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Trail Mix

October 19, 2000

Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

Forget the journalists

George W. Bush, airline pilot and stand-up comic?

Leaving Missouri on Wednesday morning after his final debate against Democratic presidential rival Al Gore, Bush commandeered the public address system on his campaign plane, Responsibility One, and delivered some instructions to the reporters traveling with him.

In doing so, he offered a playful variation on a line he used in the debate, when he responded to Gore's assertion that journalists had found a Bush TV ad misleading. "Forget the journalists," Bush said.

Speaking over the PA system of the airplane Wednesday, Bush announced, "Attention, please. This is your captain. I want to make sure all journalists are on board. After all, we do not want to forget any journalists. For all journalists on board, please raise your hands. For those of you missing, will you please raise your hands."

Bush did have one request for his passengers.

"At any rate, a little less than three weeks to go. I'm looking forward to it. I hope you are too. May your stories be objective."

He is not a crook

More than 150 people have notified the Federal Election Commission that they are running for president. And like many of them, Lacey Mark Sivak grounds his write-in campaign on returning power to the states.

Sivak, however, may be unique because of the location of his campaign headquarters: his cell on Idaho's death row.

"I've got flaws," the condemned murderer admitted in a telephone interview with Associated Press from the state's maximum-security prison. "Anybody who says they're perfect is lying to you."

But Sivak maintains that he can offer America more than Bill Clinton did during his scandal-plagued presidency.

"While I might be locked up, I believe I have a moral standard, and I would like to try to make a positive change," he said.

Idaho law strips felons of their rights to vote and hold public office, but the FEC has no authority to reject candidate declarations from anyone.

"There's nothing in the Constitution that says who can run," FEC spokesman Ian Stirton said. "Everybody can run for president. Not everybody can serve, however."

Political primer

"See Dick run" has taken on a whole new meaning in the presidential race.

Signs with some form of the line taken from a children's reading primer are popping up at rallies for GOP vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney.

"See Dick," read a sign in Milwaukee. "See Dick run. Run Dick run."

A Cheney fan in Illinois wasn't any more creative but seemed more optimistic, for his sign read, "See Dick. See Dick win. Win Dick win."

By the numbers

33--Percentage of 16- to 21-year-olds who could not name the Republican or Democratic presidential candidates, according to a survey by the Close Up Foundation and American Express.

75--Percentage who could not name the vice presidential candidates.

Quote file

"I'm calling to tell you about my son George W.'s plan to protect Social Security. I know I have a mother's bias, but I know my son and his integrity."

--Former First Lady Barbara Bush, in a recorded

call to thousands of Florida voters

"By the time I'm finished with the debate commission, its ranking in political opinion polls will be below the ranking of used-car dealers."

--Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who sued the Commission on

Presidential Debates on Tuesday for not letting him into a room to watch the Oct. 3 debate in Boston.

Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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