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The Daily Muse
presents a bleary-eyed look @ the 1996 Republican Convention

Unhappy warrior

Young Bob Dole
He had to give the speech and we had to listen to it.
It did go on a bit. So long that after awhile, even amid the polite and enthusiastic applause, many mouths were agape--not in amazement but in yawn.
For in his speech, the one he had to give and the one to which we had to listen, Bob Dole relived--over and over again, to be redundant--the wars of past: World War II (the Big One) and even Vietnam. The days of his youth, not ours.
It was a tough speech: He promised to kick the butts of violent criminals, terrorists, teachers unions and used car salesmen. All the people who make America what it is today, a miserable place to live.
He said his party (with its ever-expanding tent) is one of inclusion, and if you don't like it the door's thataway.
We just wanted to tell him: "Hey, Bob. Cheer up."
But, thankfully, he did finish the speech. And we did listen. And now we and Bob must go to sleep and dream about the days of youth, his and ours...

You were just exposed to one more in a series of short-attention-span editorials.

A little help for Bob

If Bob Dole gets a much-deserved overnight "bounce" in the polls it will be in no small measure due to the performance of First Lady-like Liddy Dole on the floor of the GOP convention.
Her sweet, talk show hostess-style speech in praise of her man--delivered well away from the podium and down in the trenches with the Republican plain-folk--may well have topped Colin Powell's awe-inspiring oratory two nights earlier.
The problem for Mr. Dole (who last uttered a complete sentence during the Eisenhower administration) is that he's bound to pale in comparison to the missus (despite his California tan).
But there is yet hope for Dole's critical acceptance speech. Late word filtering out of the smokeless back rooms in San Diego has it that the Republican-nominee-for-real has a top secret weapon revealed not even to his closest aides.
Under a one-time-only agreement, The Most Rev. Jesse Jackson, the greatest orator of our time, has been coaching the Dole-man behind the scenes and around the clock:

JJ: "I AM SOMEbody!"
BD: "Iamsomebody."
JJ: "I AM SOMEbody!"
BD: "Iamsomebody."
JJ: "Do you NEED anybody?"
BD: "Ijustneedsomeonetolove."
JJ: "That's it! You got it! Go with it!"
BD & JJ: "Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends..."

(No word yet on a Cabinet post in return for the Rainbow Man's help...):

Rep. Susan Molinari, puffing

By allowing Susan Molinari to deliver the keynote address at their convention, the Republicans demonstrated just how high they're willing to go to capture the youth vote.
While still pushing its hard-line "let's-kill-all-the-dopeheads" message, the GOP quietly looked the other way when the New York congresswoman lit up in the ladies room just prior to taking the convention podium, according to completely unreliable security sources.
"I came to party," she explained when confronted by a distraught Nancy Reagan, whose "Just Say No" campaign stirred the country into flushing billions of tons of perfectly good dope down the toilet.
Molinari, you will recall, caused a stir when she admitted smoking marijuana in her younger years. The matter resurfaced just prior to the convention when it was revealed that the lawmaker had lied about her hallucinatory history in a TV interview 4 years ago (around the time Bill Clinton revealed his failure to inhale).
Now, who to believe?

* Puff once if you think Susan still tokes...
* Puff twice if you think Bill wants some, too...

* You exhaled...

Conventional thinking

Events in San Diego are unfolding faster than we thought, so we'll pass them to you as quickly as we spot them on our tiny television screen...

First of all, Pat Buchanan's wholehearted endorsement of Bob Dole is by far the most shocking development in this presidential campaign so far.
"Bob Dole still sucks, but I don't stand a chance in heck of winning so you might as well vote for him," Buchanan says in a written statement faxed to the GOP convention floor from Alaska, site of his first primary win and the beachhead for his 2000 campaign.

Next, after the obligatory moving tributes from:
*Gerald Ford, who manages not to stumble on his way to the podium but suffers a concussion when smacked on the head by a sign-wielding pro-lifer;
*George Bush, who ruins the mood by telling a really sick joke about throwing up on foreign heads of state; and
* Nancy Reagan, who causes a trickle down everyone's cheeks by recalling her last days in the Oval Office...

Comes this stirring scene:
The playing of "Hail to the Chief" (the GOP house band can't help it--they are compelled by a higher authority than Haley Barbour) to accompany His Most Excellent X-Gen. Colin Powell's march into the sacred convention hall. The applause deafens as all the gathered GOPlodites salivate at the thought of what might have been...
But that is followed by the crushing disappointment that even Powell--American war hero and all-around great guy--is not above a bit of shameless commercialism. Yes, he closes his speech with a plug for his best-selling autobiography (now in paperback, affordable to the huddled masses yearning to bask in all his glory, though for now the nearest they can come is the purple glow of their TVs)...

Dole's Hail Mary pass?
Jack Kemp, Quarterback trading card

Letting bygones be bygones, Bobdole picked Jack Kemp, his former arch-rival for the GOP's heart and soul (such as it is) as his No. 2 (or 15 or whatever).
In so doing, Dole had to overcome the biggest issue in his campaign. No, not the budget-taxes-deficit thingamajig. But the ever-burning, undeniably-so-important, never-to-be-forgotten (over-hyphenated) matter of age. Dole's, that is.
Having just turned 73, Dole has a lot of people worried that he won't stay fit enough to make it through his presidential term(s). Even senior citizens fret--they should know what it's like. As George Burns used to say, at his age it was a major accomplishment just to make it out of bed every morning. (But then he did live to be 100).
Which brings us to the nub of this age thing: If Kemp is just 61 (a mere baby by comparison to the Bobster), why is he the one sporting the gray hair (which by the way has managed to retain its helmet shape even though his NFL retirement was over two decades ago)? And why is Bob so folliclerly correct?
(We may not be able to get to the bottom of this, but we'll try to stay on top of it...)

Pat Buchanan A Pat rap

Bob Dole may be way, way down in the polls but he's not ready to sing the blues.
At a pit stop in Billings, Mont., the other day, the Dole-man couldn't resist belting out a couple of bars of "Redneck Girl" with the Bucky Beaver Ground Grippers.
Seeing how much fun it was, the presumptive Republican nominee (the big campaign's this autumn, but don't call him the "Fall Guy") now wants to make sure everybody in the party sings along.
So Dole's people called Buchanan's people and said, sure, the Patster can make an appearance at the GOP shindig in San Diego--as long as he presents his message on a rap video.
"No way, no how, not here, not now," a cross Buchanan fired back. "Not unless I get to perform live, baby!!"
Stay tuned...

Conventional wisdom

This summer's presidential conventions should be real doozies, especially the Republican one. House Speaker Newt ("The Snakeman Cometh") Gingrich will swing the gavel at the GOP bash in San Diego, which is sure to add a fuzzy sense of warmth to the affair.
Gov. Christine Todd Whitman has been named "temporary" co-chairman of the convention--"temporary" in the sense that she'll get to preside when it's time to call roll for her state: "I'm from Joyzee. Are you from Joyzee?"
In a concession to the extreme right wing of the party, President-in-His-Own-Mind Bob Dole has agreed to let Pat Buchanan be the official door-holder ("The ladies' bathroom is the last one on the left, ma'am!").
And in a last-minute development, the Senate Ethics Committee--which is still shopping for a movie deal on the previously unreleased portions of Packwood's diaries-- has waived the usual $50-per-gift limit for U.S. senators attending the conventions. That should more than cover the services of...ahem...escorts still earning the minimum wage.

Tearfully relive DonkeyCon, the Democratic convention

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