Occasional Reports, Notes and Commentaries on the Road to the White House
Picnics: July 4th Weekend Finds Most Candidates in Iowa or NH
by Eric M. Appleman
|July 2, 1999--For
most Americans, a barbecue or picnic, a parade, perhaps a baseball game
and an evening of fireworks are standard fare for the Fourth of July weekend.
Presidential hopefuls enjoy these activities too, particularly if they
happen to occur in the key states of New Hampshire and Iowa. Ten
of the fourteen major Republican and Democratic candidates will be in New
Hampshire or Iowa at some point over the weekend, and most will be participating
in one or two parades.
Walking or riding in a Fourth of July parade allows a candidate to be seen by lots of voters amid a festive and patriotic atmosphere. Rule number 73 in Republican candidate Lamar Alexander's Little Plaid Book is, "Walk in parades." Rule number 74 is, "If it is the Mule Day parade, walk at the front."
In New Hampshire, Fourth of July parades in Amherst and nearby Merrimack allow candidates to do two parades in quick succession; Gary Bauer, Pat Buchanan, Gov. George W. Bush, and Elizabeth Dole will be taking advantage of that opportunity. Another big Republican event is a cookout and straw poll organized by the Coalition of NH Taxpayers, a splinter group of the Granite State Taxpayers, at the Hopkinton Fair Grounds. Bauer, Buchanan and Sen. Bob Smith will be contesting this battle of straw at Contoocook, tickets to which cost $25.
Iowa is likewise getting its share of visits. Rep. John Kasich, Alan Keyes and former Vice President Quayle will be in the state over the weekend, as will the Democrat Bill Bradley. Bradley and Kasich will be participating in the "Field of Dreams" celebrity baseball game in Dyersville. Iowa can expect to see much more of the GOP candidates as the month progresses; Republicans are gearing up for the big Ames straw poll in mid-August. Thus, for example, Steve Forbes will be starting a week-long bus tour on July 11, and Lamar Alexander is launching a bus tour on July 7 that will take him to 60 counties in 23 days.
Not engaging in public activities
over the Fourth of July weekend are Vice President Gore, who is anticipating
the birth of his first grandchild, and Sen. McCain, who will be with his
family in Arizona. Sen. Hatch will be doing parades and events in
his home state of Utah.
Thus, despite yesterday's news that Texas Governor George W. Bush has raised a record $36.2 million in less than four months, effectively winning the "money primary" at mid-year, the campaign is continuing. There are 11 Republican hopefuls in addition to Bush. Some are seeking to position themselves as the conservative alternative to Bush and some are standing at the ready in the event that Bush stumbles. On the Democratic side as former Sen. Bill Bradley, by bringing in $11.5 million in the first six months of the year, has shown he will be able to mount a serious challenge to Vice President Al Gore.
Don't call off the campaign yet. A busy summer of stumping is just beginning.