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The Superpundit Speaks

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Now that the two major tickets are set, I'm prepared to answer more questions about the campaign.

Q. On the Democratic and Republican tickets, there are three candidates who went to Yale and one who went to Harvard. In the lexicon of American political language, is there a collective noun to describe candidates who went to Yale or Harvard?

A. Populists.

Q. Cheney had to drop out of Yale because of poor marks. Is it true that he's on the ticket because George W. Bush realized that Cheney was the only living American politician who had an academic record at Yale less distinguished than his own?

A. A Republican spokesman vehemently denies this, claiming that there are a lot of dumb Yale guys the Governor could have chosen.

Q. I've always thought Hadassah was the name of a Jewish women's organization. Is being named Hadassah Lieberman like being named Knights of Columbus O'Malley?

A. No, dummy. Although Hadassah is, in fact, the name of the Women's Zionist Organization of America, it has also been a first name since biblical times. It means, literally, myrtle, and in the book of Esther it is mentioned as the alternate name (or, in some translations, the Hebrew name) for Esther herself. No, there is no book of Tipper in the Bible.

Q. Why doesn't Al Gore ever mention Bill Clinton's name?

A. He does. But he uses Clinton's alternate name. At the request of the Gore campaign, Clinton quietly took an alternate name during the primaries. His alternate name became "This Administration." So when the question is, "If your running mate said that Bill Clinton was immoral, how could you have said that he's one of our greatest Presidents?", Gore says, "This Administration has brought the American people the longest sustained economic etc., etc." In Arkansas, taking an alternate name is easily done by mail; in fact, Clinton was able to use the same form to change his birth date and eye color, as long as he was at it.

Q.The 12th Amendment prohibits a state's Electoral College members from voting for both a President and a Vice President who are inhabitants of their own state. Is this a problem for Texas? If Bush is for strict interpretation of the framers' intentions, how can he think he gets around the Constitution by having Cheney--obviously an inhabitant of Dallas--register to vote in Wyoming?

A.The strict interpreters have always made an exception for what they call "legal technicalities." To see the 12th Amendment as anything more than a legal technicality, you have to believe that the framers were trying to discourage tickets made up of, say, two oilmen from Texas.

Q. Both presidential candidates got their secondary education at expensive private schools. Is there a term other than preppies for such people in politics?

A. Populists.


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Cover Date: August 21, 2000

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