Is Bush really a reformer?

He tries to regain the compassionate-conservative mantle, the gun wars escalate and McCain returns to the Senate.

Published March 20, 2000 9:16AM (EST)

The New York Times
digs into
George W. Bush's record as governor and finds that "he is not widely viewed in Texas as a
reformer." The Washington Post
takes a look
at how Bush lost the "mojo" in his compassionate-conservatism slogan and how he's
trying to "get his compassion back."

More sniping at White House

In a Sunday
on ABC's "This Week," National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston tried to calm the fight between his organization and the White House,
even asserting that the gun advocacy group had supported the Brady Bill. ABC also
that Al Gore and other Democrats are busy making gun control an issue that they
can own in this election season.

But on "Meet the Press," the
NRA's executive director, Wayne LaPierre,
continued to accuse President Clinton of lax gun
law enforcement. "I know I used some strong language. But I did it to center the issue on the fact that this administration, over the last seven years, has dropped federal enforcement of existing federal gun laws against the bad guys by 50 percent. And that's why I used the language, to center the debate."

The Washington Times
picked up LaPierre's example of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a former Black Panther once known
as H. Rap Brown, who allegedly killed one police officer and wounded a second in Atlanta Thursday despite his 1995 arrest for possession of an unlicensed handgun. According to LaPierre, "The Clinton administration refused to prosecute, and he wound up killing someone."

Air war starts in earnest

MSNBC reports that Bush and Gore
have started their advertising war over education. Bush's ad says that "Clinton and Gore
had eight years, but theyve
failed." Gore's, meanwhile, says: "On the issue of education, America deserves a real debate, not more
negative ads from George W. Bush."

MSNBC also has a report that examines
Gore's academic grades and finds that he was "often an underachiever."

From Bora Bora to ... boring?

Back from vacation, John McCain returns to the Senate Monday, and the New York Times
reports that he'll face a peculiar dilemma: "how to use his new prominence to push forward his signature issue of overhauling the campaign finance system at a moment when everyone in politics is posing as a reformer."

He keeps running

that Alan Keyes continues to gain grass-roots support despite having lost the Republican nomination.

More V.P. ideas

ABC's Ann Compton
takes a look at
the V.P. guessing game from a variety of angles. George F. Will considers
the same issue for the New York Post.

Soft-money spending aims for a record

USA Today reviews the state
of issue advertising funded by soft money and finds that $114 million has already been spent or budgeted.

The man behind Giuliani

The New York Daily News led its Sunday issue with a profile
of Rudy Giuliani's Senate campaign director, Bruce Teitelbaum.

Talking heads

(All EST)

  • C-Span's "Washington Journal":

    7 a.m. -- Tucker Carson, staff writer, Weekly Standard.

    8:15 a.m. -- Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

    9:15 a.m. -- Gerard Baker, Financial Times.

    Poll positions

  • Bush 45 to Gore 42 (Zogby/Reuters/WHDH-TV March 8-10).

  • Bush 49 to Gore 43 (Gallup/CNN/USA Today March 10-12).

  • Bush 47 to Gore 44 (Newsweek poll conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates March 9-10).

  • Gore 46 to Bush 45 (ABC News/Washington Post March 9-11).

  • Gore 46 to Bush 43 (CNN/Time poll conducted by Yankelovich Partners March 8-9).

    Sound off

    E-mail me with your comments, suggestions and tips at

  • By Compiled by Max Garrone

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