Convention notebook

Look who gets immunity

In a game called "Political Survivor," Republican pollster Frank Luntz asked a focus group of 36 undecided voters to expel "from politics forever" anyone on his list of 10 political figures. First out: Pat Buchanan, Jesse Ventura, Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, and Janet Reno. Next: Ralph Nader, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Finally, Al Gore got dumped. The "Political Survivor" winner: Hillary Rodham Clinton. Said Mr. Luntz: "I'm shocked!" No word if she'll get a million dollars.

A clean sweep

Buses bringing GOP delegates to the convention site are thoroughly examined on each trip by security. One approaching the hall was stopped and checked underneath by men using mirrors and flashlights. Other uniformed officers probed various compartments and looked under the seats. Finally, the bus was waved through. One Nebraska delegate commented: "I guess they didn't find any Democrats."

CHECK UNDER THE TRENCH COAT

Perhaps the flashlights should be trained under the media tent. One woman approached the Monitor press booth and grandly asked: "Anyone want to talk to Gov. Glendening of Maryland?" He's a Democrat, of course. Mr. Glendening sneaked in with media credentials, no doubt supplied by some friendly reporter, and was making the rounds as an opposition scout and spinmeister. "Today is diversity day here," he said. "But 90 percent of the delegates are white males. Twenty percent are millionaires. That's not the America I know." How many other Dems are circulating in the hall. "A bunch," he said.

THOMAS'S ENGLISH MUFFIN

Latest media merger: Helen Thomas, longtime UPI White House correspondent, and the Sperling breakfast. The breakfasts, organized since 1966 by Christian Science Monitor columnist Godfrey Sperling Jr., are off-limits to wire reporters so they don't scoop the newspaper scribes in attendance. Ms. Thomas is now a columnist for Hearst newspapers. "Very informative," she said of her first briefing with Bush strategist Karl Rove.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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