Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Metzenbaum blasts Bush's choice of Cheney

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOS ANGELES — At 83 years old, Howard Metzenbaum, former U.S. senator from Ohio, still knows how to work the crowd.

[photo] Howard Metzenbaum smiles on the floor of the Democratic convention Monday.
(The Associated Press photo)
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        With his shock of white hair and horn-rimmed glasses, the man a generation of Ohio Republicans loved to hate strode from the back of a hotel ballroom here Tuesday to the lectern at the Ohio delegation breakfast like an octogenarian rock star.

        Mr. Metzenbaum — scourge of the utility companies, bane of conservative Supreme Court nominees, and curmudgeon extraordinaire — gave Ohio delegates what they have been looking for.

        “Of all the Republicans in the world,” said the senator, who retired in 1994 after 18 years in office, “how is that George W. Bush ended up choosing somebody like Dick Cheney?”

        Mr. Cheney, the former defense secretary and Wyoming congressman, voted in Congress “against clean air, against clean water, against the banning of plastic guns that get through airport security, against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela from a South African prison, against equal rights for women.

        “It is beyond me how any woman in her right mind could vote for a ticket that includes a man who voted against equal rights for women.”

        In the Senate, Mr. Metzenbaum was a vocal advocate for consumer rights, environmental causes and chief critic of a long line of Su preme Court appointees by Presidents Reagan and Bush.

        In Ohio, there was no Democrat the Republicans wanted to defeat for re-election more than Mr. Metzenbaum. The last to try was George Voinovich in 1988.


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