Jewish World Review May 12, 1999 /26 Iyar 5759
Watch Quayle go from "incredible" to quite credible
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IF THE EXPERTS had been right, four of the last six presidents would never
have held office.
In 1968, political analysts decided Richard Nixon couldn't possibly win.
He'd lost twice in the decade (the presidency and governorship of
California) and threw a tantrum after the latter loss. Besides, he was
Tricky Dick of 5 o'clock shadow fame.
In 1980, Reagan was too old and nowhere near bright enough for the job, an
ex-actor who couldn't tell time without cue cards.
Prior to the 1988 New Hampshire primary, the wimp factor ruled out George
Bush. Gennifer Flowers' revelations initially were judged fatal to Clinton's
ambitions in '92.
So, when the pundits pronounce Dan Quayle unelectable because of a media
rap (dense and given to malapropisms) almost a decade old, skepticism is in
order. Increasingly, the former vice president looks and sounds like a
At the Granite State GOP shindig in Manchester earlier this month, Quayle
struck exactly the right note, reminding conservatives that he's the only
movement hopeful in the race who's held elective office, and, unlike the
top-tier candidates currently vying for their support, he's been there for
"Who's been fighting for your values and your families for over 20 years?"
Quayle asked. "Who has the experience when it comes to foreign policy, and
who has been tested and has the courage to lead this great country of ours?"
In the coming months, Quayle will regularly remind Republican activists
that he has experience none of the others seeking the nomination can touch.
Front-runner George W. Bush has been governor of Texas for four years.
Against this, Quayle was a House member, served eight years in the Senate
and was a heartbeat away from the presidency from 1989 to 1993.
He was a Reaganite before there were Reaganites.
In his first year in the House (1977), Quayle introduced both a human life
amendment and a term-limitation amendment to the Constitution. As a senator,
he proposed eliminating the marriage tax penalty, fought for a modified
flat-tax and won critical funding for the Patriot missile.
As vice president, he chaired the Council on Competitiveness, which secured
regulatory relief for small business. Quayle was George Bush's good angel,
arguing against the 1991 tax hike, supporting Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court
nomination but quietly opposing David Souter for the court.
In a series of articles published in The Washington Post in January 1992,
Bob Woodward and David Broder wrote: "Our impressions of Dan Quayle stem
mainly from jokes, cartoons and the kinds of stories that often distort our
pictures of the very powerful. But behind this image, he has become a
skillful political player, a man who has been repeatedly underestimated."
Most of all, the Hoosier resisted the temptation to curry favor with the
Fourth Estate. He could have "grown in office," the media's benediction on
conservatives who sell out.
Instead, after being unmercifully and unfairly pummeled for four years,
Quayle made his Murphy Brown speech in 1992, knowing full well the media's
disdain for politicians who defy a corrupt culture. (Quayle: "Marriage is a
moral issue that requires cultural consensus, and the use of social
sanctions. Bearing babies irresponsibly is, simply, wrong.")
The address launched a national debate. Many who then lampooned Quayle for
criticizing a sit-com character have since come around.
Hollywood's nemesis still refuses to kiss the media's ring. Unlike
Elizabeth Dole, Quayle blames the Littleton, Colo., killings on the culture,
not guns. "I see the country slipping away from a God-fearing nation to a
nation that fears the next school shooting," he told the New Hampshire
Unlike Sen. John McCain, Quayle isn't rattling sabers on Kosovo. In a
conversation with me before his speech, Quayle's contempt for the Clinton
sideshow was palpable.
"This is a civil war," the vice president told me. "Superpowers don't get
involved in civil wars. They mediate and bring the parties together. We
Golfers usually stroll. Dan Quayle is running hard and running smart --
running on experience, running on commitment, running on themes (national
security, tax reduction and family values), he's sounded for going on two
If he wins one of the early primaries, pundits who are crying "loser" today
will discover how much George Bush's No. 2 has "matured as a campaigner" --
how the formerly incredible is now quite
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5/03/99: Gore race-baits with impunity
4/29/99: Why Kosovo? Oh, just because
4/27/99: The president's pro-parent claptrap
4/22/99: McCain plays to the media
4/19/99: NATO would have favored the confederacy
4/14/99: Before we march into Kosovo
4/12/99: Taiwan more worthy of U.S. support
4/09/99: Bauer and Forbes --- Main Street vs. Wall Street
4/05/99: Bubba and Maddy lit Kosovo's fire
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3/17/99: Hollywood's party line in 1999
3/15/99: All bow, the court is in session
3/11/99: In praise of negative campaigning
3/09/99: Day-care study defies common sense
3/04/99: Starship Clinton orbits Kosovo
3/01/99: Public will blot out Broaddrick's accusation
2/25/99: Slick Hillie for Senate would be fun
2/23/99: Fascism in the name of fighting fascism
2/16/99: Was anything learned from the impeachment trial?
2/12/99: Educating the democratic voters of tomorrow
2/10/99: First Amendment doesn't apply to pro-life cause
2/08/99: Dems' triumph over Constitution complete
2/03/99: Blood of victims will drown out breakfast prayers
2/01/99: Without a home the heart knows no rest
1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
1/05/99: Monica and a call to modesty
12/30/98: Will Bubba get away with it again?
12/28/98: Zionist dream alive and well on West Bank
12/18/98: Impeach or abandon the Rule of Law
12/16/98: Clinton moves Middle East closer to war
12/14/98: Why we lost interest in the homeless
12/10/98: No place at table for conservatives
12/07/98: The day America lost its innocence
12/02/98: Pilgrims Pilloried in streets of Plymouth
11/30/98: Caribbean dogpatch not a good candidate for statehood
11/25/98: Will Vermont force gay marriage on the nation?
11/23/98: The ACLU wants your kids to get a love life
11/18/98: Why liberals hate tobacco and guns more than drugs and crime
11/16/98: "Pleasantville" a countercultural morality play
11/13/98: Ads are a tough sell for abortion
11/09/98: Why gutless Republicans lost
11/06/98: Historians against the Constitution
11/02/98: Loving response to a hateful conference
10/28/98: Professor Death will fit right in at Princeton
10/26/98: Plymouth caves to Pilgrim foes
10/21/98: On '98 election, keep a critical eye on polls
10/19/98: Clinton could yet be 'prosperity president'
10/16/98: Working families -- Dems love 'em (stuffed)
10/09/98: Majoring in 'weirdness'
10/07/98: Friends of Billy Clinton
9/29/98: Letter from ex-soldier highlights defense peril
9/28/98: Answering arguments against impeachment
9/18/98: The nation that doesn't exist
9/14/98: Bubba isn't the only one who should be ashamed
9/11/98: Resolution of Clinton crisis will define national character
9/09/98: We're still just wild about Harry
9/07/98: Mexican banditry didn't end with Pancho Villa
9/02/98: Clinton forgives us!
8/31/98: Ashcroft's plain talking touches responsive chord
8/26/98: Public opinion be damned
8/24/98: Why liberals condone Clinton's lies
8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy
©1999, Creators Syndicate