If George Bush wants to dress up as a dirty trickster this Halloween, we suggest a pair of jug ears, a big nose and a severe shrinkage in stature. Do we mean Ross Perot? You bet.

The billionaire succeeded in duping the FBI into conducting a sting operation to show that Jim Oberwetter, head of the Bush-Quayle campaign in Texas, wanted to wiretap Perot headquarters. It didn't work. Mr. Oberwetter knows the law.

Mr. Perot also used a known tall-tale artist, Scott Barnes, to try to entrap Mr. Oberwetter into accepting illegal wiretap material while a blonde secretly videotaped the whole scene. Again, it didn't work.

It seems ol' Ross is a world-class dirty trickster (or a fantasizer?) who should stop going around calling Republican kettles black. His comeback campaign was on a roll until last weekend when he made unsubstantiated charges that the GOP planned to smear his oldest daughter with a doctored photograph and interrupt her August wedding. No proof has been forthcoming and he has come as close to recanting as his ego will permit.

More to the point, his surge in the polls (which was helping Mr. Bush and hurting Bill Clinton) stalled five days before the election. Such are the perversities of politics.

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