Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Day 1 of Great Team Effort' Kemp Selection Signals Start of Offensive Run, Dole Tells Rally

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Day 1 of Great Team Effort' Kemp Selection Signals Start of Offensive Run, Dole Tells Rally

Article excerpt

Republican presidential challenger Bob Dole introduced running mate Jack Kemp Saturday as "a man of unlimited talents, energy and vision, an American original."

Dole told an exuberant rally on his hometown's main street that his selection of Kemp marked "Day 1 of a great team effort" that would end in victory Nov. 5.

"Our mission will be to give our nation a new birth of freedom," Dole said - beginning with the package of broad tax cuts and reduced government that he announced last Monday.

Kemp, 61, is a former professional football quarterback who became the leading voice for supply-side tax cuts and economic growth as a congressman from New York, Housing secretary and in his own bid for the presidency in 1988.

His addition to the Dole ticket, Kemp said, signals the Republicans' determination to take the offensive nationwide - not just on the specifics of the economic package but to portray Republicans as the true party of hope and opportunity for all Americans.

Kemp had another message, as he and Dole headed for San Diego Sunday for a convention that has already been roiled by debates over the party platform's hard-line opposition to abortion and calls for a crackdown on immigration.

"Our goal is not just to win but to be worthy of winning," Kemp said. He said he and Dole would reach out for the support "of every single American, from the boroughs of New York to the barrios of California."

"We may not get every vote but we're going to make it unambiguously clear, in words and in our actions, that we want to and intend to represent the whole American family," Kemp said.

Thanks to Bob Dole's "vision and leadership," he said, "no one will be left behind and no one will be turned away."

The Values of Russell

Dole said the campaign would stress the values of Russell itself - "about restoring more fully to America the simple things that I first learned about here at home: things like faith in God, love of family and gratitude for living in the freest and greatest nation on the face of the earth."

He had props all around.

The platform on which he and Kemp stood - along with Dole's wife, Elizabeth, Kemp's wife, Joanne, and Dole's daughter, Robin - was backed by an American flag 15 feet high. Cheerleaders from Russell High School's Stompin' Broncos got the rally going; hundreds of red, white and blue helium balloons were released at the end; and then a sea of tiny parachutes, each bearing another flag, drifted down over the crowd.

Stereos boomed out Dole's two theme songs - a rousing version of "Soul Man" and the country music standard that might have been commissioned for Dole himself, "Sing a song about the heartland, the only place I feel at home."

Dole brushed aside White House objections that his economic plan is unrealistic.

"Our friends in the White House say it can't be done," Dole said. …

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