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CAMPAIGN 2000

TRAIL MIX / Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

May 16, 2000

Pet issues

If George W. Bush wins the election, he won't be the only new White House occupant with a presidential pedigree.

That distinction would also belong to Spot Fetcher Bush, the Texas governor's English springer spaniel, daughter of George and Barbara Bush's famous Millie. Millie, who gave birth at the White House, died three years ago at age 12.

Should Vice President Al Gore win, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be home to Daisy, a mixed breed that is partial to flower beds, and Shiloh, a black Labrador retriever named for the Tennessee town, site of a Civil War battle.

Gov. Bush and his family also have two cats, a short-haired black one named India and a six-toed kitten named Ernie, so named because author Ernest Hemingway had a cat with six toes.

Ernie and Spot reside in Bush's Texas residence with India, a.k.a. Willie.

Why Willie? "It's Texas. Everybody has a nickname," said Anne Trenolone of the governor's press office. "The governor gives everybody a nickname, even his cat."

Hebrew honky-tonk

What if Jews wrote more country music?

Gore, speaking to a group of Jewish activists last week, noted that his presidential campaign is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., and got laughs when he dished up what he called the latest top "Jewish Country-and-Western" tunes to come out of Music City:

No. 4: "I was one of the chosen people until she chose somebody else."

No. 3: "The second time she said 'Shalom' I knew she meant goodbye."

No. 2, "I've got my foot on the glass, now where are you?"

When it came to the No. 1 song title, Gore sang out: "Mommas, don't let your ungrateful sons grow up to be cowboys when they could very easily just have taken over the family business that my own grandfather broke his back to start . . . that doesn't mean anything now that you're turning your back on such a gift."

March madness

When mothers took to the streets of Washington on Sunday for the Million Mom March, they joined a growing cast of "millions" who have taken their causes to cities around the nation.

It all began with 1995's Million Man March, which, along with the mothers' rally, came closest of any of the alliterative marches to actually achieving its attendance goal. Million Man begat Million Woman, Million Youth and Million Family.

At the Million Pound March, fat people proudly chanted "We're here and we're spheres!" A Million Geek March, held in several cities, rallied against online censorship, and the Million Mad March sought awareness for mental health issues. The Million Marijuana Marchers walked--some may have stumbled--for pot legalization, and in October a "million" moviegoers plan to lobby for more Latino-themed films.

Autograph hounds

Gore's school days are providing great back-to-school moments for his press secretary, Chris Lehane. At a school in Holt, Mich., last week, Lehane was asked to the prom by three different girls (at the prompting of members of the press corps).

And at Elizabeth Learning Center in Cudahy, Lehane was swarmed with young children asking for his autograph after a Gore aide whispered to them that the press secretary was someone famous.

"I'm not the famous one," Lehane said, laughing weakly as a group of 10-year-olds lined up for his signature. "These are the famous ones," he explained, pointing to some reporters. "You should ask them."

Soon the autograph frenzy spread across the school, and the entire Gore staff and the vice president's Secret Service agents were dogged by children holding out paper and pens.

Quote file

"I'll miss Camp David. I'll miss the Marine Band. I'll miss flying on Air Force One. I'll miss a lot of things."

--President Clinton, talking about leaving office.

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Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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