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PREZ CREDENTIALS

We are too hard on Dan Quayle. We should accept the heir to the Pulliam fortune for what he is rather than fret about his becoming president.

Detractors say Quayle is more suited to becoming president of the Paradise Valley Country Club than moving into the White House.

What's wrong with the Paradise Valley Country Club, I ask?
Pink slacks. Yellow slacks. White faces. Multicolored golf shoes. Cadillacs. Lincoln Town Cars. Buffet lunches. Iced tea in tall glasses. Ladies in wide-brimmed sun hats. More white faces. This is America at its finest.

It is the world that spawned J. Danforth Quayle III. He is a child of privilege who actually grew up in a house bordering the golf course at Paradise Valley.

Let us take this opportunity to go over Quayle's splendid qualifications for elevation to the White House.

He is the son of Jim Quayle, an ex-Marine with a bulldog tattooed on his arm. The elder Quayle had the financial acumen to align himself in marriage with Corinne Pulliam, daughter of the press lord who owned newspapers in Indiana and Arizona.

Jim Quayle became director of public relations at the Arizona Republic and bought one of the first houses on the Paradise Valley property.

Jim Quayle was a great pal of Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society, and called Welch "another Nostradamus."

Young Dan Quayle learned to become a scratch golfer on the PV course and that is why it is perfectly all right that he flies on Air Force jets to his various golfing dates around the country with Secretary of Transportation Sam Skinner.

When the Quayle family moved from Paradise Valley to Huntington, Indiana, Jim bought the newspaper from his father-in-law and made himself publisher.

Dan was sent to the Pulliams' favorite college, DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Old Eugene Pulliam went to DePauw. So did Dan's father, Jim. Quayle spent most of his college years playing golf and ended up with an average closer to D than the gentleman's C.

But politics was already his goal. In his junior year, he worked as a chauffeur for Richard Nixon's campaign coordinators during the 1968 Republican convention in Miami.

How was that arranged? Simple. Dan called his father and Dad called an old Arizona pal, Richard Kleindienst, who would later become Nixon's attorney general in 1972.

There came a time when Dan Quayle, always a vocal hawk, would have to deal with whether he was going to fight in Vietnam, as he had always urged others to do.

Dan decided he'd rather go to law school and serve his time stateside with the National Guard.

There was a problem. The Indiana National Guard was filled up.
His father called a retired major general in the Guard who also happened to be the managing editor of Pulliam's Indianapolis News.

Dan was shipped to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in July and was home for good by Christmas.

You may wonder how he got into Indiana University Law School with such low grades as an undergraduate.

It was by sheer drive and determination. Turned down initially, Quayle sought a personal interview with the dean of the law school. At about this time, the Pulliam family made a large donation to the law school.

Please don't be so cynical as to assume that the donation and the admission of Quayle had any connection.

After law school, Quayle's first job was an appointment to the Indiana Attorney General's Office. A year later, he was serving as administrative assistant to the governor.

Two years after getting out of law school, Quayle ran for Congress and won.

He served two terms in the House of Representatives, ran for a Senate seat at age 33 and won with the help of Ronald Reagan's landslide.

Months before George Bush's campaign for the presidency began, Bush sought the perfect running mate.

Bush cautioned us to keep a close watch on the man he chose. He told us it would tell us a lot about his presidency.

Bush chose Dan Quayle. Certainly, no one has ever raised a voice in the Paradise Valley Country Club dining room to criticize that sage decision.

Young Dan Quayle learned to become a scratch golfer on the PV course and that is why it is perfectly all right that he flies on Air Force jets to go golfing.

Dan decided he'd rather go to law school and serve his time stateside with the National Guard.