Al Gore said Thursday he would urge President Clinton to open the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help ease the burden of runaway oil prices. "We cannot just wait around," the vice president said. "Families need action now." Time magazine called Gore's announcement an attempt to put some distance between himself and Clinton and "blunt a potential weapon" for George W. Bush. But the Texas governor just criticized the move as bad policy, saying it placed "short-term political gain at the cost of long-term national security."
From Oprah's couch to the Oval Office
Bush's bigger attacks on Gore were reserved for later in the day, when the governor appeared on "Live With Regis." According to the New York Times, "the show featured a man who smashed wooden boards against his head, trying to set a world record (he only tied it), though he was not on the same segment as Mr. Bush." Now that's entertainment.
Both the Times and the Boston Globe have commented on the rise of talk show campaigning. Author Larry Sabato, for one, thinks it's a bad idea. "When I was growing up, we revered the presidency. We wanted them to be on a pedestal. It was an office that was always respected. These candidates ... have lowered themselves to the point where they'll never be on a pedestal ... and you better believe that matters in governing."
I'd love to, but ...
Just a couple of days after Rep. Rick Lazio called Hillary Rodham Clinton's bluff on a pledge to eliminate soft money from the New York Senate race, the New York Times says the first lady will be hard pressed to do without it. "Clinton has become so dependent on soft-money donations to promote her candidacy that it will not be easy for her to forsake them," writes Times reporter Clifford Levy. "She would have to rely solely on financing from her official campaign committee, which has lagged in its fund-raising in recent months even as it spends at a marked rate." The two campaigns have met to try to negotiate a deal, but so far to no avail. It remains unclear whether Lazio's maneuver will help him make up ground in the race, in which he is trailing by nine points, a new CBS/New York Times poll shows. Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan calls the contest one of "dumb-good vs. evil-smart." Take a guess as to which one the former Reagan speechwriter thinks is which.
On the trail
Pat Buchanan: TBA.
Ralph Nader: Minnesota.
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