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Campaign 2000

Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

October 08, 2000

What's in a name?

So how do you say it?

Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, pronounce their last name "CHEE-nee," while nearly everyone else says "CHAY-nee." On the Cheney trail Friday with his friend of three decades, lanky former Sen. Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.) told of his efforts to clear up the discrepancy years back.

Searching out one of Cheney's oldest living relatives, Simpson said he found Uncle Henry walking his dog down a street. So he asked him how to say the family name. "CHAY-nee" the old man told him.

"That's great! Now we've solved that!" said Simpson, pleased to have gotten to the bottom of it. "That's a beautiful little dog there. What is it?"

"It's a BAY-gull," Uncle Henry said.

Cheney had his own story about Simpson, from when Cheney was running late for a radio interview and barged into what he thought was the small Wyoming station. Inside, a woman was vacuuming in her nightgown, and a baby played on the floor. The radio station had moved down the street.

"I felt terrible, of course," he said. "I burst into her house at 9 a.m. in the morning, unannounced, didn't knock or anything. So as I left I had to say something to her. So I introduced myself to her as her United States senator, Alan Simpson."

Live from New York . . .

"Saturday Night Live" has lampooned presidential candidates as far back as Gerald R. Ford, but it's the courageous candidate that turns up at Studio 8H.

Green Party presidential nominee Ralph Nader made a brief appearance on the season premiere of "SNL," in a sketch that dealt with his exclusion from the series of debates between Democratic nominee Al Gore and GOP nominee George W. Bush. After complaining to "SNL" producer Lorne Michael that he was not included in the show's lampooning of last week's debate, Nader engaged in a comic exchange with the show's host, Rob Lowe.

"Who is this guy?" Lowe wondered to himself. "Lorne knows him, so it means he used to be famous. Is he one of my agents?"

For his part, Nader tried to describe his campaign platform to Lowe but quickly gave up when it was clear that Lowe wasn't listening. "What do I care?" he said to himself. "I'm Ralph Nader, I'm going to be the next president of the U.S."

Nader, a longtime consumer advocate, hosted the late-night show in 1977 and had cameo roles in 1980 and 1990. He has been making the comic TV rounds recently, joking with Jay Leno, David Letterman, Bill Maher and Jon Stewart.

"It's just another way to reach people who perhaps haven't heard our message yet," Nader spokeswoman Stacy Malkan said. "And since we weren't allowed into the debates, we need to look at as many ways as possible to get the word out about our campaign."

Quote file

"The American democratic system was an early political version of Napster."

--Vice President Al Gore, referring to the music-sharing software, in an interview with Red Herring magazine.


Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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