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REVI t YOUR SPIRITS III Tilt \\Fp OUET011 -EBY Hi IISTROUJORLD TOM 9.000 LIS tax Package includes: orrmodations, Double Occupancy 10″ Two tickets to Astroworld or $166.00 plus 15% tax Two nights Accommodations Two tickets to Astroworld Additional discounted Astroworld tickets am available for purchase at the hotel. The newly renovated Hobby Airport Hilton allows you easy access to many popular Texas attractions, including the Astrodome 10 minutes, NASA 20 minutes, Galveston Island 45 minutes, Galleria shopping 20 minutes, Gulf Greyhound Park 30 minutes, and Downtown 20 minutes. During your stay, enjoy free HBO, new 25″ TV’s, fine dining, and our Sundance Lounge. Cool off in our beautiful pool nestled in a beautiful Mediterranean style setting. Package available through September 1996 and valid Thursday Sunday, based on availability. Limited availability, advanced reservations required. Offer can not be combined with other promotional offers, award stays, or group stays. For reservations, call your professional travel agent or contact 1-800-HILTONS. Houston Hobby Airport 8181 Airport Road, Houston, TX 77061 713.645-3000 Fax 713-645-1409 The }Mks lop and logotype. arts nsgintrred cradernfaks of Hilton Hot& CovpocattAn. 01996 Hilton Haas, also had employed Morris] as well.” Asked if he thought that Morris’s apparently cynical indifference to any political principle except winning revealed anything about the contemporary atmosphere of professional politics, Mauro answered, “You can’t judge a man’s political expertise by his private life, any more than you can judge a reporter’s journalism by his private life.” The conversation turned back to the Texas campaign, and Mauro predicted that Clinton’s focus on economic issues, and his successful record of job creation and of putting more cops on the street, would translate to November success in Texas. The air of unreality was exaggerated by the physical circumstances of the convention, whose 4,300 delegates were besieged by an estimated 15,000 media people and another 15,000 miscellaneous dignitaries, staff, and hangers-on. The convention floor became a combination of obstacle course and county-fair midway, with the only event being the speakers droning from the trio of enormous overhead screens. The United Center sports-dome, a concrete island amid an ocean of parking lots, is at the center of one of Chicago’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods, abandoned by most industry in the wake of the riots following Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968 \(the last Jesse Jackson’s speech was as close as most delegates would get to what he called a “canyon of welfare and despair.” Convention staff frankly warned newcomers, for their own safety, to stay away from the neighborhood. Housed in high-dollar Loop hotels, participants were bussed into and out of the security perimeter by a fleet of shuttle buses; once past the intimidating phalanx of credential checkers, x-ray machines, and bag searchers, very few wandered out again until it was time to board the buses back to the hotels. Almost no one paid any attention, either, to the handful of demonstrators, literally caged within a few square feet of space by head-high metal barriers located off to one side of the entry gates. \(Even further away, a speakers’ platform had been erected in one of the parking lots, where demonstrators devoted to a myriad of causes On Thursday afternoon, a young woman named Arden Handler paced cheerfully inside this mean-spirited Democratic parody of free speech. On behalf of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, Handler and her colleagues persisted in a twenty-fourhour vigil, attempting with a small bullhorn, mostly in vain, to address the passing delegates on the subject of universal health careonly four years ago a central element in Clinton’s first presidential campaign. This year, Handler’s vigilant protest was as close as the issue would get to the inside of the United Center. The nowabandoned notion had been primly stricken from the party platform, which instead advocated something called “affordable health care,” a glib phrase presumably more suitable for HMO billboards. On the convention floor, Houston Democratic party firebrand Billie Can spoke of her continuing support for Bill Clinton, whom she has known as an ally and a friend since his Texas campaign work in 1972. She’s not happy with his sign ing of the welfare bill, and she wrote to him, she said, to let him know. “He doesn’t forget his friends,” Can said. “I hope he’ll fix the bill, especially concerning legal immigrants, which will hit Texas hard. “But this election is about the Supreme Court,” Can continued. “We can’t let Dole have three more appointments to the Supreme Court.” Aware that many liberals, in Texas and elsewhere, have little or no enthusiasm for Clinton, Can insisted that “this is no time to be leaving the Democrats and voting for Ralph Nader or somebody.” Can says it may be time for liberals to reconsider what it means to be a liberal, for the year 2000maybe, she says, we should meet together in Texas to discuss the question. “You know, it’s not the New Deal anymore. Liberals have been hiding out and taking blame for too long now. Maybe we need to come together and talk, and decide what we are for. I’m not sure we know what we are for, these days. Maybe it’s educationwe’ve got to protect the public schools. We need to get together and talk about it: ‘What is a Liberal in the year 2000T” Following this convention and November’s election, it will most certainly be a question that still needs answering. SEPTEMBER 13, 1996 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9