Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who's Afraid of Ross Perot? the Other Two Candidates

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who's Afraid of Ross Perot? the Other Two Candidates

Article excerpt

CAMPAIGN strategists at the Clinton-Gore headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., are charged up by their candidate's lead in the polls, but they're not taking anything for granted, reports Monitor staff writer Amy Kaslow. "There are two ways to run an election: scared and unopposed. We're not unopposed," says Skip Rutherford, Gov. Bill Clinton's assistant campaign chairman.

While many Clinton volunteers are worried about Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot entering the race, campaign organizers like Mr. Rutherford say they are prepared to take it in stride.

"Perot really elevated the issue of public dissatisfaction with Bush. Bill Clinton and Al Gore have given a lot of those people something to vote for rather than something to vote against," he said.

President Bush's spokeswoman, Torie Clarke, also tried to downplay the effect of any last-minute Perot candidacy. "Can we spend all our time worrying about what one person - Ross Perot - is going to do?" Ms. Clarke asked. "No. What can you do? We've been working like crazy to make sure we have the support of {Perot backers} and we have been very successful." Buses, trains, but no planes

In his continuing quest to claim Harry Truman's scrappy legacy, President Bush is scheduled to go on a "whistle-stop tour" through Michigan and Ohio this weekend. Barbara Bush will join the president aboard a train called the "Spirit of America." Mr. Truman's frequent speeches from the back of a train were credited with helping him defeat Republican Thomas Dewey in 1948. But can Bush match his predecessor's 16-speech-a-day pace?

Meanwhile, Governor Clinton and his running mate, Sen. Albert Gore Jr. of Tennessee, spent Wednesday touring by bus through Georgia, in search of the mythical "Bubba' vote. It was the Democratic team's fifth bus tour since July. Clinton was campaigning in New Jersey yesterday; rumor has it that, to get there, he had to break the campaign's unwritten rule against flying. …

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