LAMAR ALEXANDER HAD JUST CONCLUDED a six-city campaign swing through Iowa last Wednesday and was reworking the speech he was to deliver the next morning in Austin, Texas, home state of one of his toughest rivals for the Republican presidential nomination. Huddled with a pair of top aides, Alexander suggested a new introduction: "I've come here today to announce my support for Phil Gramm ... [long pause] ... for re-election to the U.S. Senate." The three men had scarcely stopped laughing when Alexander's cellular phone began to chirp. The caller was Ross Perot, who complimented Alexander on his just announced candidacy:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!