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Notes, Quotes From Campaign Trail

January 27, 2000

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) _ Bipartisan buddy talk enlivened the second encounter in three days between Republican George W. Bush and a senator campaigning for Democrat Bill Bradley.

``I’m stalking him,″ Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey cracked after bumping into Bush at the Puritan Backroom Restaurant and Lounge, a blue-plate diner, on Wednesday.

``Hey, killer,″ said the Texas governor, shaking Kerrey’s hand.

Kerrey complimented Bush on an address he gave at Iowa State University on Monday, when they last met. ``It was a good speech, good speech,″ he said. ``I don’t know if that helped you in New Hampshire. You probably don’t want me to say nice things about you.″

``Listen, I do want you to say nice things about me,″ Bush assured him. Kerrey replied, ``Well, you’re the real thing. I trust you.″

In an earlier aside, Kerrey, a Vietnam veteran and former Democratic presidential candidate, told Bush: ``The best thing about New Hampshire is I no longer have Vietnam flashbacks, I have New Hampshire flashbacks.″

Kerrey did not fare well in the New Hampshire primary while seeking the Democratic nomination eight years ago.

The Puritan is a popular stop: Vice President Al Gore and Republican Gary Bauer ran into each other there several weeks ago.

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BY THE NUMBERS:

61 _ Number of minutes after the end of the Democrats’ debate Wednesday night before the Republican National Committee distributed a news release saying all five of the GOP candidates looked better than either Gore or Bradley.

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VOTER’S VOICE

``I don’t agree with 99 percent of the things that come out of his mouth, but I love the way he says it. He is incredibly articulate.″ _ Yoni Kadden, 29, a history teacher at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, after Republican candidate Alan Keyes spoke to students in Manchester.

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THIS DATE FOUR YEARS AGO

GOP presidential candidate Lamar Alexander had his own game plan for the Super Bowl: a new TV commercial for Iowa. Called ``Party Time,″ it was meant to be ``a fun and entertaining way of saying out loud what many Republicans have been thinking silently,″ campaign manager Dan Pero said.

In the ad, an announcer imitating President Clinton hooted ``whooo-eee!″ at the news that a Republican like Bob Dole, Phil Gramm or Steve Forbes had won the Iowa caucuses. Alexander, like rivals Gramm and Pat Buchanan, were arguing neither Dole nor Forbes could beat Clinton.

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WEDNESDAY’S ROUNDUP:

Democrats and Republicans debated one final time before the New Hampshire primary next week on Feb. 1. In a bristling, hourlong debate, Bill Bradley accused Al Gore of campaign dishonesty and flip-flops on abortion while the vice president retorted that Bradley is responsible for dragging the campaign into the mud.

On the Republican side, Gov. George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain tiptoed around the abortion issue, with the Texas governor saying the party ``must be big enough to welcome″ various views and the Arizona senator steering clear of earlier remarks suggesting he might allow his daughter to end a pregnancy. Steve Forbes complained to reporters afterward that Bush and McCain got far more time to speak while he, Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes were ``treated like potted plants.″

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TODAY’S TRAIL:

Gore interrupts his New Hampshire campaign to attend Clinton’s last State of the Union address. Bradley and the Republicans press on in the Granite State. Keyes speaks to the state Legislature and Bauer takes a side trip to Boston to address the World Affairs Council.

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