Suffering From Ticker Shock

As the Dow rode a roller coaster, so did the presidential hopefuls

Shortly before the stock market opened on Meltdown Monday, Albert Gore was on the phone to a broker. The long-shot Democratic contender was not selling short in anticipation of the wake on Wall Street. Rather, Gore was searching for political portfolio insurance: reliable information about the direction of the markets. All presidential candidates were similarly affected by ticker shock during a dizzying week in which requests for quotes sent aides scurrying after the Dow Jones industrial average rather than Bartlett's.

The bearish rout on the stock exchange turned facile assumptions about the 1988 race into so much bull. It silenced complaints...

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