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Trail Mix

March 09, 2000

Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

Relatively popular

The number of times Vice President Al Gore parroted the line "I'm not taking a single vote for granted" in the days before Tuesday's primaries is beyond counting. Regardless of the question, that was usually his answer.

Gore was watching his wins roll in Tuesday night when it was pointed out to him that he surely took a couple of New York votes for granted. The vice president conceded the point with a belly laugh.

His daughter, Karenna Gore Schiff, and husband Andrew Schiff have organized fund-raising receptions for Gore and opened their New York apartment to his meetings with Manhattan-area supporters.

This weekend, Karenna, a new mother and third-year law student, tours Tennessee by bus to campaign for her father in advance of the state's primary Tuesday.

Cross-party coattails

California state Senate candidate Jack Scott, a Democrat, may have had a little help Tuesday from presidential candidate John McCain, a Republican. Scott, currently an assemblyman from Pasadena, plastered McCain's photo across an 11th-hour brochure to appeal to independent voters.

The glossy mailer never mentioned McCain's party affiliation, nor Scott's. Instead, it credited Scott with fighting for California's open primary--"Jack Scott's political courage made it possible for you to vote your conscience on Tuesday," it read.

Scott, a former president of Pasadena Community College, beat his Democratic opponent, Scott Wildman, by about 6 percentage points, ensuring that, unlike some, his campaign will continue.

Keyes fails to lock it up

Placing second in Minnesota's Republican straw poll Tuesday was evidently not enough to embolden Alan Keyes' campaign. Keyes, who has earned about 4% of GOP votes cast this primary season, will spend the rest of the week in Utah and Oklahoma but is expected to keep an even lighter schedule for the rest of his campaign. Aides say the former diplomat, as he did in 1996, will remain in the race, even until the GOP convention in August.

Unhappy Laker

Los Angeles Lakers basketball coach Phil Jackson was disappointed with the results of Tuesday's primaries, which all but ended the presidential campaign of his friend and former New York Knick teammate, Bill Bradley.

Bradley, soundly defeated by Gore, is expected to pull out of the race today.

"Bill had an impact on this election," Jackson said Wednesday. "It's unfortunate his voice wasn't heard as clearly as he made it . . . and the audience wasn't there to hear it. . . .

"We're going to be stuck with [Gore and Republican George W. Bush] who have been bred and born, basically, to this position in this world--people who haven't really had to go out and have a real job in their life, haven't been part of the real population of America so that they had to function like normal citizens with the normal cares and concerns. It's quite a statement about where we're at as a country."

The last leg

The John McCain campaign has been admired for its use of confetti--even imitated by a rival campaign. But in the end, the confetti may have caused its creator's downfall.

Keith Nahigian, McCain's director of scheduling and advance and the conductor of the campaign's confetti concerts, broke his leg during Tuesday night's celebration. The campaign says Nahigian was pushed while trying to corral photographers. Reporters at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood say the evening's silvery squares took down the aide.

By the numbers

25--Number of people who participated in American Samoa's Democratic caucus.

7,088,282--Number of people who participated in California's presidential primary.

8 to 1--Ratio of participants in Samoa's caucus to delegates they determined.

19,314 to 1--Ratio of participants in California's primary to delegates they determined.

Quote file

"Today, we're resting on our laurels. We're taking everything for granted!"

--A receptionist at Gore 2000 headquarters in Nashville on Wednesday.

Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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