"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 30 August 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Smells Like Team Spirit



Fantasy league football kicked

off early this year.



"This will not be a mean and

divisive campaign," promised Bob

Dole, basking in the glow of his

party's newfound love. "Jack and

I are going to get along just

fine." Indeed, the Dole-Kemp

alliance seemed to blossom

overnight from total aversion to

touchy-feely effusion, a

whirlwind affair proclaimed

under the heat of the media

spotlight with sweaty palms,

sheepish grins, and dewy-eyed

declarations of undying

affection. "Bob, you're the

quarterback and I'm your

blocker," enthused the Buffalo

Bill turned blushing bride.

"We're going all the way!"



More remarkable than Kemp's

transformation from play-caller

to cheerleader, however, was the

debut of the brand-new Bob Dole.

Less a pep rally than an

exercise in boudoir photography,

San Diego gave Citizen Dole a

makeover that put even the

hardhearted media in the mood.

Tanned, energetic, fitted with a

supply-side prosthetic and a radiant

smile, he shed his image of dead

man walking to don the mantle of

a legitimate contender. Suddenly

Dole's pen wasn't the only thing

with a spring in it - a

postconvention bounce landed him

within single digits of the Oval

Office. "This is a great

awakening in Bob Dole," crowed a

Pennsylvania delegate. "Bob Dole

has come out."


[News Banner]

Now, Liz Smith has pronounced

that dykes just passed spikes as

the Hollywood fad du jour, and

drag's still all the rage on

Main Street and Madison Avenue.

The straight tabs, so it seems,

have even caught a mild case of

the "outing bug."


But trendspotting's no substitute

for good old-fashioned gaydar.

So don't expect "Butch As I

Wanna Be" Bob to step off the

Citizen's Ship in silk gloves

and a veil. While Kemp has long

been rumored to be a

card-carrying member of the

Congressional closet crowd, no

one's ever accused the erstwhile

majority leader of representing

that ten percent.



On the other hand, Dole is a

master of compromising

positions. And what better way

to mend fences - after shoring

up his weakened right wing by

disavowing funds from the GOP

sweater set - than to draft

someone who plays for both

teams? Despite Kemp's

loose-lipped history of

homophobic rhetoric, the Log

Cabin Club seems quite

comfortable claiming him as one

of their own: "Jack Kemp is Mr.

Big Tent. He defines inclusion."


For his part, the self-styled

"bleeding-heart conservative" is

upfront about pushing the

party's envelope. "I'm going to

go places where no Republican

candidate has ever gone," Kemp

says, intimating - perhaps -

that he'll be stumping in

Stonewall as well as South



Sometimes, however, marriage is a

sentence, not a word. Witness

the breakup of fashion's First

Couple, Calvin and Kelly Klein.

Striking a happy balance for the

better part of a decade, cK's

corporate merger seems to have

fallen victim to his "obsession"

with androgynous youth. Even a

match made in marketing heaven

can go to hell.



No one knows this better than Bob

Dole. Once divorced, he's

already got the perfect

political wife. Now he must

juggle the demands of two

domestic partnerships with

younger, more mediagenic running

mates. When the honeymoon's

over, when enterprise zones are

no longer erogenous and talk of

a flat tax fails to excite, Kemp

may tire of bending over for the

snap and follow the whine of his

political libido. And by the

time his rigorously scripted sex

appeal starts flagging, Bob Dole

may have lost his taste for both

oysters and snails.

courtesy of Bartleby