Sawdust Tears For Al......
John A. Quayle
blueoval at SGI.NET
Tue Jul 6 18:49:07 MDT 1999
Clinton tells Dems Gore is not a winner
By Doug Thompson
President Bill Clinton has told Democratic party leaders privately he
doesnt believe Vice President Al Gore can win the Presidency in the 2000
elections, White House and Democratic sources tell Capitol Hill Blue.
Clintons warning to the party signals a growing rift between the lame
duck President and his VP, a split intensified by Gores attempts to
distance himself from the scandal-ridden President.
"In recent weeks, the President has grown convinced that the Vice
President cant handle the rough-and-tumble politics of a national
Presidential run," said one former White House aide. "He doesnt think Gore
can cut it."
Gore, in the meantime, has grown frustrated with what he feels is
Clintons "meddling" in his campaign, from the ill-conceived phone call to
a New York Times reporter to express "concerns" about the VPs campaign to
the Presidents constant "suggestions" on how to help the campaign.
"The Vice President feels it is important to be his own man and he
doesnt need Bill Clinton telling him how to be it," says one Gore aide.
Gore is also said to resent the constant media attention to First Lady
Hillary Clinton all-but-certain run for a Senate seat in New York, feeling
it is distracting from his own campaign efforts.
"He feels the focus should be on his campaign for the Presidency, not her
race for the Senate," the Gore aide says. "Hes naturally miffed."
According to sources close to both Clinton and the Democratic
leadership, Clinton - in a series of private conversations with Democratic
leaders, has expressed a number of reservations about Gores candidacy,
--His failure to keep pace with Republican Presidential front runner
George W. Bushs record-setting fundraising (Gore raised only half as much
as Bush in the first six months of 1999);
--Gores poor performance in public opinion polls not only against Bush,
but also against second-place GOP Presidential contender Elizabeth Dole;
--The constant series of gaffes by Gores campaign, including the VPs
laughable claim that he "invented" the Internet to repeated misstatements
and policy mistakes;
--The strong showing by Former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley as a
primary opponent for Gore;
--What Clinton considers to be Gores "disloyal" statements about
Clintons behavior as President.
"The President wants Democrats to keep control of the White House in the
2000 election and to regain control of Congress," says one White House
aide. "He doesnt feel Al Gore can lead the party to that victory."
The White House, spokesmen for the Democratic party or Vice President
Gore did not return phone calls seeking comment on this report.
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