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Notes and Quotes From Campaign 2000

March 1, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ For those running a presidential campaign, few things are as perilous as press corps hungry to break news that a candidate is giving up.

Upon landing in Los Angeles Tuesday after a bumpy ride from San Francisco, Jon Lenzer, Bill Bradley’s press handler, was there waiting to place colorful Hawaiian leis _ but not the usual accompanying kiss _ around the necks of arriving reporters.

``Welcome to Los Angeles,″ read a handout distributed on the press bus as it cruised toward downtown.

Besides the requisite news about where Bradley would be speaking, and to whom, the handout included such information as ``Top nights spots in LA.″ One recommended venue: The Viper Room, ``first-rate club for first-rate performers. Johnny Depp’s only contribution to Hollywood.″

The packet encouraged reporters, once back at the hotel after a health care event Wednesday morning, to ``file their front-page stories, eat lunch, get a massage, get a tattoo.″

Think they were kidding? Further down the page were three local venues for ``massage and stress relief,″ as well as three places to get tattoos.

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BY THE NUMBERS:

60 _ Percentage of Republican women in Virginia who thought John McCain made unfair attacks on George W. Bush. While Bush and McCain were close among male voters, women favored Bush over McCain by 16 points in Virginia overall. A fifth of Republican women thought Bush attacked McCain unfairly. (Source: Voter News Service exit polls)

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VOTER’S VOICE:

``I think (Gore) has the experience that Bradley lacks. ... All Bradley’s campaign is doing is distracting from Gore’s campaign. The fact that he’s running, period, is just inappropriate for the party. It’s a betrayal of the strong attempt by the Democratic Party to remain in office.″ _ Adam Gerston, 19, of Los Gatos, Calif., a freshman at UCLA who was waiting to hear Bradley at a rally on campus.

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THIS DATE FOUR YEARS AGO:

Lamar Alexander fired back at reporters who kept asking about when he would end his campaign. ``We have a country that is hungry for an election and a vision contest,″ Alexander said after a rally in West Columbia, S.C. ``So instead of acting like a bunch of handicappers, why don’t we talk about what kind of country we’re going to have?″ Most polls showed the former Tennessee governor in a statistical tie with Steve Forbes for third place in South Carolina despite his Southern roots.

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WEDNESDAY’S ROUNDUP:

Al Gore and Bradley were debating in Los Angeles. Following his enormous loss in Washington state’s nonbinding Democratic primary, Bradley insisted that next Tuesday was just ``the starting point″ for his campaign, even as some of his prominent supporters predicted he would be out after then.

Bush noted ``a little spring in my step″ the day after sweeping Republican contests in Virginia, Washington state and North Dakota to recapture the lead in the fight for the GOP nomination. A defiant McCain said he would press on even though ``the establishment is intent on breaking me.″

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THURSDAY’S TRAIL:

Bush, Alan Keyes and McCain (via satellite from St. Louis) debate in Los Angeles. Bradley campaigns in New York and Hartford, Conn. Gore campaigns in Maryland.

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