The Politics Junkie

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Follow the bouncing Gore as all papers lead with the ticket — except NYT's poke in the eye, "Fund-Raisers for 2 Clintons Set for Eve of Convention." Poor Al. Donor fatigue at his own convention. But WP leads with its second-day veepstakes postmortem, an Allen/Balz piece that's rather kind: "The decision displayed a side of Gore often invisible on the campaign trail: a politician who admires independence and seriousness in others and who is willing to take a risk." Good to know.

USAT wonders if Lieberman's "sterling reputation" will be "tarnished by political compromises he may be forced to make" on Gore's trail. WSJ gets religion with the leads' best lede: "Hillel Rosen hopes the selection of Joseph Lieberman as Al Gore's running mate will do something for his 11-year-old son that 5,000 years of Jewish history have so far failed to do: make it cool to be Jewish." Lieberman, unfortunately, is no Hank Greenberg.


NYT surveys the writings of Joseph Lieberman, from policy tomes to profiles of political bosses to his most recent, a memoir on the value of public service. "Some reviewers saw the book as a bid for the attention of Al Gore."

WP digs around in George W. Bush's favorite thing about Lieberman: He used to favor partial Social Security privatization. Apparently, he's given it up: "... in the last year Lieberman came to agree with Vice President Gore that the GOP plan poses a financial risk to retirees." But can Gore get him to say "risky scheme" on the trail?

USAT checks in on Clinton's Monday night speech: "It's the valedictory address of his presidency, boasting of his achievements, and a political testimonial for his hoped-for successor, Vice President Al Gore. After last week's Republican convention, it also will be an answer to George W. Bush's jabs and barbs." In '92, he opened with "I'm so proud of Al Gore." This time, he'll be proud of Alan Greenspan.

WSJ is done for the day, as far as I can tell.

Gore's New Pledge to Watch

"I will not say a single negative word about Governor Bush or Dick Cheney... I will not have a single negative, personal attack on either one of them. We want to elevate the campaign." (WP)

NYT also devotes a story to this, and adds wisely, "Exactly how Mr. Gore will define "unkind word" remains to be seen, and his pledge was greeted skeptically by Mr. Bush's aides. They noted that Mr. Gore has used loaded terms like 'reckless,' 'risky,' 'irresponsible,' 'smug' and 'arrogant' to describe Mr. Bush's policies." First of all, that's what he promised Bill Bradley. And secondly, negative campaigning is Al's only chance. But he can always claim Bush broke the deal first.

Whose Convention Is It, Anyway?

Quoth the Times:

"How can it be that three people who work in the same complex and whose careers have been intimately entwined for the past eight years seem unable to coordinate what should be one of the most important events of the Clinton era?

But, in fact, not only is there little coordination between the Gore presidential campaign and Mrs. Clinton's Senate campaign, but there is also competition between Mr. Gore and Mrs. Clinton for money and attention, most dramatically at the coming Democratic convention.

And for his part, the president is trying to balance the needs of both candidates, while burnishing his legacy and raising tens of millions of dollars for his presidential library."


"I think for $6 million, a lot of people could be a good politician." —Al Gore, crossing John Edwards off his veep list. (WP)

"I said to Hadassah, still sleeping, did you hear that? 'What?' I repeated it. She said, 'I don't understand.' And you know, then the phones started to ring." —Joe Lieberman, (WP) on hearing about his selection on the radio.

"Come November, you mark my words... California will be in the Bush-Cheney column." —George W. Bush, campaigning in Oxnard.

"Are we wrestling for control of the party?" —Gerald Moan, head Buchananite

"Yeah." —Jim Mangia, head Perotista. The two men then smiled and shook hands. (AP)

Spin of the Day

Howard Wolfson, Hillary spokesman, on the surfeit of fund-raisers for candidates named Clinton at the L.A. convention: "Thanks to the very strong economy created under the Clinton-Gore administration, there is more than enough to go around."