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My Lost Weekend | The Nation

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My Lost Weekend

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Marc Cooper
Marc Cooper, a Nation contributing editor, is an associate professor of professional practice and director of...

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At the biggest Democratic event of the campaign season, Obama argued that the coming election is a choice between the past and the future rather than a referendum on his first two years in office.

He'll probably fend off J.D. Hayworth, but in order to win he's lost most of his principles.

With Gingrich having regurgitated the same-old-same-old as the plan for the future, there was one last chance for someone at The Weekend to better define the missing Republican Agenda--Dan Quayle. On the morning after Gingrich's talk, with The Weekend officially over and most of the participants already winging back home, the former Vice President held a breakfast chat with about two dozen of us stragglers to discuss his current presidential crusade. After joking about the heat that RNC chair Nicholson took over the party's lack of program, Quayle waxed serious. Jabbing at the air he said, "About this big debate on when the Republican agenda is going to emerge, I say, Now! Right now!" Finally, I thought. It was worth getting up early on Sunday to see Quayle. I flipped open my notebook, ready to write down the former Veep's prescription. But no way.

"I'll be unveiling a new tax proposal," Quayle said. "Next week."

"And second thing," he continued. "Over the next several months I will be making speeches on foreign policy, the great orphan of the last two elections."

Quayle concluded by asserting--details of his program still outstanding--"I'm prepared to lead. I'm prepared to win."

I prepared my bags.

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