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Memos on veep choices

TO: Campaign FROM:W. RE: Possible Veeps

We have truly been blessed of late. Since sewing up the nomination, we have controlled the debate in this contest. Our Social Security plan has been embraced by millions of Americans who, like me, have no idea what it really is yet. And our bold message of compassionate conservatism and "a reformer with results" has lit the land, inspired interest, and earned esteem from both of the Americans who have been paying attention since March.

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But are we now to rest on our lariats? No I say. Now is the time for more bold sounding, yet timid plans, for more proposals without specifics. It is also time to turn our collective mind to choosing a vice president. I have been doing a great deal of thinking on this issue, seeking counsel and such, and have created a broad set of outlines.

First, our selection should be pro-choice, but not too pro-choice. One that says, "Hey, I'm open to other views, but that doesn't mean I'm going to listen to them." Conversely, we could select someone who is pro-life, but not really pro-life. One watchword should guide our selection here: "muddled indifference."

Second, our selection should have something to do with our electoral strategy. Both myself and the people I pay to figure these things out tell me we need the industrial Midwest. It's where this race will be won. It would be great to beat Gore to the punch.

Third, our selection should complement my foreign policy experience, though this may get in the way of the other criteria. I feel I have Mexico understood, but we need someone who knows about Canada and all the other countries. Is there a Grecian expert we could tap, or someone who knows the "Germanians"?

Fourth, strongly consider a woman. This is no longer an imperative as I am polling well with women of late, but still could not hurt. Thanks again for your support and help.

W.P.S. Party at the Mansion on Saturday.

TO: Staff FROM: Albert Gore Jr. RE: Vice Presidential Selections - or Replacements For Me

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After securing the nomination in record time, we have done much to move the campaign forward. My days spent visiting schools, and bouncing back-and-forth on Elian, have only helped reinforce the American people's view of me as a decisive leader.

I think my approach to campaigning, which largely involves sitting back and waiting for George W. to do something, has lit the fires of the American imagination. Some would call it reactive, but I do not. I call it proactive reactivism.

But as summer approaches, it is time to broaden our horizons and turn our attention to the question of my successor. I can tell you the vice presidency is a demanding position. The funeral attending and fundraising visits alone are a big job, but when you are saddled with other jobs as I was - reinventing government, inventing the Internet - the position can get downright unwieldy. So I have crafted a list of qualities and qualifications.

First off, I am not blind to the fact that most people don't find me cuddly. That's why I propose a real man or woman of the people to complement me - someone to which voters will say, "Hey, I actually like that person."

Second, we need someone who is strongly pro-choice, possibly a woman, to help shore up my support in that department. Democrats win office by getting the support of women, and right now I am not as strong as I need to be.

Third, let's try to pick someone outside Washington. If we want to pick up some of those anti-establishment McCain supporters, we need a fresh voice. Think Jessie Ventura without the tights.

Fourth, electorally we should try to pick someone who will make George W. work. Maybe someone from his base in the South, or someone from the industrial Midwest.

I think this list is a start for us, though it is subject to change. It's not that I'm not sure, but I may feel differently next week.

Your friend, Albert Gore

To Our Readers

Godfrey Sperling, whose column appears Tuesdays, is on vacation.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society