ANSWERING THE MAIL. I wrote that since polls showe George Bush beating any named Democrat but not an unidentified one, someone should run with a grocery bag over his head.
I got an anonymous fax from a candidate who wrote, "Been trying to figure out how I can run without my wife knowing about it." He identifies himself only as "born in Iowa, now from the South," whose platform includes praise for broccoli and the Indianapolis Star. I think my leg is being pulled.
And then I wrote that not only members of Congress but journalists, bureaucrats, lobbyists and other denizens of Washington be subjected to term limits imposed by a constitutional amendment. Burt Fisher of Lewellen, Neb., wrote that he has asked his state's delegation to introduce such an amendment, but "I doubt that any of them have the guts to." Senator Kerrey might, if he's elected president.
And then I wrote of an effort to carve Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore. Q. D. Davis of Aberdeen wrote, "Leave Mount Rushmore alone. The Sun said 65 percent of the 18-25 years age group approve of Reagan, which is about the same percentage of that age group that cannot find Egypt on a world map. There must be a correlation there somewhere." No comment.
And then I wrote that I didn't think George Bush was a racist. Russell Mootry Jr. of Daytona Beach, Fla., wrote, "It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that continuous racist actions come from a non-racist. The things David Duke is saying now were said by Reagan and Bush." No comment.
And then I wrote that Mario Cuomo is the favorite presidential candidate among Democrats, according to a poll. Harry London of Baltimore wrote, "The first-name-calling 1992 presidential race may be between two candidates whose names end in vowels. Mario and Veto." Ha ha. Just like last time: George and Willie.
And then I wrote that Spiro Agnew had turned 73. Patricia Cahill of Skaneateles, N.Y., had her memory jogged and wrote to ask, "Could you name the female black singer who sang 'The Star Spangled Banner' a capella at the Nixon-Agnew inauguration at the behest of Mr. Agnew?" I could. Baltimore's Ethel Ennis, who says she believes she was the first ever to do it a capella at an inauguration, by the way.
And then I wrote that Sen. Alan Simpson showed rare humility by apologizing for his attacks on Anita Hill. Tom Cleary of Mondocino, Calif., wrote, "No change of style will alter his obnoxious character." Well, can't one be obnoxiously humble?
And then I edited Emma MacAllister of Bel Air's letter to the editor about the city comptroller's new $19,000 car. She proposed a certain $9,399 car instead. "That's less than half the price," she wrote. After a lightning miscalculation, I changed that to, "That's little more than half the price." My heart was in the right place, but my brain was out to lunch.