People: Bush has vision of the past

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The Independent Online
WHEN George Bush - he of the nebulous 'vision thing' - took credit for the collapse of Communism, Al Gore said that was like a rooster claiming credit for the dawn. But the former US president seems determined that his claim will be cast in concrete. Like his recent predecessors, Mr Bush will have a presidential library, his to be on the campus of Texas A & M University. He was at the university this week to unveil a bit of history that will make up part of the library: a 4ft by 12ft chunk of the Berlin Wall sprayed with paint and bearing the words 'Vision'.

MEANWHILE, Dan Quayle was back at home in Indiana for the first time since surrendering the vice-presidency to Mr Gore in January, saying he wanted to keep a low profile. 'I can go to the Dairy Queen, I can go to the movies,' he said of his happy new life. 'I enjoy doing everyday things.' Asked about his political future, Mr Quayle, a trustee at the conservative Hudson Institute think-tank, said there was only one job he'd be interested in pursuing. No, not curator of the George Bush Presidential Library.

PLEDGING open government and a crackdown on corruption, Felipe Gonzalez has put his money where his mouth is. The Spanish Prime Minister surprised a radio interviewer by revealing how much money he and his wife, Carmen, had in the bank: 'Between 27 and 29 million pesetas.' A multi-millionaire, yes, but in pesetas, not pounds. The sum is currently worth about pounds 150,000.

Mr Gonzalez quickly pointed out that he also owed a similar sum after taking out a loan. He was thought to be referring to a villa he and his wife are having built for the rainy day when they have to leave the Moncloa Palace.

AFTER years of accusations that he has a predilection for hard liquor that is noticeably indulged in times of crisis, Boris Yeltsin has gone on record in the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty about his drinking habits. His busy schedule, the Russian President says, allows him only an occasional tipple. 'On Sunday evenings the whole family - nine of us - come together,' he said. 'That's when I sometimes allow myself a drink of brandy, perhaps two.' And? 'After visiting a Russian steam bath, I also allow myself a bottle of beer.'