Outside magazine, January 1996
"Dear Republican Presidential hopeful," our polite letter began. "We'd like to hear your views on a couple of major environmental issues and pose a character-testing essay question: 'If you were pinned down in a tent on Mount Everest for two weeks, what person--living, dead, or fictional--would you choose to pass the time with (no spouses!)?'"
The results: An impressive 100 percent of the candidates blew us off. Hence, we're forced to answer the questions for them, based on past votes and policy tracts. (When no discernible position exists, the word "mum" appears.) As for the tentmates, we were forced to assign those, too--so don't blame us, survey scofflaws, if you're unhappy with your "bivouac buddy."
Candidate: BOB DOLE: longtime Kansas senator and Capitol Hill grumpus; suspected Grecian Formula 16 abuser.
Candidate: PAT BUCHANAN: former Nixon and Reagan hatchet man, journalist, and standard-bearer for the GOP's xenophobic America First contingent.
Candidate: LAMAR ALEXANDER: former Tennessee governor who has publicized his man-of-the-people platform by walking across New Hampshire in a red plaid shirt.
Candidate: PHIL GRAMM: Texas senator famous for asking whether specific spending programs would pass muster with Dicky Flatt--a twangy, real-life, skin-flint constituent from Mexia, Texas.
Candidate: ROBERT DORNAN: Congressman from Orange County, California, whose rabid, homophobic views place him a driver-and-wedge to the right of Rush Limbaugh.