POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Tsongas Promises Lunch; Mambo Kings For Brown
BALTIMORE (AP) _ Though the Democratic presidential campaign has been nasty in recent days, most of the candidates still hold their best fire for President Bush. Paul Tsongas borrowed from a comic strip Monday to make his point.
Campaigning at Johns Hopkins University on the eve of Maryland’s primary, Tsongas wrapped up his stump speech with a story about Charlie Brown and Lucy of ″Peanuts.″
Lucy, the story went, told Charlie Brown life is like an ocean liner, and there are two kinds of people in the world - those who face their deck chairs forward and those who face their deck chairs backward.
″In the great sea of life, Charlie Brown, where do you have your deck chair?″ Lucy asked him, Tsongas recounted.
But Charlie Brown said he couldn’t get his deck chair open, and Tsongas said that sums up the president.
″George Bush is struggling to get his deck chair open.″
Paul Tsongas’ Democratic presidential campaign is almost a year old, but because no one believed in him for so long, he hasn’t made that many campaign promises.
So when 13-year-old Jenny Apel said she was representing him in her eighth- grade mock presidential debate in preparation for Tuesday’s class election, he made her a deal.
″If you win, next year at the White House, you can come to lunch,″ Tsongas told the girl, who was with classmates at the OAO Corp., which makes robots for police work.
″The advantage I have is that nobody’s supported me for the whole year. I have very few people I’m beholden to, and if you win, you come to lunch.″
But then he thought for a moment, and added, ″Actually, even if you don’t win, you can come.″
Jerry Brown is trying to sing and dance his way into the White House with a series of Sunday cabaret nights in Los Angeles.
Last Sunday, Sally Kellerman of ″MASH″ fame sang torch songs dedicated to the Democratic hopeful at the World Cafe in Santa Monica. About 150 folks donated from $1 to Brown’s $100 limit to get in, listen to some music and debate politics.
Next Sunday, it’s Mambo night at the World Cafe, featuring the Mambo Kings. Also invited, according to events coordinator Mike Campbell, are representatives from the other campaigns. ″We’d like a sort of surrogate debate,″ he said.
Other cabaret nights may be held in rock clubs and comic spots, and nobody is sure just who’ll show up.
Campbell insists the idea isn’t new; he said Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern had successful cabaret nights. The Brown cabaret night series climaxes April 7, Brown’s birthday, and the date of the New York primary, with a three-city cabaret extravaganza to be broadcast as paid time on radio stations. The events will be held in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
Voters looking for leadership and new laws from Congress seem to be in a bit of a hurry these days.
Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey was campaigning in Washington state, which holds caucuses today, giving a social policy stump speech.
A gay-rights advocate with a bullhorn, standing near three AIDS patient advocates with signs that said, ″Bush Is Getting Away With Murder,″ interrupted Kerrey briefly toward the end of the rally.
″We need leadership 3/8″ the man shouted.
″You’ll get leadership,″ Kerrey said, and promised to make one of his first acts as president the reversal of a White House ban on homosexual men and women in many government jobs.
″Sponsor it now 3/8″ the man with the bullhorn said.
″I can’t sponsor it now,″ said Kerrey. ″I’m giving a speech.″