Originally created 03/03/98

Vice president comes down to Georgia



ATLANTA -- Vice President Al Gore rallied Georgia Democrats Monday night to organize and work with more intensity than what he called "the far right."

Speaking to the state party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fund-raising dinner, the normally wooden Mr. Gore shouted at times and chopped the air as he compared his party to the Republicans. He said the Republican far right showed great intensity but little accomplishment.

"We didn't just complain about the federal deficit -- the way the Republicans did. We eliminated it. We didn't just complain about the rising crime rate; we reversed it," Mr. Gore said to the applause of just over 2,000 party faithful.

Besides his partisan rhetoric, Mr. Gore's assignment was to bring his fund-raising pull to a state with key races this fall. He delivered to the tune of $400,000, according to Brian Rubenstein, Georgia Democratic Party communications director.

Miller took Gore to schools in Columbus and Smyrna earlier in the day to give the vice president a chance to talk about the importance of education. During his speech, Gore said Democrats praise teachers while Republicans blame them for poor student performance.

Gore thanked Georgia Democrats for giving him and President Bill Clinton a boost in the polls in 1992 when Miller's campaigning helped them win the state's presidential preference primary and propel them to victory in Super Tuesday vote the following week. "We're never going to forget Zell Miller, as a result," Gore said.

Some political observers have speculated about what Miller will do after his term ends in January, guessing he might play an even bigger role in Gore's presidential campaign. He didn't offer any specifics Monday night, but he did give a big hint.

"This old Marine sergeant has re-enlisted in Al's Army," Miller said.