1999-12-11 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter

I don't know whether you watched the Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN this past week; but for me, watching it was a great laugh-in. The menagerie of candidates who have chosen to step up to the plate are a pathetic disappointment.

First of all, aside from the content, or rather, lack of, I had a problem with the format itself of candidates asking questions of candidates. It was obvious who was a threat to whom. The candidates paired off for their verbal hair-pulling like fighting children in a school yard. Texas Governor George W. Bush, being the front-runner, took the most hits.

Senator Orrin Hatch came out swinging when he attacked George W. on his lack of experience. As he seems to remind voters that his state of Texas is the second largest state in the union; and that if Texas were a country, it would be the 11th economy, Bush reminded the audience that he was twice elected with an overwhelming 70 percent of the vote. This made little difference to Senator Hatch who went right for the political jugular exploiting George W's novice experience in international affairs and criticizing his sense of entitlement to the office held by his father based on his name alone. Hatch basically told the young Bush to first get his feet wet as a potential VP; and then in four or eight years, he might be ready to wear the big shoes.

Although I like Steve Forbes, I could never vote for him. Just the notion alone that the presidency can be bought by people like Forbes, and god forbid, Trump, is revolting to me. Besides, anyone who states that they can fix social security on a promise of a thorn-less rose garden, is not being truthful or realistic. There is not a simplistic fix.

Personally, I like Arizona Senator John McCain. His ideas are refreshing, realistic, and necessary… especially with regard to campaign finance reform. I would love to see a McCain / Bradley campaign. Perhaps such a campaign, reminiscent of Goldwater and Stevenson, would bring back an issue-based campaign that would lift our esteem and restore our spirit as a nation.

***The Gateway Republican Club Holiday Party is set for Sunday December 12 at 2:30 p.m. in the new private room at the Palm Garden. Although it will be catered, members are also encouraged to bring a dish.

***D. Brian Heffernan, like many before him, is stepping up to the plate to take a new swing at Beach 116 street. He has a vision of all the potential it has for being a lovely seaside shopping strip. I told him he should contact Steve McCormack, Robert Curran, and Jack McCann who have put countless hours into revitalizing the street. We need all the motivated people with wonderful ideas we can get. If you have any suggestions, or you would like to become involved, contact Brian at West End Realty.

***Happy Birthday Wishes to Dr. Sharkey!!

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