Quayle on Vice-Presidency, Gorbachev, Bush

THE following comments are from a breakfast last Friday with Vice-President Dan Quayle: On the vice-presidency.

It's an awkward job. You're the second most important political figure in the country, and yet people don't even want to think about you.

One word describes the office of vice-president, and that's preparation.

We have a very good working relationship between President and vice-president....

On Mikhail Gorbachev.

There is a bit of phoniness about the proposals that Gorbachev has made. He is perceived as making radical proposals out there where they really are marginal and probably things that they were going to be doing anyway....

The problem that we have and the skepticism that we have is not as much with Gorbachev the man, ... it's the system, the communist system. And that's where many of us are wondering how much change that system can really undergo.

I'm not sure how many reforms perestroika has achieved. Glasnost is different. I think it is something we can look to as on the hopeful side.

On the Bush administration.

If you would have told me we would have a budget resolution, an agreement on Central America, [savings and loan] legislation which was of crisis proportion a year or so ago, essentially worked out in the first few months, I wouldn't have believed you.

This President is not going to move at a pace to satisfy ... popular opinion. ... He is going to do what's right and he's going to take his time.

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