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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Bold Kid Asks Buchanan to Keep Taxes Low

February 28, 1992

ROME, Ga. (AP) _ There was a small but savvy person awaiting Patrick Buchanan when he arrived for a rally at a mall here in northwest Georgia.

Amid the crowd of television cameras and welcomers, Buchanan spotted 9- year-old Johnson Davis in a white straw hat with a red, white and blue Buchanan band.

The little boy shook the Republican challenger’s hand and then asked, in a squeaky child’s voice, ″Will you please see to it that taxes aren’t going to be raised?″

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Buchanan, who has never run for office before, spent part of his day defending his presidential qualifications to the press.

The former White House aide said he is intimately familiar with the presidency, having spent eight years just outside the Oval Office.

Furthermore, said Buchanan, who could never be accused of false modesty, ’If you look at the field of candidates I’m running against, there’s no cause for intimidation.″

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Paul Tsongas was accompanied by an old colleague, Sen. David Boren, on his second foray to the deep South.

Some Southerners apparently don’t consider Oklahoma the true South, but Boren’s accent seemed familiar enough to the Atlantans he addressed.

″He may not talk with a Southern accent, but he speaks our language,″ he said of Tsongas in introductions to state legislators and a rally audience.

″I don’t have a Southern accent, but I grew up in South Lowell,″ Tsongas added when it was his turn.

Unfortunately for him, he’s up against Bill Clinton - the genuine article.

State Rep. Carlton Colwell of Blairsville put the problem - or problems - succinctly: ″Clinton is from the South. And he came in early. And the governor is for him.″

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Lee Hart, wife of former presidential candidate Gary Hart, is backing Tsongas, even though many of Hart’s supporters are now with Bob Kerrey.

At a campaign rally for Tsongas, Mrs. Hart told a sign-waving crowd that she originally was going to sit on the sidelines, but decided to get involved because she was so impressed with Tsongas’s message, especially his opposition to middle-class tax cuts.

″When they started talking about it, I thought Washington had gone completely mad,″ the former senator’s wife said, sporting a ″Tsitizens for Tsongas″ button.

One of Hart’s key advisers, Billy Shore, is working for Kerrey. Hart has not expressed a preference in the Democratic race.

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