Fit and Fitter

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Bob Dole celebrated his 73rd birthday Monday at Sara's Circle, a senior citizen's center, where he donated his first pension check of $6,650 to the elderly residents. "I was thinking about next year, how great it would be to have this Party in the White House," said the GOP presidential nominee. If elected in November, Dole would be the oldest first-term President ever. And yet: the septuagenarian has lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels than the soon-to-be 50-year-old Bill Clinton. Still, to counter perceptions to the contrary, Dole said last week that he would select a young and healthy running mate: "I'm not naming any names, but there are people out there with health problems who might be good running mates. They have to be in good health." Among those on the "short list" who may now be out of the running are Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, who has had quadruple heart bypass surgery; Michigan Governor John Engler, who has a weight problem; and former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, who suffered a mild heart attack in 1978 and underwent heart bypass surgery. -- Lamia Abu-Haidar