As the sun finally starts to rise on the political landscape, tough decisions have to be made by tough campaign managers. One faced by Al Gore's people is how far the candidate can disassociate himself from Bill Clinton.
Mr. Gore's handlers are concerned that some of Mr. Clinton's behavior will be attributed to Mr. Gore.
That is why a Gore Damage Control & Spin Team is charged with spreading the word that the Gores and the Clintons never ate in the same MacDonald's.
At a recent rehearsal for a press conference, the Gore support staff worked over the vice president.
One man said, "Now the first question the press will ask you is, 'Have you ever met Bill Clinton?' "
Gore said, "What's my answer to that?"
"Reply that you may have met him at a Democratic fund-raiser when Clinton wanted to have his picture taken with you, but you meet so many people, it's hard to remember everybody you shook hands with at each fund-raiser."
"Next they are going to ask you where you stand with Monica Lewinsky."
"Where do I stand?"
"Say you've read a few stories about her in the newspapers, but as far you know she doesn't know your name. Above all, if she turns up with a bunch of interns on the White House lawn, don't hug her."
A spin doctor said, "Now you will be asked a follow-up question. 'Do you believe in adultery?' "
"Of course not."
"Suppose the president of the United States is engaged in something like it?"
Gore said, "That's impossible--no one would do it in the White House with thousands of tourists going through every hour."
"Mr. Vice President, you seem to be doing pretty well. George W. Bush is going to charge that on one occasion you had breakfast with President Clinton and a half-dozen Buddhist priests. We believe you should admit to dining with the priests but deny you ever had scrambled eggs with Bill Clinton."