FROM NEW JERSEY, THE GREAT WHITMAN HOPE

On Monday, Christine Todd Whitman slashed taxes in New Jersey. On Tuesday, as the first Governor asked to give the official rebuttal to a State of the Union address, she started cutting into Bill Clinton. From a partisan point of view, she did not disappoint, starting with an off-the-cuff jab at the 81- minute speech. ``I am not going to ask for equal time,'' she joshed. But long after Clinton's speech, pundits and political operatives were still mulling over Whitman. Might this be the G.O.P.'s 1996 vice-presidential candidate?

Five years ago, she was completely unknown. Then in 1990 she came...

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