Testing The Waters on Race

Republicans seek to exploit the quota issue but pull back -- for now -- as Bennett pulls out

Rarely had a consensus congealed so fast among politicians and pundits. In late November it became an insiders' article of faith that George Bush and his party would create a powerful 1992 campaign issue from the resentment of white voters toward programs that seem to benefit minorities unfairly. The main dealer of that racial card was William Bennett, an articulate critic of affirmative-action schemes and Bush's choice to be the new Republican Party chairman. But after a stiff internal debate, the Administration put that strategy on hold. Then Bennett astonished Washington last week with word that he would not become G.O.P....

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