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Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

May 21, 2000

Love story

Al and Tipper Gore fiercely guard their privacy, yet their affection often goes public. They cuddle at the Kennedy Center and kiss at campaign events. Tipper once telephoned him on "Larry King Live," hiding her identity, to proclaim him "very handsome" and ask him for a date.

On Friday, Washington's Second Couple celebrated 30 years of marriage at the Delaware beach home of campaign chairman Tony Coelho. They had considered a getaway to Florida but that was scuttled after the vice president--apparently without consulting his wife--agreed to allow a small pool of reporters to accompany him on vacations.

Mrs. Gore, who grew up as the only child of divorced parents, was another guy's date when Gore first spoke to her at a high school graduation dance in 1965. He asked her out the next day.

The couple said "I do" on May 19, 1970, at Washington National Cathedral. He was 22. She was 21, her long blond hair adorned with a long, lacy wedding veil.

To honor the 30th anniversary, our etiquette guide tells us, pearls are the traditional gift.

Kiss and tell

Lots of candidates kiss babies, but George W. Bush had the tables turned while campaigning in Kentucky--by a 77-year-old man. And a Democrat at that.

Paducah resident Howard Koen surprised Bush by pecking him on the cheek as the candidate shook hands and posed for pictures after a short speech.

Why? Koen said he did it just for the fun of it.

Bush was asked later if any other men had kissed him during his campaign.

"None as cute as that," he said.

Yale bound

One of Bush's twin daughters plans to continue the family tradition by attending Yale University in the fall, while the other will stay home to study at the University of Texas at Austin.

The fraternal twins, 18, graduate this week from Stephen F. Austin High, a public school in Austin.

Barbara Pierce Bush, named for her paternal grandmother, has been accepted and plans to attend the Ivy League school in New Haven, Conn., said Yale spokesman Tom Conroy.

"The university is delighted she will attend," Conroy said.

Bush received an undergraduate degree from Yale in 1968. His father, former President Bush, and grandfather also attended the school.

Bush's other daughter, Jenna Welch Bush, named for her maternal grandmother, will attend UT, the state's largest university with more than 49,000 students.

By the numbers

71--Days since Bill Bradley "refused" to endorse fellow Democrat Al Gore, according to the Republican National Committee's count, one of several Campaign 2000 running tallies.

68--Days that Bush has "ducked" debating Al Gore, according to a tally on the Gore campaign's Web site.

Quote file

"I invented Lexis-Nexis."

--Al Gore, joking at daughter Karenna's graduation from Columbia Law School


Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports.

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