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Campaign Trail

Sun., June 9, 1996, midnight

Practicing that spontaneity

Washington - Sen. Bob Dole’s shortcomings as a presidential campaigner are regarded as so serious by his advisers that they believe he must reshape the way he performs or risk being overpowered by the campaign-hardened and television-wise president he seeks to unseat.

“Television is cruel to him,” a longtime friend said this week. “I was just watching him on C-SPAN. He’s not mean, but he can’t get that mean look off his face.”

Although known as a quick wit and raconteur in the Senate, Dole has seldom shown those traits on the campaign trail. Lately, however, he has made a special effort and has been rewarded with laughter by joking that Clinton, like the movie “Twister,” is “all special effects and nothing’s really there.” Clinton’s promises, he quips, are like the “Mission: Impossible” tapes - “they self-destruct in 10 seconds.”

Ralph’s feeling Green

Los Angeles - They wait.

California’s Green Party members are waiting, some patiently, some not so patiently, for a standard bearer who isn’t anyone’s idea of a standard politician.

Ralph Nader won’t run on their presidential platform, won’t air television ads, won’t take contributions and is reluctant to spend his own money on a trip to California. He doesn’t particularly want to be president.

As to traditional campaigning, he’ll have none of it. “Too superficial,” Nader said from afar.

But the reluctant presidential candidate said he’ll go to California to campaign in his own style - one of these days.

“In the summer,” he said in a telephone interview. “Probably in July.”

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