The season of the Great Political Hunt is about to open, and politicians and luminaries, large and small, are gathering beaters for their quest. The King's Forest is thick and thorny, and its trails ill-defined, but the quarry, Most Powerful Job On Earth, has irresistible appeal to these hunters. Of course, I am speaking of the Presidential Quest for the new millenium. Mr. Gore, the heir-apparent of whatever tattered mantle remains after Bill Clinton wiped the sewers with it, is likely to be the Democratic nominee. Bill Bradley, a Rhodes Scholar, basketball Hall Of Famer, former senator, and an intelligent and compassionate man, is Gore's only declared opposition. Although it may be unwise to say it after hearing what passed for truth emanate from the Oval Office, I think we can depend on both integrity and decency from Messrs. Gore and Bradley. That, sir, is a rare compliment to each, one that applies to few politicians or maybe even most of us who pull on our trousers each day.

From the Republican ranks is arising a motley crew of distinguished personages. George W. Bush rides foremost among them today as the urban cowboy who says "Buenos Dias," as well as "Howdy, partner." Pat Buchanan speaks with the savvy and humor of a street urchin, and has already displayed his elfin wit in diatribes about protecting American jobs, fair trade, restrictions on immigration, and the right to life. Whether or not one agrees with Buchanan, it takes real work to dislike him, and he pulls the party back to blue-collar issues others tend to ignore. Steve Forbes will likely hunt again, though his proposed modification of our tax structure has fallen flat. Lamar Alexander has joined the ranks of contenders, quietly stalking along the paths in his experienced, sensible, rational crouch. A favorite of mine, Senator John McCain, a man rash enough to take on big tobacco and campaign financing, unfortunately carries the serious and perhaps fatal liabilities of principle and political honesty. Sitting and thinking in a Vietnamese prison cell for more than five years gave him time to put real priorities on life. He has a tendency to tell it straight, doesn't parse words well, refuses to pander to polls, and won't duck the tough issues as today's winning politician must. On the lighter side, Dan Quayle has thrown his hat or golfing cap in the ring. Dan has the unusual ability to put not one, but both feet in his mouth while talking cheerful nonsense to the press. Some of his attribution is so dire St. Peter may actually turn him aside at the pearly gate. Well, at least we won't waste a mind if Dan fails to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom.

But with Jesse Ventura's recent success in being elected Governor of Minnesota as a Reform Party candidate, comes an idea that might actually be worth money. Probably less than fifteen percent of American voters still remember that the last presidential contest was between William Jefferson Clinton and Robert Dole. Most of them are trying to forget it. A Dole/Clinton election! My gifted and insightful take, unusual for me, is that we should again have a Dole/Clinton election. However, this time the Reform Party will leave Ross Perot behind and run a ticket with Libby Dole for president and Hillary Clinton for vice-president. Both of these women are undeniably talented and intelligent, and Libby Dole is now considering running for the Republican nomination. For a multitude of reasons, both good and bad, she is highly likely to lose, and we run the risk of putting another Bush in the White House. Eight years after his father left office, the son might be sworn in, which almost smacks of monarchy. No, both of these women have sincere political agendas, and they may be more similar than one thinks. That was the Red Cross Mrs. Dole headed, and on the compassion scale she and Hillary might not be far apart.

The clever and diabolical nature of my scheme needs minimal explanation. Many democrats believe Hillary has the credentials to be elected senator of New York state. Many republicans believe Libby Dole would make a fine president. Most women, and probably more than a few senators after the impeachment embarrassment, would like to see a woman finally become president. In a three-way race, enough democrats, republicans, and women would vote for the Dole/Clinton ticket to win, perhaps by a landslide with much more than a fifty percent majority. They would be a lock. The combination would be unstoppable, and it would owe absolutely nothing to either established political party. To answer the money grubbing question: there are enough rich widows around to provide very credible funding.

Perhaps most important, the White House interns could all rest easy. Even if they wanted to, both Libby and Hillary have the self-discipline to turn down displays of thong lingerie or athletic supporters. Besides John McCain, who else could we really depend on!

Sam Orr sorr@metrolink.net
World Traveler
and Philanthrope
(Location Unknown)