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Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

March 27, 2000

One proud papa

Former President Bush says he gives his son George W. plenty of advice--but not about politics.

"I don't do politics anymore," the elder Bush told a group of innkeepers Saturday.

"I don't go to Washington. I don't do press conferences. . . . I had my shot. In our family the baton is passed to two sons who are giving it their very best in the political arena. My political days are over."

Speaking at a conference in Tampa, Fla., the 75-year-old Bush asked his listeners to put politics and party affiliations aside and stand for a moment in his shoes.

"Think how proud you'd feel as a dad," he said, "if you had two kids who were governors of two huge states, and one of them had a chance to be president of the United States."

Hillary in the house

Can you sell a candidate like Tupperware? Hillary Rodham Clinton hopes so.

As she did when she announced her campaign for the U.S. Senate, the first lady asked New York supporters to hold "house parties" on Sunday.

The campaign suggested invitations could go to everyone from old professors and ministers to "friends you only see on occasion" to the "broker, butcher or dry cleaner." The campaign even instructed hosts to decide a week ahead who will make the "money pitch" and suggested they make the appeal between introducing guests and an 18-minute video highlighting the first lady's career. In it, Clinton reveals that she makes a mean omelet, can't sing and sometimes guffaws inappropriately in restaurants.

The 25 parties, which Clinton was to address by speaker phone, were expected to raise about $1,000 each.

Friend of Bill, um, Dick

In a news release headlined "Experts Say Bush Is Head of the Class on Education," George W. Bush's campaign boasted that even Democrats applaud the Texas governor's efforts to improve schools in his state. But whoever wrote the release could have used some more schooling.

The campaign twice quoted "Al Gore's Secretary of Education, Dr. Bill Riley" as praising Bush and Texas. The secretary of Education, who was appointed by President Clinton, is Richard W. Riley. His friends call him Dick, his middle name is Wilson and he is no doctor.

Poultry in motion

Visiting a classroom at the Sands Montessori school in Cincinnati on Thursday, Al Gore was asked the details of a trick he has said he learned as a child: hypnotizing a chicken.

Easy, he said to the 12-year-old boy who asked. "You hold the chicken down and then you take a stick or a finger--it's better with a stick--and then you very slowly draw a circle around the chicken's head." And repeat, and repeat until . . . .

Gore explained that the chicken's eyes do not work well together and eventually it develops a glazed look--which the vice president imitated--and it is hypnotized. He did not say what one does with a hypnotized chicken.

By the numbers

$283.97--Average cost today to fill up the gas tank of John McCain's Straight Talk Express.

$191.81--Average cost a year ago to fill up the bus.

Quote file

"Wub woo bub bub wub, wub."

--Vice President Al Gore, as quoted by Associated Press, during an improvisational exercise Friday in a sixth-grade drama class.

Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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