Democrats plan rapid programme of change

WASHINGTON - If he wins the White House this November, the Arkansas Governor, Bill Clinton, will use his new Vice-President, Albert Gore, to spearhead his drive to have Congress enact a 100-day programme of change, to help America 'break out of the straitjacket' of '12 years' Reagan/Bush rule', writes Rupert Cornwell.

At a joint press conference in Little Rock, 72 hours before the Democratic convention in New York, the two members of what is the youngest presidential ticket in the US this century made clear they would be a 'real partnership and a real team', relying heavily on Mr Gore's proven expertise in foreign policy, new technology and environmental issues.

'I will undertake this assignment with relish,' the Tennessee Senator, who at 44 is only two years younger than his fellow southerner Mr Clinton, said of his appointed role as congressional point-man. The country was in a rut - 'this ticket offers the best chance to get change,' Mr Gore declared.

Both men scoffed at suggestions they would be vulnerable to the same charges of 'liberalism' with which Mr Bush demolished Michael Dukakis, his Democratic rival, four years ago, and which Republican leaders were airing anew only hours after Mr Gore's appointment. 'They do that every election,' Mr Clinton said, 'but this time that old dog won't hunt.'

As if to underline the point, he brushed aside the refusal of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to endorse the Clinton/Gore ticket: 'He'll just have to make up his mind like every other American,' said the Arkansas Governor. Mr Clinton derided as 'patently absurd' Mr Bush's claim that Republicans are best equipped to protect family values. 'It's just a way of getting off the hook that they have no vision, no programme and no plan,' he said.

From Helsinki, the President hit back by vowing he would fight the campaign 'on the issues', and urging his backers to 'stay out of the sleaze business'. Republican lawyers, he said, had requested a supporter to cancel a planned phone service in which callers could hear sexual conversations between Mr Clinton and his alleged long-time mistress, Gennifer Flowers.

Mr Clinton has denied any impropriety. But for all Mr Bush's disclaimers, the Republicans may be relied upon to use every trick in the book - in what promises to be a vicious and dirty campaign - to highlight the Clinton 'character' issue, and the charges against him of adultery and evasion of the Vietnam draft.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing, ambitious, en...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage