Both the Washington Post and the New York Times lead with news that Al Gore will propose an end to soft money Monday. In a statement the Gore campaign released to both papers, Gore is expected to announce: "If you elect me as your president, the McCain-Feingold bill will be the first domestic legislation I send to the Congress on my first day in office."
The campaign finance reform plan would establish "an endowment fund from donations by individuals, corporations and unions, among others, to raise $7.1 billion over seven years ... The interest from the fund would be used starting in 2008 to pay for the general election campaigns of House and Senate candidates, but only if they did not accept money from another source." George W. Bush has rejected Gore's plan as "a government takeover that replaces individual spending decisions with decisions made by an unelected government committee."
Wide speculation on the "veepstakes"
Congressional Quarterly writers take a hard look in the Washington Post at the speculation surrounding the "veepstakes," paying especially close attention to the possibilities in the Democratic field.
GOP likes boomer Bush because he can relate
The New York Times writes about Bush as the first baby boomer nominee in the Republican Party, noting that he represents a "changing of the guard." The Times quotes a Republican strategist, Greg Mueller, saying, "There was a definite underlying, subliminal theme within the party that we needed to nominate a hip young conservative, somebody who can directly relate to baby boomers, who understands them." Mueller cites as an example how Bush was able to "relate to voters of different ages without looking ridiculous or uncomfortable" in an off-camera exchange in Chicago between the presumptive GOP candidate and a 20-year-old woman with a pierced tongue. "Can you eat steaks?" Bush asked her.
Bush gets low key turnout in Arkansas
It didn't go unnoticed during Bush's trip to Little Rock Friday that there
were more students at a send-off rally supporting the presidential candidate
than at Central High School where Bush held an education forum. Only three
students were invited to meet the presidential candidate. Irony, indeed, on a
day when the school was holding its own student body elections.
Bush also told the state's GOP leaders that he will return to the state in
the near future to campaign for Arkansas Republicans seeking office this
fall. He made it clear to the event's planners that he wasn't in the state to
show his support for any GOP candidates, but rather to speak about his
education reforms--and of course, raise money. Some GOP candidates didn't
even bother to attend the $1,000-a-plate luncheon.
(By Suzi Parker)
Tight race for the House
The New York Times takes a look at the race for the House of Representatives and finds it very tight. The Washington Post reports on how the Republican leadership is trying to get cash-rich incumbents not facing a serious challenge to loosen their money belts for the benefit of the party.
Preferences for vice president among Democrats (Zogby March 15-17):
Preferences for vice president among Republicans (Zogby March 15-17):
(All EST and all guests tentative)
Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) and Joe Scarborough (R-FL) discuss Gore and campaign finance reform.
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