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Trail Mix

Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

September 10, 2000

Ganamos con Gore

Vice President Al Gore and wife, Tipper, have agreed to a televised sit-down on the world's longest-running Spanish-language variety show.

A Gore staffer says they'll chat early next month with the host of the wildly popular "Sabado Gigante," a rosy-cheeked entertainer known lovingly throughout the Spanish-speaking world as "Don Francisco."

The televised campaign stop will beam Gore across television sets in 42 countries, including the United States, where it appears on Univision, the Spanish-language television network seen in 83% of all Latino homes.

"Sabado Gigante," or Big Saturday, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running television program in the Americas. Francisco (ne Mario Kreutzberger) will speak to the Gores in English, which will be translated for viewers. But a Gore staffer said the veep "won't be afraid" to try out his classroom Spanish.

Dwarfs and cherry pie

John Hagelin, who lays claim to both the Reform and Natural Law parties' presidential nominations, has recruited quirky Hollywood director David Lynch to produce television ads for his campaign.

Lynch, who is known for the inclusion of a dancing dwarf in his eerie early '90s TV series "Twin Peaks," said he will use a straight sell for Hagelin. The physicist and three-time presidential candidate will wear a blue suit for a three-hour taping Monday morning at Lynch's home and talk head-on about his stances on the issues in front of gold curtains ordered for the commercials.

"It will be pretty pure and pretty simple," said Lynch, who is donating his services. The ads will appear within two weeks on cable stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Seattle, a Hagelin spokesman said.

Lynch, who calls himself a "pretty disillusioned" citizen, thinks he voted for Hagelin in 1996 (he's not sure) and will definitely do so this year.

Strike force

Seems the Secret Service will take a bullet for the vice president, but not a fastball.

After Al Gore threw batting practice with the Detroit Tigers, he joked about one line drive that nearly beaned him while more than a dozen Secret Service agents unflinchingly kept watch from behind home plate.

"I was a little uncertain about the lackadaisical attitude of the Secret Service," Gore said last week as he flew from Detroit to Scranton, Pa. "Yeah, I mean, you know, I thought they would come out and tackle the batter."

At another point at the Tigers' Comerica Park, a fan yelled to Gore from the stands, asking if it would be OK to throw him a baseball for autographing. Gore looked at the nearest agent, who coolly nodded assent. Gore caught the souvenir and returned it without incident.

Throwing hard objects at the protectee normally is discouraged.

By the numbers

* 97 million--Highest number of viewers to watch a presidential debate, on Oct. 19, 1992.

* 11.1 million--Highest number of viewers for CNN's "Larry King Live," a debate between Gore and Ross Perot on Nov. 9, 1993, on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

* 7.8 million--Highest number of viewers for one episode of NBC's "Meet the Press." (George W. Bush has proposed forgoing two formal presidential debates in favor of debates on "Larry King Live" and "Meet the Press.")

Quote file

"I may go more alpha male coming down the stretch."

Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush, answering reports Thursday that he may retool his campaign.

Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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