Gore Takes a Stand Against Microsoft

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Al Gore became the fourth major presidential candidate to visit Microsoft's Redmond campus Monday, and in the uncertain world that exists post-Judge Jackson's findings of fact, the Microsofties had only one question: If he became president, would Gore pursue the government's antitrust case? Gore's answer: The government should pursue the case, and if it's found that Microsoft wielded monopoly power, the Windows makers should be punished. "It was a forceful move," said TIME senior writer Adam Cohen. "He goes to Microsoft, right into the belly of the beast, and says 'I think the government is right to pursue this case.'"

But was it smart politics? Championing the antitrust case will help Gore with the Silicon Valley firms who've been fighting Microsoft for years, and California is certainly a bigger electoral prize than Washington State. Still, alienating the biggest dog in Seattle can't help when it comes to trying to keep underdog Bill Bradley from taking the state, where he already leads the veep in fundraising. A win in the Feb. 29 Washington State primary could help legitimize Dollar Bill's candidacy just as the candidates get ready for the big prize of the California race.