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Trail Mix

September 06, 2000

Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

Word play

The news on Tuesday was "the word."

The Washington Post, USA Today and this newspaper printed it, the New York Times said only it was "an obscenity," and the Washington Times used a euphemism for "rectal aperture."

The word--an obscenity that will not be repeated here--had major U.S. newspapers doing cartwheels after Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush referred to a reporter that way in an aside.

Bush did not realize his comments Monday at a campaign stop in Naperville, Ill., were picked up on the microphone when he leaned over to running mate Dick Cheney and said: "There's Adam Clymer, major-league a------ from the New York Times."

The Republican nominee later said he regretted everyone heard his comment but sidestepped a question about whether he would apologize to the veteran journalist.

President Clinton's chief of staff gleefully twitted Bush on Tuesday, tapping on a microphone and saying, "Is this mike on? You can never be too careful these days."

Clinton, who threw back his head and guffawed at John Podesta's joke, could not resist digging the knife in a little deeper.

"We like all of you," the president told reporters gathered in the Rose Garden.

Mind over matters

If psychic Dee Dee Smith is to be believed, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph I. Lieberman can stop campaigning. He and Al Gore have already won.

"I predict Gore will do very well. He'll win Illinois and I do see him in the White House," said Smith, a 63-year-old prognosticator, of the Democratic ticket's chances.

Smith was at a coffeehouse Tuesday where Lieberman held a round-table discussion on middle-class tax cuts with local families. She went in for breakfast and stayed for the talk. Smith said her predictions are usually about 85% accurate.

In a more scientific analysis, a UC Davis professor has predicted a Gore-Lieberman victory on Nov. 7 because "quality of life" has increased during the Democratic administration.

Off Centre

These are brokenhearted days in Danville, Ky., home to the small college that George W. Bush dropped as a venue for a vice presidential debate.

Centre College had beaten out many larger, more illustrious institutions last January to host a running mate debate on Oct. 5, and the liberal arts school of 1,200 students had raised $700,000 to stage the event. But Bush wants to bypass the debate schedule that includes Centre and instead have his vice presidential nominee, Dick Cheney, and Democratic nominee Joseph I. Lieberman debate in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Danville, which was hoping to be known for more than its annual Great American Brass Band Festival, is crossing its collective fingers the debate will still go on.

Quote file

"We like Joe Lieberman and that other guy. I wish they were running together, I'd vote for them."

Ellen Meade, 73, standing outside the Scranton, Pa., community medical center where George W. Bush spoke. She was referring to the Democratic vice presidential candidate and Dick Cheney, his Republican counterpart.


Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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