The Kosovo situation and a NATO attack on a refugee convoy dominated the news of April 14, 1999 and in the papers on April 15. Another big story of the day was the announcement of Maria J.Grasso as the winner of the biggest individual lottery prize in U.S. history. Against this background Quayle's announcement received modest coverage. Quayle's referral to "the dishonest decade of Bill Clinton and Al Gore" made the lede of several accounts. A majority of major newspapers reviewed carried photos not of the speech itself, but of Quayle's venture out into the crowd after the speech.
CBS Evening News--Carried a 38-second report on the announcement 13 minutes and 51 seconds into the broadcast, in between an ad break and a story on independent counsel Starr testifying before Congress. John Roberts, anchoring from CBS studios in New York, introduced the piece, which included 14 seconds of Quayle speaking (two sentences):
NBC Nightly News--No mention of Quayle's announcement. In addition to the lead stories on Kosovo, the broadcast had an "In Depth" feature on food borne illness, a "LifeLine" secion on cancer treatments and on women's health, a story on Ken Starr testifying, "The Fleecing of America" on the costs of rescuing thrillseekers, and stories on the Hubble telescope and a train that set a speed record.
Washington Post--Post staff writer Terry M. Neal's 887-word report from Huntington, Ind. "Quayle Begins White House Quest; Ex-Vice President Attacks Clinton-Gore Years as 'Dishonest Decade'" ran on page A4 in three columns 10 1/4" deep, including a B&W photo one-column wide by John Ruthroff of Agence France-Presse showing Quayle amid signs. Neal's lede: "Former vice president Dan Quayle returned today to this small town where he was raised to launch a bid for the presidency that he says will be a repudiation of the 'dishonest decade of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.'"
USA Today--The 1237-word report "Confident in his message, Quayle kicks off campaign" bylined Richard Benedetto, New York ran on page 11A. The story ran in six columns across the top of the page and had a small B&W photo of Quayle amid signs (John Ruthroff, Agence France-Press) and a biography box. Benedetto's lede: "Embraced by a friendly, hometown crowd, former vice president Dan Quayle kicked off his presidential campaign Wednesday in Huntington, Ind., by pledging to end the 'dishonest decade of Bill Clinton and Al Gore' and give America a fresh start on the 21st century."
Some Major Dailies
Boston Globe--The Globe ran a version of the Associated Press' Ron Fournier's report at the bottom of page A3 in four columns 4" deep, plus a file photo head shot of Quayle, under the headline "Quayle declares candidacy at hometown rally." The lede: "Former Vice President Dan Quayle declared his candidacy yesterday for next year's GOP presidential nomination by pledging to rebuild American values after 'a dishonest decade of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.'"
The Miami Herald--The "Inside" strip across the bottom of Page One had a small photo and pointed readers to page 3A. The article ran at the top of the page in four columns plus a B&W photo showing Quayle shaking hands amid signs (Chuck Robinson, AP). Under the headline "Quayle launches presidential campaign" the article by Ron Fournier of the Associated Press began "Former Vice President Dan Quayle, trying to refurbish his image and jump-start his GOP presidential campaign, declared his candidacy by pledging to rebuild American values after 'a dishonest decade of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.'"
San Francisco Chronicle--The Chronicle gave the most prominent photo coverage of the major newspapers reviewed, running, above the story on page A3, a big (7 5/8" x 7 5/16") B&W Reuters photo of Quayle shaking hands amid the crowd. The report, in three columns about 7 1/2" deep, carried the headline "Quayle Seeks White House" and was attributed to "Washington Post." It included a box "GOP Race: Who's In." An editor made one minor adjustment to Neal's lede: "Former Vice President Dan Quayle returned yesterday to this speck-on-the-map town where he was raised to launch a bid for the presidency that he says will be a repudiation of the 'dishonest decade of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.'"
St. Louis Post Dispatch--The "In Other News" bar at the bottom of Page One had a color photo and pointed readers to page A10. There the article ran in the top corner of the page in two columns 13" deep below a B&W Associated Press photo showing Dan and Marilyn Quayle waving to supporters. The article "From News Services" had a variation of Fournier's lede: "Former Vice President Dan Quayle declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Wednesday by pledging to rebuild American values after what he called 'a dishonest decade of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.'"
The Hometown Paper
On April 13 under a heading of "Countdown to Quayle" the paper ran a large color photo by Chris Henderson showing a line of Quayle signs along a road, a smaller Henderson photo showing preparations in the gym, and two articles: "HNHS gym will emerge as a national showcase" by staff writer Sandra Wiley and "They're all just waiting" by staff writer Dave Schultz.
On April 14 the paper devoted its full front page to Quayle's announcement as well as the top three-quarters of the back of the front section, page 8A. Dominating the top of Page One was a huge horizontally cropped (12 7/8" x 4 7/8") color photo by Chris Henderson of Quayle delivering the speech . The lead story, by city editor Cindy Klepper, ran under a headline "I will seek and I will win...: Presidential campaign rally stresses values, faith, freedom." The article continued on page 2A. There were two other front page articles: "For those in the crowd, Dan's the man" by staff writer Jerry Hertenstein (continued on page 8A) and "A relaxing start to a hectic day" by associate editor Tom Hernes (continued on page 8A). There were also two smaller Chris Henderson photos from the rally: a photo of Dan and Marilyn Quayle and one of someone in the crowd. Finally across the bottom of the page was a graphic "Dan Quayle timeline" by Paul Siegfried. Page 8A had, in addition to the continuations of the two articles described above, an article by staff writer Dave Schultz "On eve of rally, city much the same...but different" and two photos by Denny Klepper, one of Dan and Marilyn Quayle arriving and one of people looking at Dan Quayle souvenir items.
On April 15 the paper had a front-page color photo by Chris Henderson of Quayle joining the regulars in Nick's Kitchen and three articles. The lead story "Bacon, eggs--and a chat with Matt" by staff writer Jerry Hertenstein described Quayle's early morning visit to the cafe and the broadcast of the "Today" show from the site. Staff writer Sandra Wiley had a piece "Rally coverage depth varied" examining how different news organizations covered the announcement. Staff writer Dave Schultz's piece "Quayle attracts some political star power" looked at some of the Quayle's prominent backers. For a finishing touch, the full back page of the front section, page 8A, carried a photo feature "Q2K: Scenes from the rally" with six big color photos.