Magazine article Insight on the News

GOP Platform Planned to Unite Rainbow of Interest Groups Behind Bush

Magazine article Insight on the News

GOP Platform Planned to Unite Rainbow of Interest Groups Behind Bush

Article excerpt

The road may be filled with range these days, but that's the case within convention halls. Witness the GOP gathering in the Philadelphia where contentious issues, which threatened to render the GOP's "big tent" at conventions past, nowhere will be seen.

Take abortion. "Please," anguished Republicans used to say. Four years ago, Patrick Buchanan led the charge to maintain the GOP's pro-life stance at the convention and, for good measure, ensured that other social concerns of conservative Christians also were addressed. Eventual nominee Bob Dole felt obligated to tell reporters that he hadn't bothered to read the platform.

This year, prospective nominee George W. Bush won't have to bother with such caveats. Buchanan has departed for the Reform Party, which will be holding its own convention in Long Beach, Calif., a couple of weeks after the GOP conclave. The platform hearings this year have been geared to cause as little damage as possible to the candidacy of the Texas governor. The abortion plank of previous years is not being touched, but a number of other planks dealing with domestic issues are being given a "compassionate conservative" sheen, i.e., increased funds for education and some modified support for patients grappling with health maintenance organizations. …

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