CAMPAIGN 2000, AGAIN

HE'S TAKING THE EARLY BUS--TO THE WHITE HOUSE

A few years ago, JESSE JACKSON ignored pleas that he run for mayor of Washington. At the time, Jackson said his "destiny's larger than that." Larger and apparently more Oval-shaped. The reverend is coy about his presidential aspirations--but not too coy to needle a potential opponent. When asked if he would back the all-but-announced candidate and House minority leader, Dick Gephardt, Jackson grinned and reminded TIME that he had done his part in 1988 to make sure Gephardt could "spend more time with his family." Attention, Dick Gephardt: Get the Barcalounger ready.

--By Sylvester Monroe/Atlanta and James Carney/Washington

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