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Good-news campaigning

Suddenly, everyone has had enough of George Orwell. Let's hope nobody's out there writing a sequel called ''1985.'' Despite being flooded with oceans of Orwell, the news media cannot resist speculating on the year's political future for the United States. Generally the way to decide who has the best chance of becoming president is to note how closely the candidate is identified with good news on television.

According to TV coverage so far, Ronald Reagan should do well. His advisers won't allow him to announce anything but good news, so Good-News-Ronald does not waste television time with unhappy discussions of things like $200 billion deficits. President Reagan's good-news formula may be slightly offset by First Lady Nancy, on TV sitting on the lap of Mr. T.

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But lately, it is the Rev. Jesse Jackson, candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, who has identified himself with television's good news. Americans have a simplistic view of foreign policy anyway, which generally consists of reuniting American soldiers with their mothers on television, preferably at Christmastime. It isn't Big Brother America has to beware of. It's Big Blubber.

So then, if good-news identification counts as presidential qualification, then Jesse Jackson is the new Democratic front-runner. His successful political foray to the Middle East, resulting in the release of Navy flyer Lt. Robert O. Goodman, supplants any other deficiencies Mr. Jackson may have in the minds of TV viewers.

One thing is sure. All of this removes hard thinking from the issues and makes voting for president much simpler.

All in all, the interviews appearing on television in Syria and in America were remarkable in the way the main characters handled themselves. Some might not agree that the interviews enhanced Jesse Jackson's chances to become president, but they certainly enhanced Lieutenant Goodman's. The two appeared together at last weekend's Super Bowl.

Now that Lieutenant Goodman is out of Syria, maybe there is a chance someone can get Ronald Reagan out of Lebanon.

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