You don't hear much lately from the vice-presidential candidates, George What's-his-name, and Fritz You-know-who-I-mean. The problem is that all the media are zeroing in on Carter and Reagan, and not paying attention to the men who could be only a heart-beat away from the presidency.
I was starting to worry about this, so I decided to find out where they were.
My first call was to Reagan headquarters.
"Is George there?" I asked.
"Just a minute, I'll see if someone in the office knows him."
The voice came back on the phone a few minutes later.
"Is he a volunteer or a paid employe?"
"He's Reagan's running mate. He was selected after Jerry Ford turned Reagan down."
"The name does ring a bell. Let me transfer you to somebody who might know where he is."
Another voice came on the phone. "Reagan headquarters, personnel department."
"Yes, I'm trying to locate a George Bush, who is Ronald Reagan's running mate."
"You'll have to be more specific than that. Do you have a description or a Social Security number or anything?"
"He's rather tall and thin and looks very much like an Ivy Leaguer. I don't have his Social Security number and the last time anyone saw him was on the platform with Ronald Reagan at the Republican National Convention in Detroit. He was holding up Ronald's hand."
"We've had dozens of politicians holding up Ronald's hand, and we have a lot of people working for Reagan who look like they're Ivy Leaguers. Does he have any scars?"
"Well, he ran against Reagan in the primaries, so I imagine he does. But he's covered them up since Reagan chose him as his running mate."
"He doesn't show up in the computer. Have you called the Red Cross?"
"No, I thought I'd check with you people first on the off chance that you might know."
"We can't keep track of everyone working for Reagan. They come and they go. Why don't you put an ad in the paper?"
"I don't want to find him that badly. But if he turns up, will you call me?"
"You have to be kidding. We're running an election campaign, not a missing persons bureau."
I decided to see if I'd have any more luck with Fritz Mondale. I called the Carter headquarters.
"Any news on Vice President Mondale?" I asked.
"No, should there be?" the voice answered.
"You don't happen to know where he is right now?"
"If he isn't at a state funeral for some foreign leader, he's probably opening a post office somewhere. He only comes around the office to pick up his mail."
"But is he still Carter's running mate?" I asked.
"As far as I know. But you had better check that one out with the White House. They never clue us in on what they're doing from one day to the next."
"I'd like to get in touch with him if I possibly can."
"Have you looked in the Yellow Pages under vice-presidents? He might be listed there."
"I hadn't thought of that. You've been a big help."
"Don't mention it, and if you find him, would you tell him to call his wife? She said he forgot to pay the electric bill this month."