IT IS generally agreed among political experts that Pat Buchanan is the pit bull of the 1992 elections.
People did not take him seriously until New Hampshire.
Now there is tremendous concern. Mr. Buchanan is a street fighter and has spent his life using his fists to get ahead. The fear in Washington is that if he becomes president his temper will prevail.
Let's fast-forward to 1993. Mr. Buchanan has turned the Oval Office into a gym.
"Mr. President, you're having dinner this evening with the prime minister of Japan."
Mr. Buchanan hits his punching bag. "I can take him in one round."
"Please don't sock him, Mr. President. We're still suffering from the fallout when you drove your fist into President Mitterrand's stomach in Brussels."
"Well, he shouldn't have said that the American dollar was the sick lady of Europe."
"He didn't say that. He said that the ties between France and the United States are as strong now as they were when Lafayette came to America."
"He said that, but he was thinking about the dollar. Besides I hardly knocked the wind out of him. It was a love tap."
"Mr. President, you're going to have to stop slugging everyone who comes into the White House."
"Including the Republicans who supported George Bush?"
"Well, what you're doing doesn't look good. Here is a headline in People magazine: President Decks Prince Charles at British Embassy Garden Party."
Mr. Buchanan says, "I couldn't stand his bloody accent."
"OK on Charles, but why did you have to kick Yeltsin in the shins? It has caused an international incident."
"He said that we were too slow and too late in delivering relief to the Russian people, and he kept grinning when he said it."
"Mr. President, you probably have good reason for beating up on everyone, but there are other ways of handling world situations."
"I promised to bring America back to the people, and the only way I know how is with my knuckles. Now what about the Japanese prime minister? Does the CIA have any information on whether he has a black belt in karate or not? You have to be careful of the little guys at state dinners, because they'll butt you with their heads. I learned that when Yitzhak Shamir was here last week."
"Mr. President, why not just have a quiet state dinner and exchange toasts of friendship and understanding?"
"What the hell good will that do?"
"It will get you off the front pages for one thing. Also, it will prove that you can run the country without getting into a fight."
"Maybe, but if he says one word about the quality of American cars, he's getting it in the choppers."
"No wonder the public calls you The White Hope."
Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.