March 24, 1996 in Nation/World

Campaign Notes

 

Developments on the campaign trail:

He can’t help it

Trying once again to put to rest the notion he might be a candidate for vice president, retired Gen. Colin Powell said Saturday he does not have the passion needed to be on the Republican ticket.

“I can’t help it,” he said. “I’m not a politician.”

Last fall, he announced he would not run for president and now he insists he won’t become the running mate of Sen. Bob Dole. Polls show Powell would boost Dole’s popularity, giving him an edge over President Clinton in November.

Tarnished ‘golden boy’

California Gov. Pete Wilson, once touted as the golden boy of Republican governors, now finds himself fending off criticism from party leaders around the country who are concerned that his unpopularity in California could cost Dole this pivotal state in November.

Wilson, who is still struggling to recover his influence after his aborted presidential bid last year, has instead only intensified tensions among many California Republicans by wresting control of Dole’s presidential campaign in the state from Dan Lungren, the popular attorney general who is increasingly cited as a potential Dole running mate.

Two polls last week showed that if Wilson were on the ticket with Dole, Clinton would actually widen his lead in California.

Labor’s love lost

Pat Buchanan’s attacks on corporate greed and international trade may not have been as appealing to American workers as previously thought, a new poll suggests.

Just 16 percent of AFL-CIO members view Buchanan favorably, while 55 percent hold a negative opinion of him, according to a poll conducted for the federation.

The poll also showed strong support for President Clinton despite his support for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which labor vehemently opposed.

Sixty-seven percent said they would vote for Clinton while 22 percent would back Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. In a three-way race, Ross Perot and Dole each garnered 18 percent of the union members’ support, while Clinton received 57 percent.

The leadership of the 13-million-member labor federation plans to release the polling results during special convention Monday. The federation plans to spend $35 million to register workers to vote and educate them about candidates’ records.


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