Slugfest in New York

Hillary and Rudy struggle to define each other in the wake of a police shooting and why Buchanan lights up the campaign.

Published March 22, 2000 10:18AM (EST)

After Rudy Giuliani released Patrick Dorismond's arrest records and made comments like, "That Mr. Dorismond has spent a good deal of his life punching people is a fact," Hillary Rodham Clinton responded by questioning the New York mayor's leadership. "At just the moment when a real leader would have reached out and tried to heal the wounds, he has chosen to [incite] divisiveness," she said. Giuliani, in turn, accused Clinton and Al Sharpton of "reading from the same script."

Amid these recriminations, others argue that the time has come for New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir to go.

Jack Newfield, writing for the New York Post, notes that while Giuliani defended his release of Dorismond's arrest record on the basis of the public's right to know, his own support of that right is "sporadic and selective." Eric Fettmann, also writing for the Post, says that Giuliani has been overly defensive of the police -- to the point of "demonizing the victim" -- and notes that if Dorismond's arrest record is relevant to the coverage of his shooting, then so is the history of Anthony Vasquez, the police officer who shot Dorismond. Vasquez, Fettman notes, "has shot a neighbor's dog, pulled a gun in a bar fight and been accused of domestic abuse by his wife (who dropped the complaint)."

Newsday reports that the release of Dorismond's juvenile arrest record may have broken the law because his "1987 case was sealed under the law governing Family Court."

The Associated Press reports that Kevin Kaiser, a friend of Dorismond's who was at the scene of his shooting, says that the police "taunted" Dorismond before Kaiser saw "Detective Vasquez throw the first punch ... Patrick did nothing to cause the officer to strike him. At or about the same time, I heard the gun go off."

Slow day for McCain

The New York Times writes that John McCain's return to the Senate was a subdued affair that focused on reconciliation with the Republican leadership: "McCain and Republican leaders were playing down their differences in part by giving the widest possible meaning to the word 'reform.'" The Washington Post adds that McCain blasted Al Gore for claiming to be a reformer and described his 1996 run with President Clinton as an example of "incredible abuses of the institutions of government."

Candidates smoking the product?

Both George W. Bush and Gore had quick responses to the Supreme Court opinion striking down Food and Drug Administration purview over tobacco products. The New York Times notes that while Gore supports FDA regulation of tobacco products and Bush "was not prepared" to address the question, both candidates have senior campaign advisors with close ties to the tobacco industry.

Gore gathers up Bradley supporters

Gore obtained the support of many key Bill Bradley supporters in New Jersey Tuesday, the New York Times reports, including Doug Berman, Bradley's campaign chairman, Bradley's New Jersey chairman and a former state governor. Berman told Tuesday's gathering, "I am strong in my support for the vice president." Similar endorsements of Bush have not come from the McCain camp.

It's Pat!

The Washington Post writes that Pat Buchanan is a man "History" has seized upon to enliven the current presidential race. Indeed, in his stump speeches, Buchanan likens himself to a "troll still out there under the bridge" and describes Bush as someone "who doesn't know anything" and Gore as someone "who doesn't know who he is."

Congressional candidates pony up their bank accounts

The Congressional Quarterly via the Washington Post takes a look at the number of wealthy candidates who are pouring their personal fortunes into this year's congressional races: "Candidates in 39 House and Senate races loaned their campaigns at least $100,000." In some cases, the amounts were even higher, such as New Jersey candidate for the Senate Jon Corzine, who lent his campaign $3.2 million in 1999. The total raised by congressional candidates in 1999 was $318.4 million, a record for a non-election year.

As for what all this means, CQ notes that Corzine's entry "into the Democratic primary contest is seen by some observers as having contributed to the decision by Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman not to run."

Also noteworthy is the race for Illinois' 10th District. Out of the 11 Republicans who have entered the race, two have lent their campaigns more than $1 million and a third has lent more than $300,000.

Bush and Gore continue primary sweeps

The Associated Press reports that Bush and Gore won their parties' respective Illinois primaries. The additional delegates cement Bush's nomination; Gore already had enough.

Talking heads

(All EST and all guests tentative)

  • C-Span's "Washington Journal":

    8 a.m. -- Kenneth Prewitt, census director.

    9 a.m. -- Gebe Martinez, Detroit News.

  • CNN's "Inside Politics":

    5 p.m. -- Tucker Carlson, Weekly Standard, and Margaret Carlson, Time magazine, on the elections.

    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).


    "I'd much rather be on the Straight Talk Express."

    McCain joking about his return to the Senate (Associated Press).

    On the trail

    Bush: Florida.

    Gore: Washington.

    Sound off

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

  • By Compiled by Max Garrone

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