Republican presidential hopefuls are back on the circuit this month talking about taxes and President Clinton's morals.
There's no mystery to their destination choices - early primary and caucus states such as New Hampshire, Arizona and Louisiana are the most popular. However, it is noteworthy how many prospective candidates are traveling as if the election were next fall.Lamar Alexander, the former Tennessee governor who never really stopped running after his failed bid for the GOP nomination in 1996, is crisscrossing the country. After appearances in Iowa, Alexander was in Las Vegas Friday. Then he heads to New England for four Lincoln Day dinners and wraps up the month with stops in Utah, Mississippi and the District of Columbia.
After initially reserving comment on the Clinton sex and perjury allegations, Alexander now says neither he nor the nation trust the president. "Republicans and the country would be better off if we had a president in the White House who set a good moral example for the country," he said.
Steve Forbes, meanwhile, begins an eight-week, 14-state "Tax Code Termination Tour" in New Hampshire on Wednesday. The millionaire magazine publisher is putting his voice and money behind a bill that would abolish most of the federal tax code by Dec. 31, 2001. Included on the tour are stops in Georgia, California, Texas, Arizona, Delaware and Oklahoma.
Two cattle calls are also on the horizon: a Republican regional meeting in Biloxi, Miss., at the end of February and the Louisiana state GOP convention on March 7. Oliver North, Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft and former vice president Dan Quayle are all featured speakers in New Orleans.