Over the pre-Thanksgiving weekend, as their alma maters clashed waspily in the Harvard-Yale game (Yale won) and as the candidates themselves went for highly publicized jogs (Governor Bush is faster), Al Gore and George W. Bush spinners continued their grating arguments for and against manual ballot recounts in Florida. In this battle of repetitiousness, conducted in any media forum available and with virtually interchangeable spokespersons -- bench Jim Baker for Marc Racicot; tag in David Boies when Warren Christopher starts falling asleep -- it's not particularly easy to warm up to either side. Indeed, in this respect, the post-campaign is very much like the campaign itself.
During the past month of the presidential race, "objectivity" in the mainstream media has become virtually indistinguishable from lowering the bar for George W. Bush -- despite the governor's repeated howlers. When Al Gore boasts, the press reports it as more evidence of the "Gore the Exaggerator" story line. And the Bush campaign eggs it on, sending out regular e-mails entitled: "THE GORE DETECTOR, A Regular Report on Al Gore's Adventures with the Truth." But when Bush exaggerates? Yawns.
After prolonged coyness, George W. Bush has finally announced that he has tapped Richard B. Cheney, former George Bush defense secretary, to be on the Republican ticket. Bush had said he wanted a "forward-looking administration," but then picked one of Daddy's dinosaurs. Bush had once promised that his veep choice would be an "electrifying" one -- but the selection of Cheney seems more likely to cause a GOP power outage.
For chronic Clinton-haters, it was a glorious weekend. The object of their joy? A book by National Enquirer writer Jerry Oppenheimer, published by conservative sugar-daddy Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins press, containing allegations that 26 years ago Hillary Clinton called someone a "fucking Jew bastard" in a moment of anger.
"George and Laura Bush also own two cats, Willie, who is coal black, and six-toed Ernie, an orange-and-white feline. Ernie is named for Ernest Hemingway, who also owned a six-toed cat."
-- Austin American Statesman, September 2, 2000
Earlier this month, the Bush campaign revealed its latest slogan: "Real Plans for Real People." Some found the new theme puzzling, wondering, "What exactly is a real person?" Others pondered: "What would a fake person be like?"