WASHINGTON -- Both political parties face serious convention problems. The Republicans are in trouble because Pat Buchanan is demanding prime time to give a speech denouncing everyone in attendance. If they don't give him what he wants, Pat has vowed to go on a hunger strike in a Rio Grande refugee camp.
The problem for the Democrats is that they have four days with nothing to put on except Chelsea's clogging club.
It is a very difficult situation. One solution has been suggested by Carter Cornwall, the Democratic entertainment chairman.
He told the committee, "What do you think about inviting Pat Buchanan to speak at our convention? We'll give him prime time on the last night and have Barbra Streisand introduce him."
All the committee members whistled.
"What a great idea. We'll assure him that he can say anything he wants about the Republicans and dump all over Dole and those who helped the senator become the nominee. He can go after the party platform, the moderate delegates and question Colin Powell's war record. We'll have the biggest audience in political history."
"How can we be sure that Pat will accept?"
"Where else can he go? The Republican mainstream wants no part of him. The last I heard they offered him a spot after the David Letterman show. His pass won't even let him into the Anti-Abortion Hospitality Room. In San Diego, they've given him only two tickets in the balcony for him and his sister.
We can do better than that."
"Suppose Pat attacks us instead of the Republicans?"
"Why would he attack us? We've never done anything to him. The Republican Party did him in in Florida. When he gets going on them at our convention, they'll wish they had given him a full hour on '60 Minutes.' Who would like to go and invite him?"
"I will. Pat and I were raised in the same kennel."
"Be sure and tell him that we love him and we might even find a good job for him when Clinton gets reelected."
"What are we going to offer him?"
"Ambassador to Mexico?"
Art Buchwald writes a humor column.
Pub Date: 4/15/96