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Lieberman wishes Gore good luck, prepares for own debate

RICHMOND, Kentucky (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore got a special good luck call Tuesday from running mate Joe Lieberman as the vice president traveled to Boston for his first debate with Republican rival George W. Bush.

Lieberman is in Kentucky preparing for his own debate with Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney. That debate will take place Thursday night in Danville.

Lieberman
Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman rubs the toe on the statue of Daniel Boone for good luck during a visit to Eastern Kentucky University, Tuesday.  

The Connecticut senator stayed largely out of public view, conferring with policy and political aides and conducting mock debates, with Washington lawyer and longtime friend Bob Barnett playing Cheney's role.

Members of the debate team say Lieberman is up to speed on policy, but needs to practice getting his answers into the two minutes allowed under Thursday night's format.

They say one challenge is trying to anticipate how the format of the candidates sitting at a table with moderator Bernie Shaw will affect the tone of the debate. The two candidates will be physically closer to one another than a traditional debate when the candidates stand about eight to ten feet apart from one another behind podiums.

The Lieberman team expects the debate to focus on the Gore and Bush records and positions, but is preparing Lieberman for questions about his own record in the Senate.

Lieberman took a break from his debate preparations and visited Eastern Kentucky University Tuesday. For good luck, he rubbed the left toe of a bronze statue of Daniel Boone.

"Students rub this to get 'A's on their finals. I'm hoping I'll get an 'A' on my test on Thursday night," Lieberman said as he rubbed the well-worn toe.

Asked if he needed luck, Lieberman said: "My mom and dad said luck comes to those who work for it. So, we're working this week but hoping for a little luck."

Lieberman's longtime legislative director from his Senate staff, William Boone Bonvillian, accompanied him to the statue. Bonvillian is a direct descendent of Daniel Boone's brother.

 
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Tuesday, October 3, 2000


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