Remember Dan Quayle? In the new issue of National Review, I check in on the former veep:
Dan Quayle lost his Secret Service protection within weeks of leaving the vice presidency, almost two decades ago. People still stop him in airports — he has to stand in line and remove his belt and shoes at security checkpoints, just like the rest of us — but for the most part they leave him be. “They’re considerate,” he says. “They give me space.” Every now and then, when he doesn’t want to be recognized, he’ll put on a low-tech disguise: a baseball cap and sunglasses. He did it a year and a half ago, when he attended a tea-party rally. “I just wanted to stand in back and hear the speakers,” he says.
We also talk politics. Who should be the Republican veep nominee? Will Ron Paul be this year’s Ross Perot? Also:
“This far out, the incumbent is usually favored,” says Quayle. “But I think we can beat Obama.” He’ll be looking hard at a single number: the economy’s growth in the second quarter of this year. “That’s when perceptions set in,” he says. He points to his own experience in 1992, when the Bush-Quayle ticket crashed at the ballot box. “In the first two quarters of that year, we were technically — barely — in a recession. In the third quarter, the economy grew by 4 percent. In the fourth quarter, it grew by 6 percent. But none of that mattered, because Clinton got everyone to think that we were still in a recession even though it wasn’t true.”