Rudy heads south

And so do his poll numbers; Hillary opens up a 10-point lead over the New York mayor.

By Anthony York
Published April 7, 2000 11:41AM (EDT)

Rudy Giuliani trounced on Gore territory Thursday, carpetbagging for Southern dollars in three Tennessee cities. He raised close to $75,000 as he popped into fund-raisers in Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville -- home of Al Gore's presidential headquarters. Giuliani told supporters he was raising money in Tennessee because his Senate bid in New York against Hillary Rodham Clinton will take "enormous" funds and because "the Clinton money machine is notorious." In Nashville, the state Republican Party and Tennessee Sens. Fred Thompson, a former John McCain supporter, and Bill Frist hosted Giuliani. State Democrats lashed out at Giuliani's Tennessee campaign swing, saying he has no business raising money in the state. "Yeah, but I'm not running from Tennessee," Giuliani said, in a reference to Clinton's not moving to New York until she decided to run for the Senate there. (By Suzi Parker)

Meanwhile, closer to home ...

Giuliani's poll numbers have taken a turn for the worse, according to a new New York Times/CBS News poll. "In New York City, where his popularity was seen as a serious threat to Mrs. Clinton's Democratic base, Mrs. Clinton is now defeating Mr. Giuliani by nearly three to one," the Times reports. "By an overwhelming margin, respondents said compromise was an important attribute for a senator, and Mrs. Clinton was seen as the more adept compromiser of the two."

Those numbers come as Giuliani releases a new ad citing tolerance as one of his virtues. The spot features "the mayor's favorite political dance partner, Sen. John McCain, and emphasizes ... Mr. Giuliani's tolerance, truthfulness and humanity," according to the Times report.

The Washington Post also takes a look at Rudy's new McCain strategy, and rehashes a report that Rep. Rick Lazio, R-N.Y., is still considering entering the race, saying that Republicans risk "blowing" their chances of defeating Clinton if Giuliani is their nominee.

Bush heads west

Turning to the presidential campaign, George W. Bush was in California Thursday, kicking off a two-day swing to court Latino voters, talk up education and send the message that he is in California for keeps.

The New York Times reports: "By simultaneously reaching out to Latinos and emphasizing an issue, education, that casts him in a relatively moderate light, Mr. Bush was pursuing the two courses of action that many political analysts say are most vital to any hope he nurtures of winning California in November."

Bush's California swing comes on the heels of a new Republican National Committee advertising push also aimed at wooing Latino voters.

But where was Al?

That's the question the Bush campaign is asking. Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz reports on new criticisms from the GOP about Gore's lack of media availability. "The vice president has a great reluctance to expose himself to an environment in which he can get any and all questions under the sun," Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said Thursday. Gore, meanwhile, was preparing to headline a live webcast from Florida hosted by beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST.

Sister act

The AP reports that Gore picked up the ever-coveted endorsement of '80s hair-farming rockers Twisted Sister, even though the band was singled out by Tipper Gore on her crusade against rock music in the 1980s. "I'm sort of supporting Al Gore, which is bizarre," said lead singer Dee Snider. "I don't trust the guy as far as I can throw him. He's a conservative liberal, but I think he's going to chew up George W. [Bush] and spit him out. He's an old-school, dirty-fighting politician."

Snider, now a DJ at a Hartford, Conn., radio station, said, "I embarrassed him and insulted his wife. Now I'm 45 years old and faced with the prospect of my two nemeses becoming president and first lady of the United States. So I'm pretending it didn't exist."
Gore's Christopher commission

In an e-mail from his campaign Gore states: "I am pleased to announce that [former Clinton Secretary of State] Warren Christopher has agreed to lead my vice presidential selection process ... I welcome his experience and judgment in this important effort." Bush, when asked in California Thursday whether he had officially begun his search for a No. 2, said he has not.

Whom should you vote for?

Take our survey and find out. You might be surprised.

Talking heads

(All EST and all guests tentative)

  • C-Span's "Washington Journal":

    7 a.m -- Michelle Malkin, syndicated columnist, and Joshua Micah Marshall, Washington editor, the American Prospect.

    8 a.m -- Open phones.

    8 a.m -- Gov. Parris Glendening, D-Md.

    9 a.m -- Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark.

    9 a.m -- Open phones.

    Watch "Washington Journal" online.

    Poll positions

    Presidential race:

  • Bush 46 to Gore 45 (Gallup/CNN/USA Today March 30-April 2).

  • Gore 47 to Bush 46 (ABC News/Washington Post March 30-April 2).

  • Bush 46 to Gore 45 (CNN March 30-April 2).

    Vice presidential preferences (previous):

    Preferences for Republican vice presidential candidate among all voters (Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll March 22-23):

  • John McCain, 27 percent
  • Elizabeth Dole, 19 percent
  • Rudy Giuliani, 6 percent
  • Christine Todd Whitman, 6 percent
  • George Pataki, 3 percent
  • Tom Ridge, 3 percent
  • Fred Thompson, 3 percent
  • Connie Mack, 2 percent
  • Other, 3 percent
  • Not sure, 28 percent

    Preferences for Democratic vice presidential candidate among all voters (Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll March 22-23):

  • Bill Bradley, 27 percent
  • Dianne Feinstein, 10 percent
  • Bob Kerrey, 6 percent
  • Bob Graham, 5 percent
  • John Kerry, 4 percent
  • Bill Richardson, 4 percent
  • Evan Bayh, 3 percent
  • Other, 6 percent
  • Not sure, 35 percent

    New York Senate:

  • Clinton 52 to Giuliani 42 (New York Times/CBS News April 1-5).

  • Clinton 46 to Giuliani 43 (Quinnipiac College March 28-April 3).

  • Giuliani 46 to Clinton 43 (Marist Institute March 27-28).

  • Clinton 45 to Giuliani 42 (Zogby March 23-25).

    On the trail

    Bush: Los Angeles and Houston.

    Gore: Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Fla.

    Sound off

    E-mail Trail Mix with your comments, suggestions and tips at

  • Anthony York

    Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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