One Thing Didn't Change: Money Talks in Elections

ROSS PEROT wasn't the only candidate who did relatively well by outspending the competition. With a few exceptions - such as Sen. Robert Kasten's (R) defeat in Wisconsin and Rep. Thomas McMillen's (D) loss in Maryland - the biggest spenders won congressional elections.

Nowhere did the spend-and-win rule hold more true than in California, where Democrats Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein became the state's first female senators with two of the nation's most costly campaigns. Ms. Boxer spent $8.5 million to beat Republican Bruce Herschensohn and his $5.7 million, while Ms. Feinstein outdueled Sen. John Seymour (R), $6.9 million to $6.1 million. And Michael Huffington, a Republican upstart who bankrolled the most expensive of all House bids with more than $4 million of h is money, also won in the Golden State.

Senate candidates who outspent the opposition and won the election included Alfonse D'Amato (D) of New York, Christopher Bond (R) of Missouri, and Carol Moseley Braun (D) of Illinois. Big-spending House winners included Richard Gephardt (D) of Missourri, Newt Gingrich (R) of Georgia, Steny Hoyer (D) of Maryland, and Mike Synar (D) of Oklahoma. Adding insult to injury

As if losing the White House weren't enough, voters in his adopted home state of Texas did not exactly treat President Bush as a favored son.

He carried the state with 41 percent of the vote, but most voters who were asked told pollsters they don't think he's really much of a Texan. Voters leaving their polling places in Texas were asked if they believed "George Bush is a real Texan." Sixty percent said "no," 36 percent "yes."

Mr. Bush won a two-thirds majority among Texans believing him to be a real Texan. But among the naysayers, 8 of 10 went for Democrat Bill Clinton. The swoon factor

Governor Clinton was elected president on Tuesday, but at times it seemed more as if he had just cut an album that rose to No. 1 in the charts. Yesterday morning, Clinton drew shrieks and swoons in his home state - a reaction more familiar to rock stars than politicians.

"It's him. It's him. It's Bill," a women yelled as Clinton arrived at a victory celebration in downtown Little Rock. "It's the governor. I mean the president."

Adding to the star factor were the inevitable Hollywood types who flock to the center of power like moths seeking the light. Actors Richard Dreyfuss, Woody Harrelson, and Markie Post were all spotted at parties in Little Rock. Sighted in a trendy restaurant there on Monday night were model Cindy Crawford, talk show host Arsenio Hall, and actor Jack Nicholson. Campaign follies

It's a good thing the campaign is over. At the end, things were getting just a tad bizarre.

On board Air Force One on Monday, a group of White House and campaign aides - including press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, deputy campaign manager Mary Matalin, White House political director Ron Kaufman, and chief speech writer Steve Provost - formed a conga line and sang: "Some say our nation's like Sri Lanka. I say - you're drinking more than Sanka." It was a poke at Bill Clinton's assertion that Bush economic policies had driven the US economy down to somewhere between Germany and Sri Lanka.

As for Clinton, he found himself face to face with his party's symbol. In Paducah, Ky., the governor met up with Joe Altenberger, a retired farmer sitting atop a mule. Clinton headed over and posed for pictures with man and mule. The candidate's aides looked a little horrified at the thought of the Democratic nominee being pictured on election eve with a mule. But not even a mule could slow down the Clinton bandwagon.

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