Thursday, April 18

Gore rallies supporters in Westwood

VP makes final California stop before heading off to Florida

  JESSE PORTER/Daily Bruin Senior Staff With seven days left
until the presidential election, Vice President Al
spoke to more than 1,000 supporters in Westwood
Village Tuesday night.

By Monique Simpson

Daily Bruin Reporter

With shining spotlights, movie stars and cheering fans, what was
a presidential pep rally looked more like a movie premiere outside
Mann’s Bruin theater Monday night.

After waiting nearly two hours in the crowed streets of
Westwood, more than 1,000 people cheered wildly when Vice President
Al Gore finally arrived.

Speaking on a makeshift stage at the corner of Weyburn and
Broxton Avenues, Gore was accompanied by his daughter Kristin and
“West Wing” actor Martin Sheen. The Gore campaign also
paid to change the signs on Bruin theater’s marquee to read
“Prosperity for All.”

“The message you are giving me is we are going to win
California,” Gore told the ebullient crowd.

After appearing in Portland earlier in the day, Gore made
Westwood his last stop on a two-day campaign swing on the West
Coast, before heading to Florida.

“I w ant to fight for you; I want to fight for
California” Gore said.

In a 20-minute speech, Gore outlined his plans for education,
the environment, health care and other issues.

“We need a patients’ bill of rights to take the
decisions away from the HMOs and give them back to the
doctors,” he said.

Gore urged the crowd to think about their future when

“The biggest choice we face is what we are going to do to
keep the prosperity going,” Gore said.

Several celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Affleck and
Quincy Jones were in the crowd to show their support for the vice

Singer and actor Cher told the crowd to vote for Gore because of
his position on abortion rights.

  JESSE PORTER/Daily Bruin Senior Staff Gov.Gray
speaks alongside his wife Sharon
before Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore appeared in
Westwood last night. “I don’t want to see any women
lose their right to choose,” she said.

Singer Jewel entertained the crowd with two songs before Gore
took the stage.

“I never opened for a vice president before,” Jewel
said. “It’s a kinda cool gig.”

In celebration of Halloween, the stage Gore spoke on was
festooned with jack-o’-lanterns with glowing candles. Though
the vice president wasn’t in costume Tuesday, his daughter
told the crowd of a past Halloween when he donned more than a suit
and tie.

“He was the dad who took me trick-or-treating,”
Kristin Gore said. “He even dressed up as a big carrot when I
asked him to.”

California Gov. Gray Davis and his wife Sharon also attended the

“Thank you for believing in Al Gore,” Davis

Many students ““ including some from UCLA and USC ““
attended the rally to find out more about the presidential
candidate and his ideas.

“The race has been so neck-and-neck, I wanted to come out
and hear what Gore had to say,” said Magen Inglish, a
fifth-year English student.

Others who were disappointed with the recent televised
presidential debates wanted to see Gore in person.

“The debates, in general, seemed superficial,” said
Abrey Lopez, a fourth-year psychobiology student. “They were
too polite.”

Lopez also said she liked the fact that Gore showed interest in
young voters by coming to Westwood.

“It’s important to come out to colleges because
candidates usually concentrate on older people,” Lopez

Not everyone at the rally site supported Gore. A sizable group
of students holding Bush/Cheney banners stood just outside the
security perimeter and others ““ including supporters of Green
Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and a contingent of
students who passed out leaflets detailing Gore’s investments
in the Occidental Petroleum Company ““ also listened to the
vice president’s speech.

Nick Moncure, a student of California State University, Long
Beach, said he plans to vote for Nader because he feels the
Democrats need to reform.

“If we don’t take a stand and vote for (someone
besides Gore) and make the Democratic Party bleed, then
they’re never going to change,” Moncure said.

Though competition from Nader and George W. Bush and an increase
in undecided voters has trimmed Gore’s lead in California,
his enthusiasm Tuesday night conveyed the message that he thinks
those declining poll numbers amount to little more than
“fuzzy math.”

With reports from David Drucker, Michael Falcone and Timothy
Kudo, Daily Bruin Senior Staff

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