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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions