Harry Browne's Campaign Journal — October 1 – 15, 2000

Sunday, October 1, 2000 — Denver

Michael Cloud, Steve Willis, and I are in Chicago. We have the luxury of sleeping in today, as our plane to Denver doesn't leave until early afternoon.

When we get to Denver, there are 25-30 Libertarians at the airport gate to greet us. It is a wonderful group, organized by BetteRose Smith, the Colorado LP chair. We leave the airport in a small convoy and stop at a state prison that is building a new addition because of over-crowding. A photo is taken of me pointing to the new construction, and we'll see whether we can find a use for the picture.

In the evening I'm on the Jeffery Fieger show in Detroit for 15 minutes. He begins by introducing me as "the man I've endorsed." We talk about the media blackout, and I'm able to slip in our main issues. At the end, he asks whether I think the Religious Right is the greatest threat to America. I say "No. The greatest threat to America is the politicians' lack of any regard for the limits the Constitution is supposed to impose on the federal government."

While trying to catch up on paperwork, I discover that the mouse for my infamous laptop computer has stopped working properly. I call the technical support department for the computer company, and am told that a new one will be sent to me.

Monday, October 2, 2000 — Denver & Grand Junction, Colorado

The day begins at 7am with a 20-minute interview with Robby Noel at KHNC and KTMG in the Denver area. He seems to be with us on every issue brought up — as we cover the income tax, Social Security, limiting government to the Constitution, the Drug War, and gun rights. I also talk a bit about the media blackout.

Shortly thereafter I'm on for 25 minutes with Mancow Muller at WKQX-FM in Chicago. He is a very upbeat, intense talk-show host. He says that during my last appearance I made a strong impression on him — giving him reasons that he should vote Libertarian instead of for George W. Bush. But he's afraid of Al Gore. We spend virtually the whole time talking about the wasted-vote issue. But in the course of it, he mentions many of his pet terrors — asset forfeiture, snooping in your email, and so on. I ask him whether he believes George Bush will do anything to alleviate any of these intrusions, and he acknowledges that it's highly unlikely.

By the end of the show he's moved closer to voting Libertarian, and I think one more interview will do it. But I hope there are people listening who were already close enough to voting Libertarian at the start of the interview — and who have moved across the line to our side.

Steve and I drive into Denver for a one-hour interview on the Mike Rosen show at KOA. Mike says he agrees with most of the Libertarian philosophy. But he calls himself a realist, saying he'll vote only for what's possible. The entire hour is spent on the wasted-vote issue, but that's okay with me. His show is undoubtedly heard by a lot of people who might succumb to Rosen's idea that we must vote only for someone who might possibly win this time.

Rosen says that people won't accept Libertarian ideas. I keep coming back over and over to the idea that he's given up, that he'll never get freedom, that he underestimates the desire of people to be free to live their lives as they want to. I hope we moved some more people across the line.

On the way out of the studio I'm accosted by Bill Owens, Republican governor of Colorado. He says he's been aware of my work and wanted to meet me. I thank him and we move on. (I don't think he's going to vote for me.)

From the radio station we drive to the airport to fly to Grand Junction. It's a one-hour flight on a prop plane. On arrival we're greeted by a half-dozen high school students, organized by Ty Bailey and Ryan Zarkesh. They've also arranged for two reporters to be there — Gary Harmon of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Rich Moreno of Channel 8, the local ABC station. Moreno videotapes a couple of minutes for the evening news.

Steve and I take a taxi to KKCO, the NBC-TV affiliate. Jean Reynolds, the news anchor, has arranged for any presidential candidate to tape a 90-second campaign statement. The statement I've prepared urges people to raise their sights — to quit voting against someone and instead vote for freedom — to be free of the income tax, to be released from Social Security, to end the nightmare of drug Prohibition, and to restore the unconditional right to defend oneself. I'm able to deliver it without mistake in one take; we do it again just in case, but the second run-through isn't quite as good.

I then tape a 2-minute interview with Rick Wagner, the station's legal analyst. My remarks are pure boilerplate — wanting you to be free.

The station owner says he'll provide a broadcast-quality tape for us to use however we want. We probably will offer copies of the tape to TV stations, urging them to run it as a public service.

Jean Reynolds drives Steve and me to the airport, showing us the sights of Grand Junction on the way. We fly back to Denver — this time on a smaller prop plane. The day is calm, so there's no turbulence flying over the Colorado mountains — until the last 15 minutes or so, when we're suddenly tossed hither and yon.

Back in Denver, we drive downtown for a "Constitution Monday Rally" on the steps of the state Capitol building. We're running late, but we get there before the rally is over. There are about 200-300 people there (I'm not an expert crowd estimator), and I'm told that about half are Libertarians and the other half gun-rights enthusiasts. Ari Armstrong, a Colorado Libertarian, has organized the rally, which focuses on the 2nd Amendment.

Shawn Glazer precedes me at the podium. She's a Libertarian running for a local office, and she makes a very good presentation. She then introduces me. I suddenly find myself a bit tongue-tied, stumbling over words in my speech. Fortunately, the material is so familiar to me that I can plow through it. I cover the reason we have a Constitution (to keep the government in chains), why we must "restore" the 2nd Amendment (not "protect" it, as the Republicans say), the fact that Supreme Court justices apparently can't read (because they ignore such simple phrases as "Congress shall make no law"), and a lot more in 10-15 minutes.

Talk-show hosts Robby Noel (from this morning's interview) and Mark Coll are there. After my speech, Steve Paulson of the AP interviews me briefly; he seems to like some of my one-liners. I'm also interviewed by Evan Herzoff for Independent Media, an Internet news site (www.IndyMedia.org), and for The Denver Free Press, the Colorado University daily paper.

Steve and I race back to the hotel, where the evening's event is due to start. On the way, I have a 15-minute interview on my cell phone with Tom Kamb at KHOW in Denver. Although the evening's rally is due to start within a half-hour, I plug the event. At the end of the interview, Tom says that he's voting for me and he joined the LP just a month ago.

I get to the meeting room only a few minutes before we're scheduled to begin. There are about 150 people in attendance, around a third of which are at their first Libertarian event.

The evening goes very well. In contrast to my stumbling at the gun-rights rally, I feel completely in command and the speech goes smoothly. The fund-raising goes particularly well. As usual, we introduce the local candidates — and there must be at least 15 at this event.

Tomorrow evening, the first presidential debate is scheduled to be held at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Mike Conway, a Massachusetts Libertarian has discovered that a Massachusetts law prohibits the state from giving money to a political party unless an equal amount is given to all recognized parties in the state. It happens that there are only three officially recognized parties — the Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians.

The Massachusetts legislature gave $900,000 of taxpayer money to the University of Massachusetts to stage the debate, and this benefits only the Republicans and Democrats. So Mike Conway filed suit to get an injunction requiring that I be included in the debate. The judge said the suit was worthy but it needed to be filed in a court with the proper jurisdiction. And so Mike has turned the suit over to David Euchner to ask for the injunction in a different court.

Tuesday, October 3, 2000 — Boston

The phone rings, waking me up. I look at the clock, and notice with relief that it's only 4:45am, so I'll be able to go back to sleep. Then I realize this is my wake-up call, and it is time to get up. We have to leave the hotel by 6, to catch a 7:50 flight at the Denver airport — which is so far away it might as well be in Wyoming.

After arriving at the airport, I get a call from KOA in Denver for a 10-minute interview on the morning news. With two newscasters (whose names I don't catch), I go over the situation regarding the debates and my position in the polls. They are astounded to learn that I'm even with Pat Buchanan, as their news sources have never mentioned that. I'm able to use the discussion of the debates to work in my stands on the issues.

While still at the airport, I have a 10-minute interview with "Louis & Floorwax" — two men who do a morning drive-time comedy show. One of them introduces me as "a man who is an intellectual and a stud." I say I've never been called either before; I'm just someone who wants to be free to live my life as I want to live it — not as Al Gore or George Bush thinks is best for me.

Steve, Michael, and I board a plane for Boston. Upon our arrival in the early afternoon at the Boston airport, our cell phones start ringing. David Euchner's suit is to be heard at 2pm, Jim Babka sent out a press release last night, and the media are very interested. From the airport I have a phone interview with Alyson McAdam at WBUR in Boston.

We drive to a downtown hotel where we have an open house for the press. My wife Pamela arrives just before we do. She has flown to Providence, Rhode Island, and driven to Boston. I haven't seen her since I last left home, three weeks ago today. What a sight for sore eyes she is. As I see her and go to kiss her, I'm interrupted by Gary Baumgarten of CNN Radio, who wants to interview me.

Gary has interviewed me before when we were in New York. He is very sympathetic to Libertarian ideas, and eager to see me in the debate tonight.

A photographer from the Boston Globe is there to take pictures. And Scott Tucker from the Daily Free Press at Boston University asks questions.

Doug McGrath of WLVI, channel 56, in Boston interviews me. He asks, "If people want to be free, and most of the ones I talk to do want to be free, why isn't the LP a major party now?" I point out that, given the power of the Republicans and Democrats to control state ballots, campaign financing, and the debate process, we have to grow to a size where we're too big to ignore and too big to exclude — and we're not there yet. But if I can just get into the millions of votes this year, it should lay the groundwork to run strong campaigns in 2002, 2004, and beyond.

Scot Yount of the New England Cable News TV network interviews me. He has just received a call on his cell phone from a clerk at the courthouse, telling him that our suit has been denied. The judge said we have a very good case, but that we filed it too late to give our opponents an opportunity to remedy the situation.

(Apparently, no one noticed until yesterday the state law that was the basis of the suit. And if we had given the defendants time to remedy the situation, the appropriated money would have been returned to the state and we still would have been shut out.)

On the phone I talk with Colleen Riley in the news department at KQV in Pittsburgh. It's a live news interview, and leading into it I hear that our suit is the lead story on that hour's news. I explain on the air why we brought the suit and point out that people won't be able to hear small-government views because I won't be in the debates.

While still in the city, I go to WRKO for a half-hour interview with Howie Carr, a big talk-show host in Boston. He's very sympathetic to libertarian ideas, but he plans to vote Republican. A good part of the time I'm pointing out that he'll never get what he wants by voting for people who are making government bigger. The interview goes well, but I'm a little tired and undisciplined.

Steve, Pamela, and I drive to Salem, a suburb of Boston. By mistake we've been booked into a bed & breakfast, rather than a normal hotel. There are no elevators, no data ports on the phones to get email, no way to function as we're used to.

We watch the presidential debate between Gore and Bush. I can live with having to get up earlier than I like each day, I can live with going to an airport virtually every day. But I don't know whether I can stand watching two more of those debates. It is excruciatingly boring to watch the two candidates arguing over and over about what is in each of their big government proposals. "You said . . ." "No I didn't." "Yes you did." "No I didn't."

After the debate I have a short interview with Harrell Carter at WNWS-FM in Jackson, Tennessee. He's not familiar with Libertarian ideas, but we go over the basics in a 20-minute interview.

Jim Turney, a long-time Libertarian activist, is in Boston with professional video equipment. He tapes answers from me for each of the questions that were put to Gore and Bush in the debate. They provide an opportunity to make the case that the viewer will be far better off in a Libertarian America. The answers will be available in a few days on FreedomChannel.com, along with answers provided by Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan. There will be a link from our campaign website to the Freedom Channel.

Although the lawsuit didn't succeed in getting me into the debate, it did generate a bit of publicity — some good, some bad, and some meaningless. Some of the publicity mentioned what we stand for (good), some just said I wanted to stop the debate (bad), and some said I wanted in the debate but didn't mention any of what we stand for (meaningless).

Wednesday, October 4, 2000 — Boston

Pamela and I arise at 8:30, and I do my first show of the day — 20 minutes with Jerry Bowyer at WPTT in Pittsburgh. He says he's a libertarian who votes Republican. A good deal of the interview is spent with me trying to show him that he'll never get what he wants by voting Republican. He believes the combination of President George Bush and a Republican Congress will cause the Republicans to start reducing government — no matter how contrary that is to what they've been doing up to now. I ask him what excuses he'll make if after he gets the President and Congress he wants, government is bigger, more expensive, more intrusive, and more oppressive four years from now.

I find myself stumbling all over the place in this interview. The words that usually come pouring out of my mouth just don't seem to be there.

But it's better in the second interview — a half-hour with Dave Elswick at KARN in Little Rock. I seem to be much more articulate and coherent. Dave says "I'm voting for you." And he mentions that Larry Elder (the popular L.A. radio talk-show host) was on his show yesterday (plugging his new book), and said he was voting for me, too.

Then it's 10 minutes on KPFK-FM in Los Angeles with Karen Oakum and John Beaupre. KPFK is a left-wing station, but the two hosts are very polite and not the least bit contentious. They seem generally interested in how I propose to achieve various ends, and they've checked out the website.

I say goodbye to Pamela, who's headed back to Providence to catch a plane for home. And Steve and I get in the car to head to the University of Massachusetts for a TV interview.

On the way I spend 5 minutes with Phil Anthony at WKZO in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As with all the earlier shows, Phil is interested in the debate challenge we made yesterday, and asks what I would have asked Bush and Gore if I'd been in the debates.

Then I talk with Mark Scott at WXYT in Detroit. We talk about the debates and contrast Libertarian positions with those that Gore and Bush presented. We talk a bit about foreign policy, and I point out that each of them said he would use military force where national interests are at stake, and that means whenever the President thinks he can score some political points (as George Bush the senior did in the Gulf War and Panama) and Bill Clinton did when he bombed Serbia, the Sudan, and Afghanistan).

Still in the car, I talk for 30 minutes with Neal Boortz at WSB in Atlanta. A Libertarian, Neal says he has one bone to pick with me. He thinks we should take the federal matching funds and use it to get the message out. I say that turning down taxpayer money is one of the best ways we have to prove that we mean what we say when we call for smaller government. And he agrees, saying, "I'm properly chastised."

We arrive at the University of Massachusetts for an interview with Jim Gibson on the Fox News TV Network. The interview lasts only about 5 minutes, but we cover all the bases. Fox News has been very good to us — by far the most accommodating network.

Right after that, I have an interview in the car with Kevin McCarthy at KLIF in Dallas. Not surprisingly, he wants to talk about last night's debate, and what was left out of it.

Then I talk with John David Wells, filling in for Armstrong Williams on the Talk America Radio Network. We talk for just a few minutes, going over the income tax, health care, and education, but not covering Social Security or the Drug War.

Still in the car, I talk for 7 minutes with Shawn Anderson and Mary Jo Powell at WTOP, the all-news station in Washington, D.C. They ask me what I would have asked Al Gore and George Bush if I had been in the debate. I give them several questions, including my favorite: "Would you be a better person today if, for your youthful drug use, you had spent ten years in prison?"

Steve and I go by the office of Newman Communications, our public relations firm. We discuss what can be done to generate coverage during the final five weeks of the campaign, plus some plans I have to continue promoting libertarian ideas after the election.

From there, we drive to the airport to board a plane for Cleveland. The plane sits on the runway for about 40 minutes before taking off. When we land in Cleveland, we head for the rental car office. The computer is down and it takes about 25 minutes to finally get the car. We then head for Akron, about 40 minutes away. We arrive at a Holiday Inn in Akron at about 9pm.

At 10pm, I have a 30-minute interview with Paul Schiffer on the Radio America radio network. This is a new show, and he appears to be very conservative. But he's supportive of libertarian ideas and of my being in the debates. We agree that George Bush did nothing in the debate to promote the ideas of smaller government.

I spend the next two hours using my computer to catch up on paperwork, and then head to Dreamland, USA.

Thursday, October 5, 2000 — Akron & Cleveland

The day begins in Akron at 8:40am with a 20-minute interview with Tuttle & Kline at WXSR-FM in Tallahassee. They seem unfamiliar with the Libertarian Party, but are obviously skeptical of government and sympathetic to the idea of downsizing it. One of them says every time one of the candidates in Tuesday's debate opened his mouth, it cost us a lot of money.

Next is an interview with Steve Gill and Terry Hopkins at WLAC in Nashville. They were among the talk-show hosts who successfully fought off the imposition of a Tennessee state income tax. They are very sympathetic, and the interview goes very well.

Then it's a 25-minute interview with John Lanigan and Jimmy Malone at WMJI-FM in Cleveland. Since we're only about 30 minutes from Cleveland, I plug the campaign rally we'll have tonight in Akron. The host keep challenging me using false premises. They believe repealing the income tax would be inflationary — that people spending their own money is more inflationary than politicians spending it for them. They also are big on gun control. They do like a lot of my proposals, but they think the overall package is too extreme. It gets very contentious. However, I think the interview helps reach the people who should be voting for us.

I have a 30-minute interview with Jamie Pietras of the Columbus Alive newspaper. In response to one of my statements, he says, "I sure agree with that. Whoops, there goes my journalistic objectivity." He seems very sympathetic to all our positions.

Steve and I get in the rental car and head for Cleveland, stopping for breakfast at a restaurant that isn't Denny's (the official campaign bistro for discriminating diners). We also stop at an office supply store, where I pick up a new mouse for my laptop.

In the car, I have a 10-minute interview with Bill Gordon at WERE in Cleveland. He says the last presidential candidate he interviewed was Henry Wallace in 1948(!). He also says, "What an honor it is to interview you, because I plan to vote for you."

Then I spend 10 minutes with Paul Schmidt, a reporter with the Chronicle of Higher Education, a weekly magazine. He asks how my plans for education differ from those of George Bush and Al Gore. I mention that when I graduated from high school in 1950, the rule of thumb was that it cost about $1,000 a year to go to a middle-class college; today it's $20,000 or more — at least triple after adjusting for inflation. I want to bring down the price of education by ending all the federal subsidies, rules, and regulations. Bush and Gore want to expand the federal role in education, making things worse.

We arrive at a Cleveland TV station for me to be on CNN's Talk Back Live! The subject is whether third parties should be in the debates. Ezola Foster, Pat Buchanan's vice-presidential candidate, is on with me — as is Winona LaDuke, Ralph Nader's running mate. Miss LaDuke is on the phone from home, and there's a baby crying in the background as she talks.

Unfortunately, today there is rioting and revolution in Serbia, and the program is interrupted several times for late-breaking news. Out of the entire hour, we have probably only 20 minutes of air time. However, I'm able to work in our issues a few times, and I get to make an impassioned speech concerning how the Republicans and Democrats have used the power of government to impose a two-party system on America.

After the CNN show, I use a studio telephone for a 5-minute interview with Bill Cohen of Ohio Public Radio. We cover all the issues quickly. At the end, he says, "If all the other candidates were as straightforward and easy to understand as you are, interviewing would be a breeze."

The evening event in Akron goes quite well. There are about 140 people present, and about 40% of those are new to Libertarian events. The fund-raising goes well. Around a dozen Libertarian candidates are in attendance and introduced. U.S. Senate candidate John McAllister gives a rousing 3-minute speech (as he will at the next two events). This year the Ohio LP is running 73 candidates, compared to 2 in 1996.

Friday, October 6, 2000 — Chicago & Columbus

I'm up early (so what else is new?) to catch a flight to Chicago. That's the nearest place the Fox TV News Network has a studio suitable for a remote connection, and I'll have an interview with them in mid-morning.

Unfortunately, the flight is on Southwest — meaning no seat selection, no leg room, and no room to use my computer. But I manage to sleep a little to pass the time.

The flight arrives about 45 minutes late. Fox has said there would be a car at the airport to pick me up, but I don't see it. And I have to wait outside about 20 minutes until I finally make contact with it.

The weather has turned cold and there's a frigid wind today. I had hoped winter wouldn't arrive until November 8 this year, but it seems to be here already. Snow is already falling in some parts of the country. When I left home over three weeks ago, the weather was sunny and warm — so it never occurred to me to bring a top coat on the trip.

In late January of 1996, I was campaigning in West Palm Beach, Florida. At a Rotary Club luncheon, Libertarian Don Fenton introduced my speech by saying, "While Republicans Steve Forbes, Phil Gramm, Pat Buchanan, and Robert Dole are slogging through the snows of Iowa or New Hampshire, Libertarian Harry Browne is basking in 75-degree weather here in Florida. Is there any doubt which one is smart enough to be President?"

Of course, I wound up campaigning in New Hampshire and a lot of other cold places that winter. But this time it's a race to see whether winter or November 7 will arrive first. I wish Global Warming would hurry up and get here.

In the car I talk with Mike Hawkins, a radio reporter for the Ohio News Network. He begins by saying, "It's good to have someone other than a Republican or Democrat to talk to." We get along fine.

Because the driver takes me to the wrong building first, I get to Fox News just in time for the interview. All this for just 5 minutes on the air. But it's national TV, a few hundred thousand people should see it. As we begin, I'm a little off stride. While starting to make a point, I forget what the point was. But I get back on track. And because the host David Asman asks me what I would do about the current Yugoslavian turmoil, I get the chance to make a strong statement against intervening in other countries' affairs. I ask how we would feel if the Chinese blockaded our ports, preventing us from getting food and medicines, until we overthrew Bill Clinton (the U.S. government has blocked trade with Serbia until the Serbs overthrow Slobodan Milosevic).

That's my 5 minutes of fame in Chicago. So I'm back in the car headed to the airport. On the way, I call on my cell phone for a 30-minute interview with John David Wells, filling in for Armstrong Williams on the Talk America Radio Network. I just talked with him two days ago, but he wants me back on again — perhaps because he'll have Pat Buchanan on for the second half of the hour.

We talk about the income tax, and I find myself stumbling again. At one point, we discuss Yugoslavia and American military policy. I say we have a strong national offense but a vulnerable national defense. He says we must have a strong offense, and raises a hypothetical situation of Chinese troops attacking the U.S. mainland. In the midst of this, I arrive at the airport and my cell phone signal gets weaker. I tell him I'll call him back.

I get to a pay phone in the airport. The noise around me is deafening, but we resume the interview. John is ready to talk about the economy, but I take him back to his Chinese invasion. I point out that I would tell the Chinese dictator that I would offer a $100 million reward for anyone who assassinates him if he goes ahead with the invasion of America. If he calls off the invasion, I call off the reward. This seems to satisfy John for the moment.

The airport is overflowing with huddled masses yearning to be free — or at least to get on a plane or find a place to sit down. I've just about decided that today won't be awarded Day of the Week.

As I finish the interview at the pay phone, David Mitchell of Investors Business Daily comes up to me to say hello. He says his paper had a favorable article on me a couple of days ago. I make a mental note to reconsider my vote for the Day of the Week.

Then I talk with Jim Bradshaw at the Columbus Dispatch. He's obviously very sympathetic, agreeing with me on most of my points. (His article will appear tomorrow and it will provide a very accurate description of what we stand for.)

I fly from the Chicago Midway airport to Columbus, where tonight's event will be held.

About 160 people are in attendance at the rally. Easily 60% of them identify themselves as being at their first Libertarian event — most of those being college students from Ohio State University. A Libertarian named Kenny drove a long way to get here, arrived early, and went to the University to encourage students to attend the event. I don't know how many of the students were already libertarian or libertarian-leaning, but they all seem to respond very well to the message.

Also at the event is a former Republican who quit his party on February 29, and says "I gave them six years after they took over Congress, and they never made good on anything that would reduce government." Another Republican at the event turns in his party card to Michael.

A columnist and photographer from the Columbus Dispatch are present. So is Steve Stephens, a columnist for the Dispatch who snuck in unannounced with his two children. On Monday his column will compare me with Sergei Khrushchev (son of former Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev), pointing out that today both of us are seeking liberty for our countrymen. It is a lovely tribute, for which I'm very grateful.

After the event, I talk by phone for 40 minutes with John Grayson at KMOX in St. Louis. He begins by saying that recently he asked his listeners to take the SelectSmart test on the Internet to find out which presidential candidate was closest to their views. A majority agreed most with my views, and so he wanted to have me on. He is mostly, but not entirely, in agreement with my views. The few calls we take all sound like Libertarian plants — someone asks for the campaign website address, someone else asks what I would do on my first day in office, and so on.

Today WorldNetDaily published my article, "The Top 10 Questions Left out of the Debate" — listing ten questions that should have been asked of Al Gore and George Bush in their debate last Tuesday. I receive an email from Tom Howe saying that a talk-show host on WPTF in Raleigh, North Carolina, read the article on the air — and most of the next hour was monopolized by callers who wanted to talk about the article.

Saturday, October 7, 2000 — Dayton

Today WorldNetDaily, the large Internet publication, ran an article "A Voter's Right to Choose" by Stuart A. Swirsky advocating that all opponents of the Republicans and Democrats vote for me.

I awake with a bit of a sore throat — the first physical discomfort of the campaign. In 1996 I had to take three days off at one point to recover from a mild flu, but this time I've been quite healthy throughout the campaign.

Almost two years ago, I started taking vitamins in liquid form, a product called Life Force, and it seems to have made me remarkably immune to any of life's periodic ailments. I have always been extremely skeptical of cure-alls, but I've slowly but surely come to think these vitamins might actually be making a difference to my health.

They come in a plastic jar containing a supply for about a month, and I have been taking a full jar with me whenever I leave home. Twice, however, the jar was suddenly empty after a few days, and I finally realized that the liquid was evaporating in a plane's luggage compartment. So Pamela sent me a mason jar full of the liquid. That lasted only a few days before it exploded in a suitcase.

So I've been without the vitamins for a few days — and my sore throat further encourages the idea that the vitamins have been protecting me. So I'll have to start carrying the plastic jar again, keeping it in my carry-on bag.

Steve, Michael, and I drive from Columbus to Dayton for today's rally. We arrive at 11:30am, just as people are starting to arrive for the event — which today is being held in the early afternoon.

The media are there in full force. Cameramen from the local ABC and CBS stations are present to interview me and tape some of my speech. Dan Edwards of WHIO interviews me before the event. There's also a reporter-photographer from the Dayton Daily Record, and her article and picture will appear tomorrow on page 3 of the Sunday paper.

There are a little over a hundred people present, roughly 40% of whom are first-timers. This is probably the most enthusiastic audience we've had in some time. They respond emphatically to everything. The fund-raising goes very well.

At the close of the event, I meet Amy Strong — a young, very articulate woman who drove three hours from Indiana to be here. She's entering law school next spring because she wants to be a Libertarian Supreme Court justice who will adhere strictly to the words of the Constitution. I intend to live long enough to see her on the bench.

In the evening Michael, Steve, and I have a leisurely dinner in the hotel restaurant, celebrating the end of a long, productive trip.

Tomorrow I go home, and I get to be with Pamela for three days before resuming the political Odyssey.

Sunday, October 8, 2000 — Heading Home

Michael Cloud, Steve Willis, and I each get up at about 4:30am for a 200-mile drive from Dayton to the Cleveland airport — each to catch a plane home after several days in Ohio.

It is a bitterly cold morning. Yesterday I had a mild sore throat, and today it is worse.

During most of the drive, the temperature outside is just above freezing. But as we approach Cleveland we run into fairly heavy snow (in early October!). We reach the airport and each of us catches a plane for his own destination.

I arrive in Nashville at noon and Pamela greets me at the airport. It's been 26 days since I left Nashville, and I'm very glad to be here. However, because of my sore throat the reunion isn't as joyous as I'd looked forward to.

In the evening, I have a one-hour radio interview with Bruce Dumont at WLS in Chicago. He has two guests in the studio who also asks questions. Most of the callers are supportive, while the host and his guests are friendly but skeptical.

I will take tomorrow off, spending it with Pamela. On Tuesday, there will be a full day of interviews — and then Wednesday it's back on the road again. The schedule has been very heavy and this probably will be my last respite of the campaign. So I'm glad for the chance to reenergize myself.

Monday, October 11, 2000 — Nashville

Or so I thought.

I get the best night's sleep in a long time — but when I awaken my throat is much worse, my chest hurts, and I have very little energy.

Pamela takes me to a walk-in clinic. I explain to the doctor that I can't afford a long recuperation. She gives me two shots and three prescriptions.

Pamela and I eat out and then return home to watch a couple of movies. I go to bed fairly early for being at home.

A report came in today from Charles Mellon, the New Mexico Volunteer Coordinator. He has been trying to set up a meeting for me to meet Governor Gary Johnson, who has been opposing the Drug War, but so far schedule conflicts have prevented it. The local Libertarians are running $2,000 worth of radio ads to promote the presidential campaign. They've put up 100 signs, distributed 500 bumper stickers, and passed out a couple thousand brochures. They have volunteer groups active in Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Farmington, Ruidoso and Rio Rancho. They are trying to get me on a local radio station. They need me to get at least 0.5% of the New Mexico vote for them to hold minor party status. Charles says, "This is the most active campaign for a Libertarian presidential candidate that has ever taken place in New Mexico."

I just see for the first time a good article by Joshua S. Burek that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor on September 28. It is entitled "For Harry Browne, the Pursuit of Happiness Is Life, Liberty, and No Income Tax," and it presents our views very nicely.

Tuesday, October 10, 2000 — Nashville

At 11am I begin the longest day of the campaign.

I awaken feeling noticeably better, but still with little energy. I seem to have post-nasal drip — or pre-nasal trip, or antebellum drip, or post hoc ergo propter hoc drip. Or something.

Jim Babka and Robert Brunner have cancelled all but one of the dozen interviews on today's schedule. But I feel well enough to tackle a number of writing projects. I also have to prepare my 1999 tax data for my accountant, as my absolute, no-chance-for-extension, final deadline is October 15.

Sometimes when I awaken, my mind is racing with an idea for an article. That's the case today. I have an idea for an article to point out the false premises that underlie many of the proposals Al Gore and George Bush are making in their debates — such as that there is a federal budget surplus, or that the politicians are "saving" Social Security when in fact they're stealing from Social Security to paper over the actual deficit in the federal budget.

The purpose of the article is to prepare viewers in advance to identify the false premises as they arise in tomorrow evening's Bush-Gore debate. Thus to be effective I need to write the article today and have it appear tomorrow on our website and WorldNetDaily — as well as distribute it by LibertyWire.

So I work on it for several hours before I even begin to tackle the projects I'd intended to handle today. Because my energy level is low, the work goes slowly. And my nose is running like the Mississippi River.

My one interview is an important one — with Jay Marvin on WLS in Chicago. This is a big station with a wide signal that transmits at night throughout a large part of the United States. I haven't been on with Jay in this campaign, but I remember vaguely being on his show in 1996 — and I know he's quite popular.

He reminds me off the air that he's a socialist and proud of it. So we go round and round on a number of issues. But he's very affable and the conversation is friendly. Although the first caller plans to vote for me, the rest are more like Jay. Despite my low physical state, I seem to be in good form — lively, coherent, and with my sense of humor intact.

At the end of the show Jay tells me off the air that I'm the greatest guest he's ever had on the show. I know that hosts and producers often compliment guests to make them feel good. But while he most likely is exaggerating, it's obvious that we had a very good show. He says he wants me back once or twice before the election, and that certainly will be good for the campaign. Although I don't expect to convert Jay, his audience is very large and undoubtedly includes thousands of people who should be voting for us.

It is now 10pm and I still haven't started on my taxes or the smaller other projects I need to finish before leaving again tomorrow morning. I notice my nose didn't run during the radio interview and I'm feeling a bit better.

I go to work on the taxes, and manage to finish compiling the data in about five hours. I then get the most essential other tasks done.

I'm finally finished for the night. But I look at my watch and realize it's already Wednesday — and it's time to get dressed and go to the airport.

Wednesday, October 11, 2000 — Winston-Salem, North Carolina

I take a shower and get ready. Before leaving, I have a 30-minute phone interview with Gregg Napp at WSKY-FM in Gainesville, Florida. He says we Libertarians have good ideas, but that our proposals are too extreme for the average American. He's with the Republicans because they're changing America incrementally. I say, "Yes they are, but all the increments are toward more government, just as with the Democrats. How do we get to smaller government by making government bigger?"

Pamela drives me to the airport. On the way I have a 3-minute cell-phone interview with Ben Foxworth for a live newscast at KXLY in Spokane, where we have an event scheduled tomorrow night. I manage to hit all the highlights, including plugging the event, and Pamela reminds me to plug the website.

I catch a plane to Charlotte, where another one takes me on to Greensboro. I manage to doze a little on each flight, but years ago I lost the ability to get a deep sleep on an airplane.

Steve Willis meets me at the gate. With him is Jim Turney, long-time libertarian activist who tonight will videotape my answers to the questions posed in the Bush-Gore debate. The video will be shown on FreedomChannel.com, a political Internet site.

Steve rents a car and the three of us start off for Winston-Salem, where the debate will be held. But the first highway we attempt to enter is blocked by policemen. We're forced to drive in the opposite direction from our destination. As we do, we see a convoy of cars, lights flashing, coming from the other way. Some debate VIP and his entourage have the highway all to themselves — inconveniencing drivers — just to assure that the VIP won't be slowed up.

At the next off-ramp, we turn around and head back in the right direction. When we get to Winston-Salem, the place is swarming with police cars. In some residential areas there's a police car at every corner.

I can't help thinking that some "civic leaders" must have decided it would be a great boost for Winston-Salem to host a presidential debate. Who cares about the traffic jams, lost productivity, or inconvenience to the average citizen — who gets no benefit from two politicians coming to town to tell lies?

We finally make it to the hotel, which is right next to Wake Forest University, the debate site. I had assumed I'd have a little time for a nap before the first interview of the day, but the traffic jams ate up so much time that we have to move on immediately.

Steve and I drive to the Wake Forest campus, where I have a 30-minute live TV interview on "The Advocates," a campus political show. Because of the heightened security, a guard meets us outside the campus and drives us to the TV station.

At the studio I use a phone in the control booth to do a half-hour radio interview with Jerry Agar of WPTF in Raleigh. He's friendly, but makes no attempt to agree with anything I say. He tells me Pat Buchanan was on the show during the previous half-hour, and Buchanan said he would step up the Drug War. As the saying goes, why am I not surprised? When the interview ends, he thanks me off the air and says he likes the Libertarians — and especially our gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe.

While I was doing the radio interview, a young man was at a nearby console preparing the graphics for the TV interview. On his screen was an opening graphic to introduce the show and say that I'm the guest. Nearer to me was another monitor containing the "super" (superimposure) — saying "Harry Browne, Libertarian presidential candidate" — to go on the screen when I'm talking. I point out to the young man that the opening graphic has my name misspelled; he says he's in the process of correcting it. I say, "The super looks good, although you misspelled ‘presidential.'" He leaps out of his seat in horror before I have a chance to tell him I'm kidding.

The TV show begins. Jonathan Willingham and Whitaker Grannis interview me, alternating questions. It goes very well. I get plenty of opportunities to talk about what I hope will be important to college students.

Afterward we get driving directions to the Coliseum, the basketball arena where a "Rock the Vote" concert will be held tonight. I'm to be on TV now — live as the lead story on the 5 o'clock news at WCTI, Channel 12, in Newburn. As we approach the area where we're to meet the camera crew, we see it is enclosed by a wrought iron fence. We can see the channel 12 sound truck inside the area, but we can't find any way to get in. We drive completely around the area, but all the entrances have been blocked. It's now getting close to 4:55 and we're not even out of the car yet.

On my cell phone I talk to Stacy Davis, the channel 12 reporter. She can't figure out where we are now and I can't figure out where the gate is that she's saying we can enter.

We finally decide to park the car, enter the enclosed area through a pedestrian gate, and walk to the sound truck — reluctantly, as the truck is well inside the area and a long walk. Still on the phone with Stacy, we try to see each other but don't succeed.

As we walk through the enclosed area, there are cops everywhere — some of them with dogs. We pass bunches of police who are either standing around or walking somewhere in groups. Many of them are friendly and say hello as we pass. No one asks what we're doing there. And I don't ask what they are doing there — even though this is more than a mile away from where the debate will be held.

It's now after 5 o'clock. Walking through the area, we finally find an open gate where we think we might meet up with Stacy. Steve moves outside the gate to look for her, but I decide to stay inside the area — for fear I won't be able to reenter it.

And I'm right. A policeman comes up to me and tells me to get out, as this is a "secured" area. I point to the sound truck and tell him we're trying to get there for an interview, and we have only a few seconds before going on the air. He says that doesn't matter, we have no business there. We argue about this, and he gets more and more emphatic. I begin to wonder whether he's going to pull his gun and handcuffs, so I give up and reluctantly pass through the gate.

It's now about 5:15. We walk along the sidewalk in the general direction of the truck, hoping to find another entrance. Just then we finally encounter Stacy. She says they had to skip the interview, but they'll put me on at 6.

We walk back to the gate we just exited, and the three of us encounter the same policeman. Stacy tells him she's with Channel 12 and needs to interview me. He says, "In that case go on in." She has shown him no credentials. No more secured area, I guess.

We get over to the sound truck, and we have to stand and wait for 6 o'clock to come. While waiting, I get a call from David Postman of the Seattle Times. He wants to know about my scheduled meeting with anti-trust lawyers at Microsoft on Friday. We talk about how the court ruling could damage the computer revolution if it stands. He asks what I will say to the Microsoft people. I say, "I'll tell them to take heart: the Libertarian Party is growing rapidly and help is on the way." And more.

Finally, Stacy and I do a short interview to lead off the 6 o'clock news. It lasts about 3 or 4 minutes, and I cover the main points. For this I had a confrontation with an angry cop.

I'm scheduled to speak at the Rock the Vote concert, and it's now so late there's no point going back to the hotel. So we repark the car near the arena. As we're walking through the parking lot at the Coliseum, a car containing a black family approaches. As it reaches us, the man driving says to me, "I sure hope you win." I ask, "How do you know me?" He says, "How could I help but know you? I see you so much on TV." He introduces me to his wife and daughter who also wish me well.

We find our way into the arena and immediately encounter another family. The mother says they listen to me every night on the Internet. Steve takes a picture of me with the family and promises to email it to them.

The Rock the Vote concert is part of a drive to get young people to register and vote. It is a traveling entertainment, going from city to city giving concerts. There are musical acts interspersed with exhortations to participate in the democratic process. Tonight Hootie and the Blowfish are the featured act, and even staid old me has heard of them (although I don't know whether their specialty is baroque concertos or neo-Romantic opera).

I've been given ten minutes to speak, with no reservations on the subject matter. The students at Wake Forest said there would probably be 10,000 or so in attendance, but it looks more like a thousand to me. I don't really know how they'll react to me.

Before my speech, Steve and I go into the press room. There are a number of reporters there. Ed McNeal of WXLV-TV in Winston-Salem conducts a rather extensive on-camera interview. There are several other reporters asking me questions, but I don't get their names.

One of them asks why I'm speaking here. I say, "I know I'm supposed to say ‘because the youth of America are our future' or some such. But I'm here because young people are good prospects; they aren't wedded to the same old political parties, the way their parents are. I hope to get a lot of votes tonight."

Out in the auditorium, I notice a number of "Bush-Cheney" signs being held up in the audience, along with a few "Gore-Lieberman" signs. I wonder whether these people will resist my message. But when the time comes to speak, I dive in. I start by saying, "Welcome to the adult world. If you think your parents have been trying to run your life, wait until the politicians get their hands on you."

I run through all the things the politicians have in store for them: "You'll get up early every morning and go to work — 8, 10, 12 hours a day — only to find out that the politicians have first claim on your paycheck, and you get only the crumbs they're willing to leave for you." I go over Social Security, the monitoring of email, the Treasury agents snooping in your bank account, looking for suspicious transactions.

I get into the Drug War, and say, "If you make just one silly mistake, you could wind up in prison for 10 or 20 years. Do you think George Bush or Al Gore would be better people today if, for their youthful indiscretions, they had served 10 years in prison?"

The audience reaction is much better than I expected. There's a lot of cheering. I close by saying, "I hope you won't follow in the footsteps of your parents — who are stampeded over and over again into voting against someone. They'll vote for Bush because they're afraid of Al Gore, or they'll vote for Gore because they're afraid of the Religious Right. I hope you'll rise above that and vote for what you want — the freedom to live your life as you think best, not as the politicians think is best for you or best for the Fatherland. Don't vote against anyone. Vote for yourself, vote for what you want, vote for freedom, vote Libertarian."

After the speech, Steve and I walk through the audience to the exit. Young people crowd around me to ask questions. I know meeting any presidential candidate would seem like fun to them, but I'm surprised to see them ask serious and sophisticated questions.

One young girl asks for more specifics on the Drug War. I say a few words — including the point that the streets are less safe because imprisoning drug offenders has left too little room in the prisons for the more dangerous criminals. A black woman in her 30s breaks in to say that her 10-year-old daughter was brutally raped by a man in his 40s — who was convicted but received a sentence of only 41 months and will be out of prison in 23 months.

I sign a lot of autographs. A young man gives me a $15 check for the campaign.

Steve and I work our way out to the exhibit area and to the table where North Carolina Libertarians are displaying their wares. They have been working hard, distributing literature and talking to prospective converts. Gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe is there with a dozen other Libertarians.

Before leaving the arena, I talk for 30 minutes on my cell phone with Larry Elder — our great libertarian champion at KABC in Los Angeles. He runs through the questions I posed in my article last week — "The Top 10 Questions Left out of the Presidential Debate." As always, we get along very well, but in the middle of the interview my cell phone goes dead. I eventually get back on the line with him by using a pay phone in the arena.

Finally, Steve and I head back to the hotel. But there are still two more events for the day. The Bush-Gore debate begins at 9, and I'm participating in a "mirror" debate for Lycos.com. On the phone in my hotel room I dictate my own answers to the debate questions to a typist while the debate is in progress. She transmits them to a "chat room" online. When the debate ends, I take some more questions from people in the chat room.

The process is cumbersome. I have to talk slowly so the typist can keep up, and that makes it harder to express myself — especially as she asks for clarification of something she didn't understand. It would have been faster for me to type the answers myself, but it wasn't set up that way.

I ask how many people are in the chat room, and am told it's around 500. I have spent 90 minutes talking to 500 people, who are required to wait a few minutes between the answers. It isn't a convenient medium. I could have talked to thousands of people on the radio.

Someday this may be a very efficient way to communicate on a real-time basis with people, but now this medium is still in its infancy. It probably won't take off until either sound is used or voice recognition matures to the point that messages can be typed automatically.

After the Lycos.com chat is done, I go to Jim Turney's room, where he has his video equipment and bright lights set up. For FreedomChannel.com, I again answer the debate questions — as I did after last week's debate. (A link to these videos is on our campaign website.) Jim has consolidated the questions into a half-dozen or so main topics, which I cover. It goes very quickly, and we're done in about 25 minutes.

I return to my room. I spend about 20 minutes on the phone with Pamela and then get ready for bed. It's now midnight, and I've been up for 36 hours — since yesterday morning.

Strangely, I felt no fatigue until we got to the final event of the day — the videotaping of the debate questions. But now I really feel it. I climb into bed, put my head on the pillow, and I'm asleep within a minute — ending the longest day of the campaign.

Thursday, October 12, 2000 — Spokane, Washington

The day begins in Winston-Salem. I arise after about 7 hours sleep, and Steve Willis and I head for the airport. We have three flights today in order to get to Spokane. First we fly from Greensboro to Detroit.

At Detroit, we walk the 327 miles (well, not quite that far) to get to the gate for our next flight. When we enter the proper concourse, we hear a terrible, shrill alarm. It is coming out of speakers throughout the concourse, and it just doesn't stop. It continues throughout our one-hour layover. And only at about ten minutes before boarding the next flight do I remember I have earplugs in my computer case.

Detroit is one of the three "Bad D" airports of America — Detroit, Dallas, and Denver. All are terribly inconvenient. Perhaps when the campaign is over I should write a travel guide to America — covering fast food, cheap hotels, and bad airports.

Actually, I like fast food — whether from McDonald's or Taco Bell, or from the more sophisticated Denny's and Cracker Barrel. And the hotels we've stayed at in this campaign have been moderately comfortable — whereas in the last campaign Pamela and stayed in the ‘Motel 4' too many times. However, there's not much good I can say about airports — whose government owners are always so far behind the demand for air travel that there's never enough room at the ticket counters for the airlines to process passenger volume quickly, never an efficient baggage system, never enough gate slots to handle all the planes.

The long flight from Detroit to Seattle is productive, as I get about 3½ hours' work done with my computer (which has been working okay lately). When we get to Seattle, we meet up with Michael Cloud.

While waiting for the flight to Spokane, I have a short radio interview with Chad Scott at WAPI in Birmingham and a phone interview with Michael Lewis of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (His article will appear on Saturday. It focuses on the compatibility between the high-tech workers and the Libertarian Party. It can be read at http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/local/libs14.shtml.)

Michael, Steve, and I fly on to Spokane. As soon as we arrive I phone Ed Heaphey in Daytona Beach, Florida, who's hosting a Libertarian meeting in his home. Unfortunately, by the time I've arrived in Spokane, the meeting is over and most of the people have left. But apparently the meeting was successful in organizing a new local affiliate in Daytona Beach.

There are around a hundred people at the evening's event in Spokane. The fund-raising is a little below average, but the audience is very receptive. About 40% are at their first Libertarian event. Afterward I have a short interview with Brian Rhodes of the Spokane Valley Community College Communicator.

Jim Camden of The Spokesman-Review is there. (His article will appear tomorrow, and it provides a detailed list of our proposals. It can be read at www.spokesmanreview.com/news-story.asp?date=101300&ID=s865251.)

Today WorldNetDaily published my article "Beware of These Fallacies in Gore-Bush Debates" — pointing out several false assumptions underlying the debate discussions between Gore and Bush. The article is available at our campaign website.

Yesterday's Question of the Day on MSNBC's website was "If The election were held today, who would get your vote? As of midnight last night Central time, 5,580 people had voted. The results were:

Harry Browne: 59%
George W. Bush: 30%
Al Gore: 8%
Ralph Nader: 1%
Pat Buchanan: 1%
John Hagelin: 0%
Howard Phillips: 0%
David McReynolds: 0%

If the URL http://www.msnbc.com/news/419965.asp is still active, you may be able to learn what the final result was for the day.

Friday, October 13, 2000 — Seattle

This morning I'm up at 6am for a half-hour radio interview with Kirby Wilbur on KVI, Seattle's big talk station. He is very friendly and allows me to say pretty much whatever I want. I give the website address, but forget to plug tomorrow's event in Seattle. (I'm told later that someone called in right after my interview to mention the event.)

Shortly afterward, we catch a plane back to Seattle. We're met at the airport by Jay Mills, who guides us to all of today's locations. The first is a meeting during lunchtime with Microsoft employees, set up by Jay through Mick Egan of Microsoft. There are about 100 people present at the meeting, lasting about an hour. I talk for about 20 minutes, followed by an extended question period. The audience seems very receptive.

Afterward, we head for downtown Seattle, where I tape a 10-minute interview at KCTS-TV, channel 9. I fail to make a note of the reporter's name. He lets me say whatever I want, but he has a skeptical look on his face throughout the interview.

Then we head across Lake Washington to Redmond for an evening reception at the home of Dan Knudson. His house is self-designed, unusual, and sitting in a beautiful setting in the woods. Around 25-30 people are there. I speak for about 25 minutes and then take questions. Michael fund-raises and we reap a larger total than we get at most events with 100-200 people.

Saturday, October 14, 2000 — Seattle

Today's event starts at noon. About 250 people are in attendance, roughly 35-40% of whom are at their first Libertarian event. I awoke today somewhat out of sorts — which seems to occur when a good night's sleep follows a couple of short-sleep nights. But I'm in good voice and the speech goes quite well. Even better, however, is the fund-raising — which brings in the second largest total for any of these events.

Afterward in the meeting room I have a couple of TV interviews for cable-access channels.

Later in the afternoon, I have a phone interview with Richard Fields of the Scarlet, the campus newspaper for Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is a Libertarian, and so the interview is quite easy — as there is a lot I don't have to explain.

In the evening, I have a one-hour interview with Marlin McElvy at WMC in Memphis. It goes well. Since I had assumed the host was something of a conservative, I'm surprised when he begins the show by trashing the Drug War. He disagrees with one or two things, but on the whole he's quite supportive.

Today Scott Davison, a columnist with the Wichita Falls (Texas) Times-Record News, published an article complaining about the media blackout of our campaign. It is an excellent article, detailing the Libertarian proposals that are being ignored by poor press coverage and by my not being in the debates.

Sunday, October 15, 2000 — Seattle

I'm awakened at 6:15am by the phone ringing. There's no one there, but I get a message that a reporter has been trying to reach me. I find I can't get back to sleep. My mind starts racing with the elements of an article — prompted by occasional interview questions of how I would feel if my candidacy somehow took the election away from George Bush and gave it to Al Gore.

Although I get the impression that we only a small part of our support comes from Republicans, I go ahead and write the article.

When I'm finished, I call the reporter back. He is Bob Weinstein of FortuneSB.com, a website set up by Fortune magazine for small business owners. We focus part of the interview on the fact that neither Gore nor Bush is offering anything that would make small businesspeople's lives dramatically better. But we Libertarians are offering to end their income tax, end the income tax for their customers, get the enormous burden of regulation off their shoulders, and quit making them the unpaid enforcers of so many political fantasies for social improvement.

Later in the morning, Steve Willis and I head to the airport to fly to Washington, D.C. — with a plane change in Dallas along the way. Unfortunately, when we approach Dallas, a storm is causing planes to circle the field endlessly before landing. Because our plane is short of fuel, we can't wait — and so we land at Love Field inside the city of Dallas, instead of at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) airport.

We can't get off the plane because — well, I'm not sure why we can't get off the plane. The pilot relays conflicting stories from the Air Traffic Controllers as the time passes and we sit on the plane. Needless to say, we've missed our connection to Washington. Meanwhile, thunder and lightning are flashing and crashing outside the plane. The inside of the plane is extremely warm and close.

We sit on the runway for about three hours. Finally, the plane takes off and flies 21 miles to DFW airport. When we arrive, we're told the only remaining flight to Washington is full — with stand-bys already waiting. So, even though our luggage is irretrievably on its way to Washington, Steve and I forego the stand-by approach and get rooms at a nearby hotel. It's now nearly 11pm on the east coast, but Laura Carno — our tireless scheduler — goes to work to track down our luggage and get it back to Dallas as soon as possible.

When we reach the hotel, Steve and I head into the restaurant to get something to eat. I still feel much too warm, I seem to have a fever, and my body is aching. Is it just from sitting so long on that plane — or have I not yet recovered from last week's cold — or am I coming down with something new?

I finish my dinner quickly and go up to my room — eager to get some rest. Jim Babka agrees to take the radio shows I have scheduled for the rest of the evening and early tomorrow morning. I climb into bed about 10pm and go to sleep quickly.

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