Baker may get a call to arms
Tuesday 21 July 1992
Jolted by the huge popularity 'bounce' that Democratic nominee Bill Clinton has gained from his convention, the Bush camp began its counter-attack in earnest yesterday.
The President, who earlier in the day lambasted Mr Clinton's economic plan as a 'smoke and mirrors' cover for planned tax increases, was due to give a satellite pep-talk to Republican rallies in 27 states last night. Later this week he may unveil a revamped economic strategy. Nothing, though, would have the impact of a summons to Mr Baker.
The move would be a calculated gamble - in effect tying Mr Bush's hands in foreign policy, the one area where he is deemed more effective than Mr Clinton, and perhaps creating the impression that the President is wholly reliant on Mr Baker's organisational skills for victory.
But, such is the state of the President's campaign, that most of his strategists feel there is little choice.
Both Mr Bush, after his fishing holiday in Wyoming last week with the Secretary of State, and Mr Baker during his trip to the Middle East, have left the door open to a shake-up.
So too, most studiously, did White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater at his regular daily briefing yesterday.
There are other signs, too, which might portend change. Unusually, deputy State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, as well as Margaret Tutwiler, is accompanying Mr Baker to the Middle East, suggesting he is being groomed to take over should Ms Tutwiler, a long time assistant, go with Mr Baker to aid the re-election effort.
The logistics of any such move remain unclear. In 1988 Mr Baker quit as Treasury Secretary to head Mr Bush's campaign. If he takes on similar duties this time, his deputy, Lawrence Eagleburger, could become acting Secretary of State on an interim basis.
But if he takes a formal post - say White House Chief of Staff or a domestic cabinet job - a replacement would have to be named.
There is still talk, moreover, of Vice-President Dan Quayle being dropped from the Republican ticket should Mr Bush's popularity fail to pick up quickly. The odds on this happening are slim but if it did, major changes in the administration would follow, conceivably involving a straight swap between Mr Quayle and either Mr Baker or the Defence Secretary, Dick Cheney.
Meanwhile the Clinton bandwagon, or rather his current barnstorming tour by bus of the Midwest, continues most emphatically to roll.
A new CNN/USA Today poll gives the Arkansas Governor a 22 per cent lead over Mr Bush, a measure of how supporters of the candidate-who-never-quite-was Ross Perot are flocking in droves to Mr Clinton.
By more than two to one, Mr Perot's followers prefer Mr Clinton to the President.
Remarkably, 47 per cent of voters now think the Democrats will win in November, against 37 per cent who foresee a Republican victory. As recently as mid-March, three-quarters of a similar sample believed Mr Bush was a shoo-in.
For its part, Mr Perot's disarray deepens. Erstwhile state organisers failed to come up with a coherent strategy at a weekend meeting in Dallas, while some of his diehard supporters in Florida are filing a 'class-action' lawsuit. They are not seeking financial damages for his withdrawal, but want him compelled to maintain his original promise to run on the ballot on all 50 states if he was given enough support.
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + 5 weeks holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: Head o...
£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Manager - Near...