NEW YORK -- One of the oldest axioms in politics instructs that a candidate should never "step on his own story." That was one of the reasons the Bill Clinton campaign decided to select its vice-presidential nominee in advance of the convention -- to make certain the decision did not take play away from the desired focus on Mr. Clinton, who needed some image repair here this week.
All was going famously until yesterday, when Ross Perot dropped his bombshell in Dallas.
The fallout of his decision not to run drifted quickly over Madison Square Garden and environs, where television coverage and corridor talk turned on a dime away from Mr. Clinton's big night and anticipated acceptance speech to what Mr. Perot's decision meant for Mr. Clinton's chances, and for the Democratic Party.
Prior to the Perot announcement, Mr. Clinton's campaign chairman, Mickey Kantor, and Democratic National Chairman Ronald H. Brown were busy telling reporters that it made no difference to them whether Mr. Perot was in or out.