Saturday, July 15, 2000

Bush bus caravan to GOP convention scheduled to pass this way

Five-state tour to include rallies in Ky., Ohio

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will be part of George W. Bush's five-day tour of key states this month that will take the GOP presidential candidate to Philadelphia for the Republican National Convention.

        Sources close to the Bush campaign said Friday that tentative plans for the Bush bus trip include an as-yet-to-be-determined campaign event July 29 in Kenton County, an overnight stop in Cincinnati, and an outdoor rally in Cincinnati July 30.

        Ohio, with 21 electoral votes, and Kentucky with eight, are considered by Republicans to be key states in Mr. Bush's campaign against Democrat Al Gore. No Republican, in fact, has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

        Ohio and Kentucky both went to Democrat Bill Clinton in the last two presidential elections, but Mr. Bush is leading in polls in both states this year.

        After tentative stops in Dayton and Columbus, the Bush caravan is expected to arrive in Philadelphia late Aug. 1 — the second day of the GOP convention that will formally make the Texas governor the party's nominee.

        If the Bush bus tour of key states comes off as planned, it will be similar to a campaign tactic used four years ago by President Clinton that was generally credited with energizing his re-election campaign.

        Mr. Clinton spent the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on a train trip that started in Kentucky and went through Ohio, Indiana and Michigan before the president ended up at the Chicago convention.


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