IT MAY BE PARTY TIME FOR PEROT

Substituting for Larry King one night last week, Ross Perot gently prodded Bob Dole to proclaim his presidential candidacy on CNN. The Senate majority leader did not miss a beat: ``Maybe I should ask you that question. We could both announce it right here, together.'' That genial exchange underscored a vital issue about 1996. A Perot campaign would revive Bill Clinton's prospects while hurting Dole or any other Republican. Even as Perot maintains his tease, his advocacy group, United We Stand America, is seeking to form a new, center-right party.

Though still in gestation, the party would have the potential to...

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