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CAMPAIGN 2000

Power Outage Near St. Louis Leaves Cheney in the Dark

September 22, 2000|From Associated Press

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — Dick Cheney derided Al Gore for the threat of brownouts in California, but the Republican vice presidential candidate couldn't blame Gore for the blackout Thursday at his hotel near St. Louis.

"It's a media plot," Cheney said as he sat in his car outside the Doubletree Hotel, which was totally darkened by a power outage that lasted about an hour and a half.

The elevators were out of order as a result, so the Secret Service held Cheney's motorcade at the hotel entrance after he and his wife, Lynne, returned from dinner.

The couple sat in the back of the car reading as hordes of Secret Service agents, police officers, advance men and reporters gathered at the hotel, some holding candles. Helicopters with spotlights whirred overhead.

Several hundred customers lost power in the area, said officials at the power company. The cause was not immediately known, they said.

The Cheneys were later taken to another hotel.

Earlier in the day, Cheney blamed the threat of brownouts in California on what he said were mistakes in Gore's energy policy.

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