Perot? Perot? Perot?

October 13, 1994

Having nominated Ollie North for the U.S. Senate from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the birthplace of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, is there any way in which the Republican Party can further disgrace itself?

How about choosing Ross Perot as the GOP candidate for president in 1996?

Could this really happen?

Well, who could finance an entire campaign out of his own pocket other than a Texas billionaire who made his money selling electronic stuff to the government he detests?

Who among the various Republican candidates has an organized band of followers (United We Stand, America), the bulk of whom could be mobilized for doorbell-ringing and caucus-packing?

Who has greater name recognition than Pete Wilson, Lamar Alexander, Carroll Campbell or Phil Gramm and can tap deeper loyalties than Bob Dole and Dan Quayle?

But didn't Candidate Perot blast the Republican National Committee in 1992 as the citadel of dirty tricks, the source of all manner of evil?

And don't many political pundits figure George Bush could have beaten Bill Clinton in a two-way race if Mr. Perot were not siphoning off 19 percent of the vote, mostly on the conservative side?

So why should the Republicans even give him a thought, considering that just a month ago he was criticizing GOP members of Congress for failing to come up with constructive proposals?

Yes, but isn't this the same guy who dropped his mask as an independent last week to urge his disciples to vote Republican next month?

And didn't his statement come after the GOP leadership on the Hill sabotaged administration efforts to win congressional approval of GATT world trade reforms, the latest target of the super-protectionist who got his clock cleaned by Al Gore during last year's famous NAFTA debate?

Is that a suggestion that Mr. Perot is vindictive, vituperative, vengeful and eager to make the Democrats pay for his humiliation?

Or was he just trying to get his name into print in conjunction with the launching of his own radio talk show?

Speaking of the radio talk show -- Jesse Jackson has one -- is that the latest gimmick for an outsider with name recognition to jump-start a long-term campaign for the White House?

Roll this over on your tongue: President H. Ross Perot; how does that sound to you?

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