Forbes gives up presidency bid

RUPERT CORNWELL Washington

The publisher Steve Forbes last night bowed to the logic of Bob Dole's "Super Tuesday" sweep and ended his White House campaign, leaving a chastened but defiant Pat Buchanan as the sole hold-out against the Senate Majority leader's triumphant march to the 1996 Republican presidential nomination.

Mr Forbes's decision, to be announced at an early afternoon news conference here at which he will endorse Mr Dole, follows the Kansan's crushing victories in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee and Oklahoma on Tuesday, which extended his streak of primary wins to 20 and left him with 740 delegates, more than two-thirds of the 996 that will make his nomination a mathematical certainty at the convention in San Diego. So sure now is even the hyper-cautious Mr Dole that he cancelled a scheduled day of campaigning in the Midwest yesterday to attend to Senate business here.

And it is in Washington that the struggle for the White House will be played out over the next few months in an unprecedented legislative and negotiating minuet between a sitting Democratic President and the Republican Senate Majority Leader who be his opponent in the general election.

The battleground will not be rallies and stump meetings around the country, but such familiar Washington soil as welfare reform, a modest overhaul of health care, and the balanced budget. After the ordeal of the campaign trail, Mr Dole will be back to what he enjoys most, the nuts-and-bolts of lawmaking.

Dry and laconic even in his finest moment of the election season thus far, Mr Dole earlier again urged his rivals to withdraw and rally round him for the battle against Mr Clinton in the autumn. He offered no concessions, no deal: "I'm not prepared to negotiate anything with them. If they want to beat Bill Clinton, or if they want to be spoilers, it's their choice."

Mr Forbes, it is clear, will not be a spoiler, accepting that he has no realistic chance of success in what was to have been his last stand in the Midwest on 19 March, when 219 delegates are at stake Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Mr Buchanan however will soldier on, hopeful of causing Mr Dole trouble at least in Michigan, an archetypal old industrial state where the unions are strong and his protectionist stance could play well. Even if he fails, he will not drop out: "Why give up a battle of ideas," he said yesterday, "simply because you're behind in delegates ?"

But in reality the primary season is over, the main unknown now Mr Dole's choice of running-mate. Despite renewed speculation, General Colin Powell is unlikely to be that man, however much Mr Dole might wish it. "I don't see any chance of it," the Republican operative Ken Duberstein, a close friend and adviser of the general, said. When he announced he would not seek the White House last November, General Powell made clear he did not want the vice-presidency, and would not accept it if offered. "Nothing has changed," Mr Duberstein insisted, "the door is slammed, shut, and bolted."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
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

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Technician

£35200 per annum + Pension and holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Engine...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing specialist merchant co...

SThree: TRAINEE RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT - IT - LONDON

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'