Where are the Democrats?

August 28, 1991|By The (Lexington, N.C.) Dispatch

ONE BY one, the Democrats are saying "no thanks" to the chance to run for president.

Can you blame them?

President Bush remains more popular than ever, and there is really no organized opposition to his election bid. Polls show Bush winning a landslide against any potential Democratic candidate.

The Democrats have been meeting a lot lately and seem to have settled on a strategy against the Bush-Quayle re-election ticket. That strategy is to hit the Republicans hard on domestic issues, namely because the Bush administration continues to have one foreign policy success after another.

They say that Bush is more like a foreign minister than a president, and there is some merit to that argument. Bush has already visited more foreign countries than any other president, but there are still about a half a dozen states right here that Bush has not yet set a presidential foot in. His domestic agenda has been mostly talk and little action.

The Democrats may have a strategy. What they don't have is a candidate to oppose George Bush.

Rep. Richard Gephardt and Sen. Jay Rockefeller just said no. New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is under intense pressure to join the fray, but so far he has held out. Sen. Albert Gore of Tennessee is also doubtful.

That's assuming Quayle stays on the Bush ticket and is groomed to run for president, which is a fairly safe bet.

A lack of candidates has left the party leadership frustrated. The Democrats would never admit to throwing in the towel, but that is basically what's happening. Our political system depends on choices. As the best Democrats decide to sit on the sidelines in '92, it is robbing our political process of its freedom to choose.

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