How about Never?

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Bob Dole has rejected an offer to address the NAACP convention, citing "major scheduling conflicts." What's so important? A cameo at the All Star baseball game in Philadelphia. Though Dole is hardly a prime candidate for the NAACP endorsement this year, the snub comes as the Republican Party has pledged to begin making serious inroads with African-Americans. But TIME Washington correspondent Tamala Edwards reports that Dole's campaign staff thinks the potential downside far outweighs the modicum of good will the NAACP appearance might generate. "They are afraid that he might put his foot in his mouth, especially when he speaks to a tepid or hostile audience," she says. "The campaign might have calculated that Dole has more to lose by addressing the convention, and potentially saying something offensive." Dole did offer, unsuccessfully, to have former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, the GOP's highest-profile progressive, speak instead. -- Lamia Abu-Haidar