Convention Notebook

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THE RAINCOAT INDEX

Republicans are focused primarily on George W. Bush this week, of course, but there's also strong interest in another contest just to the north - the US Senate race in New York. Pollster John Zogby reported here that 38 percent of New Yorkers - an unusually large number - are now "very unfavorable" toward Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy. What does "very" unfavorable mean? Mr. Zogby says those are New Yorkers whose "boots and raincoats are hanging by the door, and they wake up every morning and say: 'Is today the day I get to vote against Hillary?' "

KERRY ME IF U CAN

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Republicans are looking beyond Philadelphia at the imminent decision by Al Gore on a running mate. Among those frequently mentioned: Bob Kerrey and John Kerry. Senator Kerrey, a Nebraskan, would give Mr. Gore a running mate who is a war hero with a strong, John McCain-type appeal to independents. Senator Kerry, from Massachusetts, is also a Vietnam war hero. Other names mentioned by insiders here: former Senate majority leader George Mitchell of Maine (a cautious choice similar to Bush selecting Dick Cheney), and Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri (a labor favorite). Who would be Gore's most stunning possible choice? Well, he could select Bill Clinton.

IF ASKED, HE WOULD HAVE SERVED

Former Rep. Vin Weber, a Minnesota Republican, told a Monitor luncheon here that John McCain would have accepted the VP nomination if it had been offered by George W. Bush. Mr. Weber, who was an informal adviser to Mr. McCain during his campaign, says the senator didn't want to be just one of a dozen or so contenders on Mr. Bush's VP list. That process requires a long, and somewhat embarrassing investigative process, with the high probability of eventual rejection. McCain went through that in 1996.

LET'S KEEP OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT

Nine-year-old Olivia Lalewicz, who sang the National Anthem at the convention Tuesday night, was dressed in a frilly white costume with a garland of flowers in her hair. She was cute, winsome - the very picture of a little girl. Walking the corridors after her performance, she seemed unimpressed by the throngs of delegates offering congratulations. Then, suddenly, she brightened. She excitedly handed her mother a camera and scooted off to have her picture taken - in the arms of a giant mannequin dressed in a Philadelphia Flyers goalie uniform.

- Compiled from staff reports

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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