Inside Politics

By Pierce, Greg | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 23, 1996 | Go to article overview

Inside Politics


Pierce, Greg, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


TIRING THE PRESS

Pat Buchanan may want to hire some of those White House travel office officials cast off by the Clintons.

The New York Post's Page Six reports that after Mr. Buchanan's New Hampshire conquest, his staff managed not only to lose the luggage of the press corps that accompanied him by plane to South Carolina, but left the reporters no place to rest their weary heads.

Dubbing the affair "Luggage-gate," the Post said the press arrived at a Charleston hotel at 3 a.m., but their suitcases did not. To make matters worse, the 35 rooms reserved for the media "were not available because of some snafu by the Buchanan campaign."

The Buchanan brain trust had failed to claim the bags, which were then locked up at the airport, the Post said.

But the story has a happy ending. The bags were brought up at 4:34 a.m., giving everyone more than an hour to refresh themselves before the 6 a.m. Buchanan wake-up call.

TAMING THE PRESS

Pat Buchanan's aides have called in the Secret Service to handle the media hordes.

"Especially now that he's won [in New Hampshire], it's too frenzied, and the security made sense," spokesman Greg Mueller said.

This week in New Hampshire, reporters and photographers at a lumberyard tour nearly crushed the candidate's nephew Billy, the Associated Press said.

Neither of the other leading Republican candidates - Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas and former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander - has requested or received Secret Service protection.

FORBES ON BALLOT

Steve Forbes has won the right to appear on the ballot in all of New York's 31 congressional districts, but the fight isn't over.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn made the ruling this week, irking Sen. Bob Dole and the New York GOP establishment, which wanted the state's 102 delegates without a fight.

An appeal is expected, according to Reuters.

"I think it's absolutely correct not just for this election, but for future elections in New York state," Forbes attorney Thomas Spargo said.

"Steve Forbes is a hero who broke the chains of voters. . . . There would have been no primary contest; all of the delegates would have been handed on a plate to Dole."

TRAP FOR DOLE

"In New York, a March 7 trap is being set for Sen. Dole," writes New York Times columnist William Safire.

"Because the state's archaic election laws unconscionably discriminate against challengers to party bosses, Sen. Al D'Amato expects to lock up the delegation for delivery to Dole in San Diego in August," Mr. Safire said.

"But Steve Forbes, whose expensive Roman-candle candidacy is deservedly descending, was able to buy his choices for delegates a place on the ballot in New York. Now the Alexander forces are urging their New York supporters to vote for the Forbes slates in each district. The idea is to use the defunct Forbes campaign to embarrass Dole in a state where he is supposedly strong."

Pat Buchanan "will probably join this cost-free effort to bring down Dole," Mr. Safire said.

ALEXANDER'S SLIP

Lamar Alexander will not be on the ballot for Pennsylvania's April 23 primary, a fact he will regret if the GOP presidential campaign is undecided at that late date.

Mr. Alexander's campaign failed to collect the necessary 2,000 signatures on nominating petitions, handing in only about 1,500, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Robert Zausner reports.

"They're probably sitting around saying, `How did this happen?' and kicking themselves for not getting organized in the other states," a Republican political operative told the Inquirer.

HIDDEN ATTACK

Bob Dole tried to hide his negative radio attacks against Lamar Alexander on the eve of voting in New Hampshire, the Boston Globe reports. …

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