Bill Bradley Campaigns in Denver
DENVER (AP) _ Evaluating the 2000 presidential campaign at this point is like playing a basketball game without a scoreboard, Democratic hopeful and former NBA star Bill Bradley said Monday.
``We have had a strategic plan since the beginning and we are checking off each step along the road,″ the former New Jersey senator told nearly 200 people in front of the Denver Public Library. ``We are raising money and recruiting volunteers, creating a campaign unlike any one that has come before.″
Bradley has surprised many campaign watchers by steadily amassing a sizable campaign war chest of $11 million and becoming a contender in the race for the Democratic nomination, once thought to be an easy win for Vice President Al Gore.
Bradley said he is committed to campaign finance reform and in not accepting contributions from political action committees, he is putting theory into practice.
``Most Americans have a profound mistrust in the political process, primarily because of the role money plays,″ Bradley said. ``I have faith that my campaign will increase broader participation from people from all walks of life.″
Bradley stopped in Denver on his way to Houston to address the National Urban League Conference, where he plans to address problems that are not unique to the black community. He stressed what he has made a key campaign theme: racial unity.
``There are certain issues like childhood poverty, health care and the problems facing working families, where race can sometimes get in the way. But race has always been at the core of who I am,″ he said. ``When Ronald Reagan was president, it was well known that if you wanted to please the boss, you had to figure out ways to cut taxes, increase defense spending and reduce regulation.
″ With me as president, if you want to please the boss, you will have to figure out ways to make tolerance and racial unity a common-sense notion.″