In other areas, too, Quayle has established himself as an active presence in the Senate. Earlier this year, he strengthened his conservative credentials by leading the fight in the Senate against a bill requiring 60-days notice of plant closings. In 1986, Quayle championed the nomination of South Bend, Ind., lawyer Daniel Manion to be a federal appeals court judge. After a nasty partisan feud, the nomination was approved when Bush cast the tie-breaking vote.
So his selection as the party's vice-presidential nominee is a salve to those conservatives who had been less than delighted at the thought that the moderate George Bush might select a similarly inclined running mate. ``I couldn't be more grateful,'' gushed Mr. Falwell. Added Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R) of New Hampshire: ``It will energize conservatives and that's very important.''
More than that, however, the Bush campaign is hoping that Quayle's popularity with women and moderates in Indiana will carry nationally and will provide Bush with much-needed boost among those groups. And, as important as that appeal is, many Republican strategists believe there is nothing about Quayle's candidacy that is quite so compelling as his potential appeal to young people. At 41, Quayle would be one of the youngest vice-presidents in US history if sworn into office in January.
``They are not a monolithic bloc, if someone could get the lion's share of the [youth] vote, it's an automatic win. I do think there will be a certain amount of pride and excitement generated in large segments of that group because this is the first time that anyone in that generation has run for national office,'' says Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater. ``He's a phenomenon, which is going from nowhere to somewhere.''