montana with Ted Turner and his wife, Jane Fonda. Is this a snub or a vacation? One former Carter aide hints the former. Maybe the Democrats waited too long to invite the man from Plains, Ga., this associate says. Or maybe, as former Carter Press Secretary Jody Powell says, this is just not his gig: big crowds, scripted speeches, hours of small talk.

Whose Watching?

Television ratings for the Democratic National Convention's opening night essentially mirrored those for the Republicans: Total viewing was down almost 25% compared with 1992. A slightly higher percentage of people watching television Monday tuned into the Democrats' first night than had watched the Republican opener: 27% versus 25%. But because the total number of Americans watching television this week is smaller, that share of the viewership actually translated into a slightly smaller audience.

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