ANNAPOLIS -- The American voter is cautious in these economic times, but not nearly as "down" as the media suggest, Marilyn Quayle, wife of the vice president, said here yesterday.
In Annapolis to be last night's keynote speaker for a dinner held by the American Cancer Society's local group, Mrs. Quayle offered her assessment of the national mood to General Assembly Republicans.
"The support is there for the president," she said. "No one has much faith in the Democratic candidates in the arena. People are a little concerned about someone else leading in foreign affairs."
Asked how the campaign was going, she said, "Who knows?" but added, "I think we're falling into place on the election."
Mrs. Quayle was introduced by Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, R-Md.-2nd, who said she hoped the vice president's wife would eventually become "the first lady."
The dinner last night -- a tribute to the late Del. Aris T. Allen -- stressed the need for early detection and prevention of cancer. Dr. Allen, a physician who was the legislature's only black Republican, took his own life last year after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.
Mrs. Quayle recalled for the audience the death of her mother -- physician Mary Alice Tucker -- at age 57 from breast cancer: "Early detection and prevention might have given my mother more years to be with us. What happened to my mother does not have to happen to you."
She also noted that Maryland is at the top of a list of states in cancer mortality -- with 194 deaths per 100,000 population -- and said, "Cancer demands our nation's focus."
About 350 people attended the $50-a-plate dinner, which raised money for cancer programs in Anne Arundel County. It also launched a lecture series in Dr. Allen's memory to promote early detection among the disadvantaged.