Conventional wisdom

Jeffrey M. Landaw

July 16, 1992|By Jeffrey M. Landaw

LET'S Fall in Love"?

Of all the songs in the world, the Democrats had to pick that one for their theme this year?

Well, Hillary Clinton seems to be keeping her temper; she probably realizes it could have been worse. They might have picked "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love, I Love the Girl I'm Near."

This would have been a good year, maybe better than most, for picking songs that expressed something about the candidates, whether they wanted it expressed or not. Now that we've knocked off Bill Clinton, let's try the others:

Dan Quayle: "If I Only Had a Brain." (If he doesn't like that, he could play nine holes with Mr. Clinton for the rights to "Draft Dodger Rag.")

Paul Tsongas: "The Masochistic Tango."

Pat Buchanan: "Cara al Sol" (Face to the Sun), the Spanish Falangist hymn.

Al Gore: "It's Hip to Be Square." (Tipper's husband had better not try to sing anything else.)

Jerry Brown: "It's My Party, I'll Cry If I Want To."

Ross Perot: "Oh Lord, It's Hard to Be Humble (When You're Perfect in Every Way)"

George Bush: I was going to see what Barry Louis Polisar had done about broccoli, but why bother? If he thinks it'll play, Our Beloved Leader will try to sing anything.

9- Jeffrey M. Landaw is a Sun makeup editor.

Factoids you can use

ON THE occasion of the Democratic National Convention, the editors of Harper's magazine have compiled this special index to take the measure of the political moment:

* Number of extra dancers Stringfellow's, a New York City topless bar, has hired to work during the Democratic National Convention: 30

* Number of extra dancers that Rick's, a Houston topless bar, plans to hire during the Republican National Convention in August: 20

* Percentage points by which Houston's humidity level in August exceeds New York's in July, according to the Democratic National Committee's convention press kit: 16

* Ratio of reporters to delegates attending the Democratic convention this year: 3 to 1

* Number of first-time voters registered in the last year through concert and MTV promotions by Rock the Vote: 100,000

* Chances that an American under the age of 21 voted in the 1972 presidential election: 1 in 2

* Chances that an American under the age of 21 voted in the 1988 presidential election: 1 in 3

* Contribution to the Bush re-election campaign made by Ross Perot Jr.: $1,000

* Number of years since an elected Republican president has not been re-elected: 60

* Average percentage of adults who vote for the winning presidential candidate: 30

* Maximum percentage of the national vote ever won by a third-party presidential candidate: 27 (Theodore Roosevelt, 1912)

* Number of presidential elections since 1964 in which the Democratic candidate won a majority of the white vote: 0

* Chances that a vote cast in the 1960 presidential election was cast by a suburbanite: 1 in 4

* Chances that a vote cast in November will be cast by a suburbanite: 1 in 2

* Days it would take to exhaust Ross Perot's fortune if it were used to pay the interest on the federal deficit: 5.7

* Rank of Ross Perot and Lyndon LaRouche, among candidates receiving the most votes in the North Dakota Democratic primary this year: 1, 2

* Rank of George Bush and Pat Paulsen, among candidates receiving the most votes in the North Dakota Republican primary: 1, 2

* Campaign funds spent by Bill Clinton during the primaries, per delegate won: $8,038

* Campaign funds spent by Michael Dukakis during the 1988 primaries, per delegate won: $11,013

* Rank of Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Michael Dukakis, among the Democratic nominees since 1956 receiving the largest percentage of primary votes: 1, 2, 3

* Rank of Jimmy Carter and George Bush, among presidents running for a second term since 1948 with the lowest approval ratings at convention time: 1, 2

* Number of times Hubert Humphrey used the word "party" in his nomination-acceptance speech at the 1968 Democratic convention: 28

* Number of times Michael Dukakis used the word "party" in his nomination acceptance speech in 1988: 2

* Amount a group of midtown Manhattan businesses will give each homeless person who spends convention week in another part of town: $5

* Number of its activists for whom the Rainbow Affinity Tribe requested campground facilities in Central Park during the convention: 5,000

* The time after which one should not walk in New York City alone, according to the Federation of New York State Rifle and Pistol Clubs: 6 p.m.

* One-day rental price of a bulletproof vest during convention week from the federation's street-corner vendors: $10

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