Forbes enriches race for White House
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Friday 22 September 1995
He is heir to the Forbes publishing empire, a dedicated economic supply- sider and a would-be purveyor of good cheer to the thus-far "glum" campaign of 1996.
For weeks now Mr Forbes, 48, has been making no secret of his readiness to spend up to $25m (pounds 16m) of his own money on his White House bid. Immediately after formally announcing his candidacy at the National Press Club here, he will begin campaigning in key early-primary states such as New Hampshire, Iowa and Florida, and will launch an advertising blitz promoting his pet theme of a 17 per cent flat tax to replace income tax.
He does not have the slightest chance of winning the nomination and his entry into the race has been eclipsed by the increasingly likely candidate Colin Powell, now in a statistical dead-heat with Bob Dole for the Republican nomination should he choose to seek it, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll.
But, as an economic conservative, Mr Forbes could take votes from Senator Phil Gramm, Mr Dole's closest declared rival for the nomination, while his more relaxed views on abortion and other social issues could appeal to Republican moderates.
And though he has neither political experience nor theflamboyance of his father, Malcolm, he fills a niche on the "Wall Street wing" of his party which has been unoccupied since Jack Kemp took himself out of the race last year.
Most of all, he is banking on his appeal to the investment community. Big business and finance have been muted in this presidential season. Wall Street has taken neither to the dour orthodoxy of Mr Dole nor to the joyless cost-cutting propounded by Mr Gramm.
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