BEATING THE DOLE-DRUMS

AS POWELL CLOSES IN ON A DECISION TO RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY, BOB DOLE STRUGGLES TO SHARPEN HIS MESSAGE AND OPERATION. BUT CAN HE DEFINE HIMSELF?

ON THE WALL OF BILL LACY'S office at Dole campaign headquarters, a huge calendar keeps track of the strategist's obsessions. In each box, for each day, is a handwritten note of where Bob Dole will be campaigning. Chicago Bulls games are marked in red ink. And at the top of the page marked November, there appears in green, handwritten letters a haunting apparition: ??POWELL??

It wasn't much fun last week for the Dole brigades, watching their leader juggle the chain saws of the budget battle in Washington and next week's straw-poll showdown in Florida, only to have the spotlights beam around...

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