Gore narrows search for No. 2

As Bush brings down the house, positioning from the Democrats.

By Alicia Montgomery
Published August 4, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

It's over. The convention ended Thursday night with George W. Bush's acceptance speech. The Republican nominee used his moment to pound home his "compassionate conservative" message, and make the case against Al Gore. "For eight years the Clinton-Gore administration has coasted through prosperity," Bush said. "The path of least resistance is always down hill." Though he made a few explicit attacks, the Texas governor mostly stayed on the high road. "We will extend the promise of prosperity to every forgotten corner of this country," Bush intoned.

Poverty protester prods party
While protesters were kept largely behind bars on the outside of the convention , inside they finally, if fleetingly, had an impact. As the Republican nominee took his first few cues from a TelePrompTer, a demonstrator seated high in the rafters (and three rows behind some Salon staffers) interrupted with a speech of his own. The goateed and bespectacled young man had his hair tucked under a baseball cap and wore a T-shirt bearing the biblical passage Isaiah 10:2, which reads "Woe to those who deprive the poor their rights." The demonstrator bellowed, "Don't forget about the poor" as the audience looked around the dim hall in confusion. After only a few moments of shouting, First Union Center security officials quietly escorted the man from the bleachers.

Gore veep list shrinks to six
While the Republicans dimmed the lights on their convention, behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the Democratic veep race has heated up. CNN reports that Gore's top picks were mostly male senators -- John Kerry of Massachusetts, John Edwards of North Carolina, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Evan Bayh of Indiana  along with Gov. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. House minority leader Dick Gephardt is playing the role of John McCain in the Democrats' second-place race; he's still on the short list although he's made repeated requests not to be considered.

Final word is to come Tuesday, a good time to blunt the potential Bush post-convention bounce. In a twist that bodes well for would-be veep Kerry, a Vietnam vet, the announcement will be made from a war memorial in Nashville.

Republican pajama party?
During the "Salon.com News Hour on Pseudo.com, a daily Web cast live from a skybox above the convention floor, charismatic GOP co-chair Pat Harrison responded to the general criticism that the the GOP convention in Philly had a tighter script than any in Hollywood. Guest Robert George, an editorial page writer for the New York Post and former employee of Harrison quipped, "yes, the cue card says 'how shocking'." Retorted Harrison: "I don't know what they expected. Did they think people would just show up in pajamas and just speak willy nilly? When you talk to the people who are here, who are not scripted, Emerson said nothing great can be achieved without enthusiasm. You can't fake it, you can't market and package it. It's real, it's palpable. If you've been to other Republican conventions, this is very, very different."

Poll positions
Presidential race:

  • Bush 47 to Gore 34 (Voter.com August 1-2).
  • Bush 42 to Gore 38 (Reuters/Zogby July 28-30)
  • Bush 44 to Gore 39 (Los Angeles Times July 27-29).
  • Bush 50 to Gore 39 (USA Today/CNN/Gallup July 25-26).
  • Bush 48 to Gore 45 (ABC News/Washington Post July 20-23).
  • Bush 43 to Gore 41 (CBS News July 13-16).
  • Bush 46 to Gore 40 (Fox News July 12-13).
  • Bush 40 to Gore 39 (Associated Press June 21-25).

    Third-party candidates:

  • Nader 6 to Buchanan 2 (Voter.com August 1-2).
  • Nader 7 to Buchanan 3 (Reuters/Zogby July 28-30).
  • Nader 5 to Buchanan 2 (Los Angeles Times July 27-29).
  • Nader 4 to Buchanan 1 (USA Today/CNN/Gallup July 25-26).
  • Nader 7 to Buchanan 6 (ABC News/Washington Post July 20-23).
  • Nader 4 to Buchanan 4 (CBS News July 14-16).

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  • Alicia Montgomery

    Alicia Montgomery is an associate editor in Salon's Washington bureau.

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